Philippines’ bourse shuts trading floor as punters favor digital

·1 min read
Traders work on the trading floor of the Philippine Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines, September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Traders work on the trading floor of the Philippine Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines, September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

By Ian Sayson

The Philippine Stock Exchange Inc will permanently close its trading floor after the pandemic hastened its migration to “floorless trading” amid a digital shift that’s changing the operations of capital markets.

The ruckus of a trading floor at one of Asia’s oldest bourses, which goes back to 1927, will give way to a more “efficient and responsive” set-up to meet the “needs of the investing public,” bourse President Ramon Monzon said in a statement.

The exchange said online stock market accounts grew 23.8% in 2021 to 1.16 million and accounted for 71.5% of total accounts — up from only 4.3% in 2008.

Online investors made up 74.7% of total trades in 2021, accounting for 21.45 million trades; this was 21% more than the 17.78 million transactions in 2020.

The value of online trades jumped 44% to 744.49 billion pesos ($14.1 billion) from 518.27 billion the previous year. In comparison, non-online accounts were up 11% from 2020 at 2.92 trillion pesos.

The pandemic helped drive the digitalization and automation of trading, prompting brokers to trade offsite, Monzon said. The trading floor will be completely shut once brokers pull out their trading booths, he added.

The Philippine Stock Exchange was created in December 1992 with the merger of the Manila Stock Exchange, which began in 1927, and the Makati Stock Exchange, which was established in 1963. The combined exchange began operations in 1994.