SEC Approves PSE Watchdog Unit

MANILA, Philippines - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the start of the operations of the Capital Markets Integrity Corporation (CMIC) as an independent audit, surveillance and compliance unit for the local stock exchange.

CMIC is the successor company of the Philippine Stock Exchange's Market Regulation Division which was tasked with trading participant regulation and surveillance. The company is governed by a board composed of its president and CEO and four independent directors.

In an order dated March 9, 2012, the SEC said that it granted CMIC's request to start operations effective March 12, 2012 after the SEC's evaluation and CMIC's representation that its governance structure, personnel and systems are ready to function.

"After many months of hard work and preparations, we now have the CMIC in full swing. We are pleased with this development as this will only further our objectives of enhancing governance and market integrity in the stock market," said PSE president Hans B. Sicat.

CMIC president Antonio Garcia Jr. added that "the board and management of CMIC are grateful to the SEC for its show of strong support in ensuring a fair and transparent market."

The SEC earlier granted CMIC a provisional Self Regulatory Organization (SRO) status or the authority to operate as the independent audit, surveillance and compliance unit of the PSE.

The provisional SRO was subject to review by the SEC after six months and the full status as SRO was granted once the SEC was convinced that the CMIC is now able to operate pursuant to its mandate.

The CMIC last year signed an agreement with the Korea Exchange for the acquisition and implementation of a surveillance system which will enhance its capability to monitor stock trading activities and strengthen market integrity.

The said system, called Exture Surveillance System, is targeted to be operational by the first half of 2012.(James A. Loyola)