RFM and Cosmos cleared from allegations

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) recently dismissed allegations of insider trading made by Iloilo representative Augusto Syjuco against listed RFM Corp., Cosmos Bottling Corp. (CBC) and bourse chai…

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) recently dismissed allegations of insider trading made by Iloilo representative Augusto Syjuco against listed RFM Corp., Cosmos Bottling Corp. (CBC) and bourse chairman Felipe Yap. In a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday, the bourse cleared the food and beverage firm, its soft-drinks arm and a number of brokers from the charges of stock price manipulation and insider trading earlier made by Syjuco. “We have sent our reply on the results of the inquiry. We would like to reiterate there were no findings of violations with respect to the brokers,” Garcia said. Earlier, Syjuco alleged that the sale of CBC shares to San Miguel Corp. (SMC) involved “insider trading and stock manipulation to outright deceive RFM and Cosmos shareholders and the investing public.” He also added: “Figures that I have collated reveal to me that RFM and Cosmos are bankrupt, even if they were to receive the full PHP 15 billion from their proposed sale to SMC, in a timely manner which is even highly unlikely.” Representing the Jaz Cola Group, Syjuco noted that the Concepcion-owned firms resorted to insider trading and stock price manipulation to prevent a further free fall of their publicly listed companies. For its part, the PSE said there is no insider trading or any form of stock market manipulation whatsoever on Cosmos or RFM shares. “The sale of Cosmos is one of the most widely publicized and fully disclosed deals in the market. Disclosures were religiously made to the PSE and the brokers made their purchases based on the disclosures,” Garcia claimed. As for Yap“s case, Garcia said the PSE chairman “has never been a client as far as purchases of Cosmos shares are concerned.” Syjuco earlier hinted that the PSE chair had inside information on the brewing deal between RFM and SMC before the former made its disclosure to the PSE on its negotiations with the food and beverage giant for the sale of CBC. He represents the Jaz Cola group, which was acquired by CBC in 1996.