Right at the heart of Ortigas Center, the Pasig side of Ortigas Center in particular, lies the nerve center of commercial activity in the country. Well to be specifc, it’s one of the centers actually, but we’ll get to that later.
Today, the Urban Roamer checks out the Tektite Towers, also known formally as the Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, where the country’s national bourse, the Philippine Stock Exchange or PSE currently holds office.
A TALE OF TWO BOURSES
The PSE actually has it roots from way back, August 8, 1927 in particular when the Manila Stock Exchange was established in Binondo, Manila, becoming the first bourse to be established in the Philippines. For 36 years, the Manila Stock Exchange was the sole stock exchange in the country, having borne witness to the growth of the Philippine economy, its downturn caused by World War II, and the reconstruction efforts afterward.
That war also left Manila heavily destroyed and efforts to rebuild it were difficult to say the least. At the same time, a new business district was rising outside Manila, the formerly rural town of Makati was being developed by the Ayala family and attracted businesses who wished to start anew in a fresh environment, away from Manila and the memories of destruction caused by the war. This would lead to the establishment of a new bourse in the country as the Makati Stock Exchange was established on May 27, 1963.
For almost 30 years, the Manila Stock Exchange (MSE) and the Makati Stock Exchange (MkSE) coexisted in a manner that is both friendly and fiercely competitive. While both bourses have almost the same listing of companies, each stock exchange has its own price set on a company’s stock, causing confusion among some and profit for others who manage to gain from the price difference between the two exchanges.
MSE MOVES EAST
Meanwhile, the Manila Stock Exchange grew out of its Binondo trading floor and by the 1980s was seeking a new home. At that time, Philrealty, a newly-established real estate company was building its first office building complex at the heart of Ortigas Center, a two-tower, each being 33 storeys in height, office building complex with 4-level podium connecting the two towers at the base.
Philrealty offered the complex which was to be known as the Tektite Towers to the MSE to be the site of its new home, an offer the bourse accepted. Thus in 1989, the Manila Stock Exchange moved to the 18+ hectare Tektite Towers, also known then as the largest office building complex in the country. And with the move, the bourse was now Manila in name only, though Pasig is part of Metro Manila so that would still count I suppose.
TWO BECOME ONE…SORT OF
Finally, through the efforts of then Philippine President Fidel Ramos, the Manila and Makati Stock Exchanges were united under one entity. As a result, on December 23. 1992 both bourses ceased to exist and in their place rose the Philippine Stock Exchange that we know today.
With the merger, the original plan was to merge all stock exchange operations under one roof, which would be the Tektite Towers which was renamed officially as the Philippine Stock Exchange Centre. But the Ayalas were not ready to lose the bourse in Makati, which was after all the country’s prime business district. So they offered a bigger and more modern trading floor at the new structure they were building in Ayala Triangle to be the home of the PSE, at would become Tower One. And the PSE accepted the offer…sort of.
What happened was that the PSE decided to have its offices remain in Ortigas Center but would be maintaining two trading floors instead as a sort of compromise: the existing trading floor at Tektite/PSE Centre and the bigger trading floor at Tower One, the area called the Philippine Stock Exchange Plaza. So while there is already a unified bourse, its presence on the two former rival sites was still a somewhat contentious matter that needed to be hurdled.
TO BE UNIFIED…FINALLY
For years, the PSE has been planning to have a unified office and trading floor, a unified and more permanent home for the bourse. Considering the somewhat contentious history between the Ortigas and Makati sites, the PSE opted to look for a neutral venue of sorts where the old factions of Manila and Makati would finally be housed under one roof.
That venue would be the rising business district of Bonifacio Global City or BGC, which was also becoming the venue of choice for the operations of many financial institutions to locate themselves in. Finally, after long years of negotiations, work finally began last year on the construction of the 23-storey unified Philippine Stock Exchange center at the heart of BGC.
For the meantime, the PSE Center in Pasig remains the center of operations for the Philippine Stock Exchange. But it is not just a place for trading. One can learn more things about investment as the PSE is at forefront of educating and encouraging people to invest in the stock market not only for better financial gains in the future but also to help spur the Philippine economy.
In fact the PSE conducts regular free seminars every month on how to invest in the stock market right at the PSE Centre itself. So if you are looking to learn about how the stock market works, not to mention check out the PSE trading floor in Ortigas, take the opportunity to reserve a slot through the website of PSE Academy at pseacademy.com.ph.
Speaking of PSE Academy, they also offer free webinars on other topics related to stock exchange knowledge. So do check out the site and take advantage of these free offerings as well.