Driving investment inclusion: SEC grants crowdfunding portals registrar status

In a bid to further bolster the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has granted crowdfunding portals the authority to serve as registrars for qualified institutional and individual buyers.

Crowdfunding portals that are registered under SEC Memorandum Circular No. 14 governing crowdfunding rules and regulations, are now included in the list of authorized registrars.

This inclusion is subject to their compliance with the registration prerequisites outlined in the implementing rules and regulations of the Securities Regulation Code.

Previously, this authorization was limited to traditional financial intermediaries.

A funding portal plays a pivotal role as an intermediary, facilitating online transactions related to the offering and sale of crowdfunding securities.

Concurrently, registrars are entrusted with the task of assessing the qualifications of natural or juridical persons applying as qualified buyers.

They also maintain and make accessible a registry book of qualified buyers to be inspected by representatives of the SEC.

These functions align closely with those already performed by crowdfunding intermediaries authorized to act as registrars of qualified buyers.

This move to authorize crowdfunding portals as registrars aims to streamline the process for qualified investors in accessing alternative investment opportunities, eliminating the need to engage multiple institutions.

“Recognizing crowdfunding portals as eligible registrars of qualified buyers will simplify the process for qualified investors, aligning with our commitment to promote alternative funding sources and unlock the full potential of the Philippine capital market,” said SEC chairperson Emilio B. Aquino.

Additionally, the amended regulations allow micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to raise up to P50 million in capital within a 12-month timeframe from investments made by qualified buyers.

The SEC has actively advocated crowdfunding as a crucial capital source for MSMEs and startups through a series of nationwide roadshows, including stops in Davao, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Manila, and Tarlac-Clark, with more planned in Baguio, Legaspi, and Tacloban throughout the year.

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