SEC statement on complaints involving COL Financial
It has come to the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that clients of COL Financial Group, Inc. have been unable to trade shares in AREIT, Inc. due to the stock brokerage’s failure to secure the necessary permission to trade real estate investment trust (REIT) securities. The Commission is also verifying reports that there is another broker whose clients experienced the same problem.
The SEC Markets and Securities Regulation Department (MSRD) is currently gathering more information and assessing the situation. Rest assured that the Commission shall take appropriate actions toward the resolution of the matter at the soonest time possible in the interest of the investing public. Investors are advised to send their complaints and other relevant information to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
In the meantime, the SEC notes that trading participants are required to satisfy a list of requirements to become eligible to trade REIT securities with The Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE), pursuant to Sections 13 and 14 of the Amended REIT Listing Rules, as approved by the Commission on 7 February 2020.
The PSE issued a memorandum providing for the Broker Eligibility Guidelines to Trading REIT Securities and started accepting applications from trading participants on 15 July 2020. Among the requirements specified in said guidelines is the recording of securities ownership of trading participants’ investors under a Name-on-Central-Depository (NoCD) arrangement. Also, registered salesmen are required to undergo the relevant training before they are allowed to deal in REITs.