AC ENERGY Corp. (ACEN) was last week’s sixth most actively traded commodity, with analysts attributing the movement to general negative consumer sentiment as coronavirus cases increase, offsetting optimistic stock developments such as reports of the Singapore firm’s investment in the group.

Data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) shows a total of 205.86 million P1.41 billion shares exchanged between 8 and 12 March.

ACEN’s shares ended at P7.1 on Friday, down 0.6 percent from P7.14 a week earlier. Year to date, the share price of the stock has fallen by 30.4 percent.

“ACEN’s movement [last week] has been influenced by the wider market decline [last] week, as investors have been mindful of emerging cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) in the region, as well as inflation fears across the globe,” said Timson Securities, Inc., Head of Online Trading Darren Blaine T. Pangan in Viber Post.

“The mood was poor, but the bargain hunters managed to pick up ACEN shares in the latter part of the week,” he said.

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Last week, 19 cases a day rose by a total of 3,000—a trend that has not been seen since September. On Saturday, the number of new cases crossed 5,000 on the basis of estimates published by the Ministry of Health.

Last week saw the closing price of the stock go down for the first two trading days before rebounding for the following three days.

Meanwhile, the PSE Index (PSEi) ended last Friday at 6,728.55, 152.82 points or 2.2 percent lower on a week-on-week basis.

In a separate Viber post, UPCC Securities Corp. Equity Trader Aristotle D. Reyes, Jr. acknowledged the company’s specific events, such as the publication of its annual results and specifics of the investment of the Singapore subsidiary GIC Pte. Ltd. with a 17.5 per cent shareholding in the Ayala-led company.

“[Most] buyers already knew about it, so it didn’t change the price too much,” he added.

In a regulatory filing last Wednesday, ACEN stated that Arran Investment Pte. Ltd. will subscribe to four billion primary shares in a private placement of P2.97 apiece, totalling P11.88 billion.

The agreement is subject to pre-closing conditions, namely: the completion by ACEN of its share rights offering 2,27 billion shares at P2,37 apiece; and the issuance by the Commonwealth Treasurer of Australia—or his delegate—of a notice of no objection under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 to Arran and AC Energy and Infrastructure Corp.’

“In the short term, news of a P12 billion investment by Arran Investment Pte. Ltd in ACEN might not have greatly influenced the stock movements of the problem, but over the long term, ACEN claims that private placement would help them collect additional funds for their numerous ventures and acquisitions, as well as repay some of their debts,” said Mr. Pangan of Timson Securities.

“ACEN also seems to be on the sidelines, which could be attributed to investors having already priced [full-year 2020] earnings since it outperformed [PSEi] last year,” he added.

Last year, ACEN had an attributable net profits of P3.75 billion, up 65 fold from P57.65 million in 2019, based on the company’s financial report disclosed to the stock exchange last Tuesday.

“For the coming weeks, I can see that ACEN is still trading at a range because the market is still waiting for a follow-on price. [I] position support at P6.5 and P8 as a resistance,” said UPCC Securities’ Mr. Reyes.

For Timson Securities, Mr. Pangan: “ACEN has been consolidated since the beginning of the year, with help in the P6.00 region and immediate opposition at the P8.00 mark. We see a restructuring of the stock of this field before stronger catalysts come into play for the firm.”

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