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MANILA, Philippines - Companies are now scrambling to raise funds either through a public listing or through the debt market, braving the prevailing stock market volatility ahead of a possible rise in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve in its meeting on Dec. 13.

Investment bankers are working double time these days as many private companies are now heading back to the debt market or proceeding with their respective initial public offerings (IPOs) before the US Fed raises rates in December, industry players said.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. (Shell), the country’s second biggest oil refiner, is leading the pack of companies braving the market in these times, with a P19.5 billion initial public offering (IPO) on Nov. 3.

Other companies that are targeting to do a public listing within the next two months are leading pizza chain Shakey’s with P5.5 billion, mobile celebrity games provider Xeleb Inc. with P736 million, technology company Audiowav Inc. with P2.66 billion and bar-restaurant operator Gweilo Corp. with P125 million.

Shell has reopened what may be another IPO season, investment bankers said.