San Miguel Brewery Inc has begun trading on the Philippine Stock Exchange this morning.

The domestic brewing unit of San Miguel Corp debuted today after having been spun off from the Asian food and beverage giant.

The shares have been greeted warmly so far, with analysts pointing to the long-term potential of the unit.

Shares opened at 8.30 pesos (19.54 US cents), up 3.8% from the IPO price of 8.00 pesos. By late morning, shares were trading at 8.10 pesos.

Despite worries over the economy, the local offering of San Miguel's domestic brewing arm was oversubscribed, when the domestic leg of its IPO was completed last week.

However, late last month, San Miguel Corp. trimmed back the IPO, from the initial 1.78bn-share stake to 770.5m shares. As well as reducing the size of the IPO, San Miguel also cut back the initial offer price late month, from PHP11.00 each to PHP8.00.

San Miguel has said it intends to use funds raised through the IPO - estimated at reaching up to PHP6.16bn (US$147m) - to pay down debt and finance its expansion into heavy industries.

"We are looking beyond the present temporary market conditions and are focusing instead on our vast potential," Cojuangco said on the listing of the brewing unit.