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SM Group forms consortium to join Pagcor’s entertainment complex dev’t

[ Manila Bulletin Online ] December 16, 2008

By JAMES A. LOYOLA


SM Investments Corporation has formed a consortium with its subsidiaries to jointly undertake the development of an integrated entertainment complex under PAGCOR’s Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment City project.


In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) yesterday, SMIC chief finance officer Jose Sio said the joint consortium is composed of SMIC, SM Land, Inc., SM Development Corporation, SM Commercial Properties, Inc., SM Hotels Corporation and Premium Leisure and Amusement, Inc.


SMIC has appointed its executive vice president, Josefino C. Lucas and vice president Jose B. Amantoy to jointly sign the Consortium Agreement on behalf of SMIC, and the Provisional License to signify SMIC’s acceptance of its terms and conditions, and to execute and sign any amendments, supplements and other documentation implementing the terms of the Provisional License.


SM Land Inc. is spending an initial P10 billion to pursue the transformation of the 60-hectare Mall of Asia Complex into a world-class business and entertainment hub fronting the famous Manila Bay.


Sio said the initial capital expenditure for phase I of this ambitious project will amount to P10 billion. Phase will start next year and will be completed in about three years.


The first phase will include hotels and facilities for gaming after the recent provisional license granted by Philippine Amusement ang Gaming Corporation marked the start of the development of the entertainment hub which will be executed over the medium term.


"We believe in the country’s strong potential in tourism. As such, SM will be at the forefront in providing much-needed infrastructure and facilities for more tourists to enjoy the country’s scenic destinations, while experiencing the warmth of Philippine hospitality," said SMIC vice chairman Henry Sy, Jr.


The entertainment hub will have on its plate a number of hotels fronting the Manila Bay to be operated by leading international hotel chains like the Radisson and the luxury Regent brand.


It will also include high-end retail establishments, a mega structure that will be operated by an international casino operator, and a theater for the performing arts.


There will also be a residential component and a ferry terminal that will directly link the Mall of Asia Complex with SM’s Hamilo project.


Meanwhile, SMIC reported that with the opening of a new SM Supermarket branch in Cubao, Quezon City last Sunday, its retail network has expanded by 12.6 percent to a total of 98 stores, composed of 33 SM department stores, 24 SM supermarkets, 13 SaveMore branches, 13 SM hypermarkets, and 15 Makro outlets.


For full-year 2008, SM opened 11 new stores consisting of two SM department stores, two SM supermarkets, two SM hypermarkets, and five SaveMore branches.


SaveMore branches are typically stand-alone stores located outside SM shopping malls mainly targeting high-density residential areas.


Late last year, SM also increased its stake to own controlling interest in wholesaler Pilipinas Makro, Inc. which has 15 Makro stores in Metro Manila.


The new SM stores in 2008 increased the selling space of department stores by 5 percent to 518,236 square meters (sqm) and of the food retail group by 42 percent to 287,516 sqm.


"SM retail will continue to increase its presence nationwide. This reiterates SM’s sustained commitment to the Philippine economy and its potential to deliver long-term growth and expansion amid short-term challenges posed by the global crisis," SMIC president Harley Sy.

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