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Subic investment pledges rise 13.6% in first quarter

Vol. XXII, No. 180 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Thursday, April 16, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

INVESTMENT PLEDGES to Subic Freeport grew 13.6% to P1.5 billion in the first quarter from the same period last year, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said in a statement yesterday.

Investments were mostly for shipping, trading and tourism activities, SBMA said.

The largest of the 30 new projects was the P975.3-million investment of Filipino-owned Tountzis Shipping Inc., which will engage in buying and selling of vessels.

Other big-ticket investments in the first quarter included that of cruise ship operator 7,107 Islands and Shipping Corp. (P201 million) and Eastern Subic Fuel Depot Corp. (P50.8 million).

"Tourism has become a major economic driver for Subic Bay, and the growing support industries for this sector, such as hotel construction, keep the local economy afloat," the statement read further.

Another bulk of investments in the first three months of the year involved ventures into trade and storage of construction materials and realty development.

Subic Mobymix Conrete Industries Trading Inc. plans to spend P49.7 million to produce concrete products, while Bongture Corp. and R.A. Geigl Realty Construction Corp. will invest P18.2 million and P41 million, respectively, to develop real estate.

HYS-Yacht Phils. Ltd. Co. plans to spend P36.1 million for the construction, development and operation of a marina restaurant, resort operation and yacht restoration facilities.

The 30 new projects are expected to generate 580 new jobs, SBMA said.

SBMA said last month that should be able to hit its goal of $7.5 billion in total investments by 2010. So far, pledges from 1992 to 2008 stand at $5.8 billion.

In contrast, investment pledges made to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) fell by 50% to P13.6-billion in the first quarter from year-ago levels, earlier reports said.

PEZA, however, had said it still hopes to meet its 9.8% growth target to P170 billion by yearend, since firms are expected to push through with their investment plans later this year. — J. A. D. Hermosa


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