PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .

Metro Tollways to sell more shares to the public

Saturday, August 01, 2009 [ ]

By Darwin G Amojelar, Senior Reporter

METRO Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) plans to sell more shares to the public next year to raise money to finance its projects.

On the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting, Manuel Pangilinan, MPTC chairman, told reporters that “most likely we will need to raise our equity” when the company decided to expand its tollway system.

“Right now, the public float is very small. I think Metro Pacific owns 99 percent [of MPTC]. We want to make it [MPTC] a genuine public [company],” Pangilinan said.

At present, the publicly held shares stood at 0.15 percent.

“Certainly, we would like to see a public float of at least 40 percent,” Pangilinan said, without disclosing the schedule of the public float.

He said a number of local and foreign investors are interested to subscribe to the company’s shares. “But nothing definite this year. Maybe next year. But the discussions are ongoing,” he said.

Ramon Fernandez, president and chief executive of MPTC said the company has programmed about P36 billion in capital expenditures for over five years.

Fernandez said the project would be funded through a combination of equity and debt.

He said the company would spend P16.3 billion to construct a 13-kilometer expressway on top of the railroad of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) that will link the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

The NLEX-SLEX Skyway, which is expected to start next year will connect C3 in Caloocan City and the end of the Skyway in Buendia in Makati City.

Fernandez also said that MPTC has budgeted about P10 billion to fund an expressway connecting NLEX to the Port Area and C3.

In addition, the construction of a 2.3-kilometer road that will connect Mindanao Avenue to NLEX, south of the existing Valenzuela interchange, will cost about P2.1 billion.

Pangilian said the company’s core and reported net income in the second half of the year should be ahead of last year on higher volume of traffic.

For the full year, “MPTC is doing well. We would be ahead of last year, whether core or net income,” he said.

The company reported a net income of P607.6 million in the first half of the year from P446.5 million in the same period last year.

Its core income rose 6 percent to P636.4 million from P600.5 million in the same six-month period last year.

The tollway company attributed the improvement to the higher than expected traffic reported by Manila Tollways Corp. (MNTC) and the higher contribution of Tollways Management Corp. (TMC).

“Favorable fuel prices together with aggressive marketing strategies to increase electronic tag penetration rates and the promotion of tourism destinations in the North contributed to higher traffic revenues,” Fernandez said.

He said the improvement in the operational performance of MNTC and TMC was further enhanced by internally initiated programs relating to performance-driven culture, better cost management and system automation development.

MNTC reported a net income of P769.5 million in the first half of the year, higher by 36.1 percent from P572.3 million last year, due to higher non-recurring foreign exchange losses realized in 2008.

Toll revenues during the period amounted to P2.76 billion, up by 2.3 percent compared with P1.70 billion last year due to increase in traffic volume.

The company’s average daily traffic volume for the period was 151,653, higher by 4.8 percent compared with last year’s 144,643.

TMC’s reported profit rose to P155.9 million from P107.3 million in 2008.

MNTC holds the concession to operate and maintain the NLEX and is 67.1 percent owned by MPTC.

TMC, owned 46 percent by MPTC, operates and maintains NLEX for MNTC and has an interim agreement to operate and maintain the Sublic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), which state-run Bases Coversion Development Authority owns.


Realtors have to pass PRC exams

August 01, 2009 05:20 PM Saturday [ ]

By: Jeffrey C. Tiangco

STARTING this year, real estate practitioners will have to pass licensure examination from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) pursuant to Republic Act 9646, otherwise known as Real Estate Service Act.

This, as the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) was urged to spearhead the creation of Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Service following the enactment of RA 9646 that took effect yesterday (July 31).

CHEd acting executive director Atty. Julito Vitriolo said the commission expects the increase of interest in this field, disclosing that there are several schools offering such courses on real estate.

“I think with the passage of this bill, more schools will seek accreditation for courses on real estate,” Vitriolo said.

He however admitted that the implementation of Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines, which aims to “safeguard and protect legitimate licensed real estate service practitioners,” is expected to formalize the creation of a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Service recognized by the CHEd and the Professional Regulatory Board (PRB) on Real Estate Service.

With the implementation of the new law, real estate consultants, appraisers, local government assessors and brokers will now be overseen by the PRB of Real Estate Service under the PRC taking over from the Department of Trade and Industry in administering examinations for real estate service practitioners in the private sector.

The law also provides that unlicensed practitioners for real estate will be meted with a penalty ranging P200,000 to P2,000,000, as well as one year to 12 years imprisonment.

Real state broker Manny Florendo of Philproperties lauded the passage of the law, saying that after nearly 22 years, real estate service practitioners in the Philippines will be finally be professionalized.

He said some 100,000 agents and brokers are expected to benefit from the law while his firm is willing to extend help to real estate service practitioners that include real estate consultants, appraisers, assessors, brokers and salespersons.

For inquiries and more information, real estate service agents (RESA) are adviced to call at phone number 667-3757 and 914-4927, or cellphone number 0917.830.7742, or visit the firm’s website at for details about the new law.


Taguig to host 2 int’l events

August 01, 2009 07:26 PM Saturday [ ]

LIVING up to its name as the “Global City,” Taguig will play host to two prestigious international events this year: The Cinemanila International Film Festival and the 2009 World Pyrolympics.

Now on its 11th year, Cinemanila is an annual exposition of the best of World Cinema to the Philippines and the showcase of the best of Filipino films to the rest of the world. The World Pyrolympics, on the other hand, is a spectacle and competition of the best fireworks produced by different countries.

Taguig Mayor Freddie R. Tiñga believes that these two international events are key to putting the city in the world map and be recognized as the premiere city in the Philippines.

“It is definitely a great honor for our city and our people for being chosen by the organizers as the new home for their events. These events are a big boost for our city and are a testament that Taguig has arrived,” Mayor Tiñga said.

Acclaimed director Amable “Tikoy” Aguiluz, founder of Cinemanila, said the film festival’s move to Taguig is consistent with the city and its current administration’s vision of moving forward and putting the country in the global spotlight.

“We believe that Taguig is the perfect home for Cinemanila. We have always admired Mayor Tiñga’s political and artistic will to implement the necessary changes in the city. And this is evident with Taguig’s rapid growth and development,” Aguiluz said.

Considered as the “Sundance Film Festival of Asia,” Cinemanila has promoted the best of Filipino films to world cinema audiences and has championed the development of new and independent Filipino filmmakers.

Since its inception in 1999, the film festival has brought to the country movie industry veterans such as Chris Doyle (Hero, In the Mood for Love), Indonesian actress and Cannes jury member Christine Hakim, Fil-Am Hollywood personalities Tia Carrere and Lou Diamond Phillips, and American cult icon Quentin Tarantino.

Cinemanila will run from October 15 to 24 at Market! Market! Cinemas in Fort Bonifacio.

The World Pyrolympics, on the other hand, a fireworks competition organized by La Mancha Pyro Productions Inc., will be held at the Fort Bonifacio, Global City, and run from November 7 to December 6, 2009.


Highlands Prime spending P2.5b

[ ] August 1, 2009

By Jenniffer B. Austria

Highlands Prime Inc., the high-end property arm of the Henry Sy group, will spend P2.5 billion in capital expenditure over the next two years to develop its recently acquired 342-hectare property in Canlubang.

Highlands Prime president Antonio Henson said during the annual stockholders’ meeting that funding for expenditure program would come from internal funds and bank borrowings.

Highlands Prime will earmark at least 40 percent of the budget for the development of the Canlubang property, which the company acquired from the Yulo family.

“The company envisions the development of this area into a mega place, eco-friendly and conducive to healthy and family-oriented living, complete with world-class amenities,” Henson said.

Highlands Prime said it was finalizing a short list of the companies to be engaged in creating a master plan for the area. The company initially plans to launch a high-end residential project in Canlubang.

Henson said the company’s acquisition of the Canlubang property “opened a new corridor of opportunity’’ for Highlands Prime to diversify into other areas.

Henson said he expected the Canlubang project to boost the company’s real estate sales over the next two years.

The company sees real estate sales reaching P1 billion this year from P800 million in 2008.

Other new property projects to be launched this year are the Woodridge Place Phase 2, Horizon Phase 2, Pueblo Dos at Pueblo Real and IL Piazze at Milago, all located in the Tagaytay Highlands area.

Meanwhile, Belle Corp., another high-end property development company majority owned by retail tycoon Henry Sy, reported a 117-percent increase in net income in the first six months of the year on higher real estate sales.

Belle said in a financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that net income from January to June hit P157 million from P72.9 million year-on-year.

Six-month revenues rose six percent to P615 million from P583 million primarily due to higher sales of lots at the Verandas of Saratoga Hills residential subdivision.


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