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

Villar property firm buys condo developer

Saturday, October 31, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Villar-led Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. is set to become a major player in condominium developments after acquiring a unit of Polar Property Holdings Corp.

In a joint disclosure on Friday, the listed property firms said they had entered into a property swap, where Vista Land would buy the 97% stake of Polar Property in subsidiary Polar Mines and Realty Ventures Inc. and the latter’s accounts receivable for P702 million.

Vista Land likewise said it would buy the remaining outstanding shares of Polar Mines and Realty from individual owners, worth P2.5 million.

In exchange, Vista Land will give Polar Property 320.68 million common shares. The shares, crossed at the exchange on Friday, were worth P782 million or P2.44 apiece, higher than the P1.90 per share closing price of Vista Land on Thursday when the acquisition was approved.

Polar Mines and Realty, renamed Vista Towers, would be part of Vista Land’s long-term strategy to broaden its real estate portfolio and increase its revenue base, executives said.

"Vista Land has been widely viewed primarily as a pure housing developer and is the industry leader in terms of the total number of houses constructed. The addition of a fifth subsidiary concentrating on vertical developments is expected to complement Vista Land’s existing product offerings which cover practically all price segments," Vista Land said.

Polar Mines and Realty focuses on the development of mid- and high-rise buildings for residential and commercial use. On-going projects include the Presidio Complex, Symphony Tower, Crown University Belt Tower, and Madison Tower.

Vista Land’s has four units, namely Brittany, Crown Asia, Camella Homes, and Communities Philippines. Brittany and Crown Asia cater to the higher-end market while Camella Homes focuses on the middle-income segment. Communities Philippines offers "affordable" houses.

"This acquisition will broaden our real estate presence and should allow us to become a significant player in the vertical segment of the market," Ricardo B. Tan, Jr., Vista Land senior vice-president for finance, said.

"As the real estate industry continues to recover, we should see renewed interest in condominium developments. We expect Vista Towers to further raise our profile in the vertical segment and accelerate revenue growth by increasing the breadth of our product offerings," he added.

Jerry M. Navarrete, chairman and president of Polar Property, meanwhile said the disposition of Polar Mines and Realty would allow the firm to concentrate on the development of commercial projects.

"The transaction is consistent with our strategy to focus our efforts primarily on the commercial real estate sector. At the same time, our resulting stake in Vista Land will enable us to share in the benefits from the expected growth of the company over the coming years," he said.

Shares in Vista Land on Friday jumped by 4.21% or P0.08 to P1.98 apiece, while shares in Polar Property fell by more than a fifth to P2.55 apiece. -- Kristine Jane R. Liu


SEC approves Megaworld, JG Summit fund raising

Saturday, 31 October 2009 00:00 [ ]

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the planned bond sale of JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Megaworld Corp. to bankroll expansions. Documents from the regulator showed that it has given the greenlight to the fund raising activities of the Gokongwei group and the Andrew Tan-led property firm, which would sell up to P10 billion and P5 billion, respectively, worth of fixed-rate bonds.

According to JG Summit, the proceeds of their bond sale will finance the expansion of its airline and telecommunication businesses, while Megaworld will use the fresh funds to partially finance the capital expenditure for the proposed central district development in Fort Bonifacio and for general corporate purposes.

The JG Summit’s bonds, which will be issued on or before November 14, are due 2014, while Megaworld’s debt papers will mature after five years and six months.

ING Bank N.V., Manila branch and SB Capital Investment Corp. will act as joint lead issued managers for JG Summit’s bond sale while the joint lead managers and underwriters for Megaworld’s issuance are BDO Capital and Investment Corp., BPI Capital Corp., China Banking Corp., First Metro Investment Corp., the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd., ING, RCBC Capital Corp. and SB Capital.

This year, the holding firm of Cebu Pacific, Robinsons Land Corp. and URC is embarking on a P28-billion capital expenditure program for the expansion of its four core businesses, like property, food, telecommunications and airlines.

Credit Rating and Investors Service Philippines Inc. (CRISP) has assigned an “AAA” rating—the highest rating—on Megaworld’s proposed bond issuance, reflecting “strongest capacity to repay debt obligations.”

Last month, the government awarded the Fort Bonifacio project after the real estate firm offered P3.15 billion or P37,603.69 per square meter for the 8.38-hectare government property in Taguig City.

Under the proposal, the Bases Conversion Development Authority shall be entitled to an upfront cash payment of P1.062 billion and annual revenues of P306.6 million for 12 years.

Chino S. Leyco


DENR drawing up list of Boracay violators

(The Philippine Star) Updated October 31, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to come up with a list of violators of environmental laws in Boracay within the first week of November “to facilitate the filing of appropriate administrative as well as criminal charges” against them.

In a memorandum issued last Oct. 26, DENR Secretary Lito Atienza ordered Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) director Julian Amador to “identify all establishments that continuously failed to comply with environmental laws,” including existing rules and regulations that the department is enforcing on the 1,006-hectare resort island.

“I have a standing order to our people to go after the violators, whoever gets hurt,” he said. “Anyone proven to have violated the laws will go to jail.”

He also directed the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau and the EMB regional office in Iloilo City to check allegations that a Boracay resort has been built on top of coral reefs.

Atienza gave Amador two weeks to submit a “comprehensive report” giving full details of violations, saying the move was “to ensure that no further environmental damage occurs within and around the island of Boracay while various issues concerning its protection and conservation are being assessed.”

The order came on the heels of the approval of a master plan for Boracay’s development that will identify areas and their designated uses and the degree of development based on these areas’ identified carrying capacity. – Perseus Echeminada, Katherine Adraneda


SEC approves Megaworld’s sale of up to P5B in bonds

Friday, October 30, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]

CORPORATE REGULATORS have approved the plan of listed property firm Megaworld Corp. to sell up to P5 billion worth of bonds to partially fund the development of its latest project, the North Bonifacio in Taguig.

The Andrew L. Tan-led Megaworld registered P3 billion worth of bonds, with an oversubscription for P2 billion more, documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed.

The firm said it expects to net P2.966 billion on sale of P3 billion worth of bonds. Proceeds could go up to P4.95 billion if the offer is fully taken up.

Megaworld said the proceeds would be used to partially fund the development of its North Bonifacio project until 2010, where it has committed to spend up to P20 billion over 20 years.

Last month, state-led Bases Conversion and Development Authority picked Megaworld as the developer of 8.38-hectare lot in Fort Bonifacio. The firm offered an upfront payment of P3.1511 billion, topping Robinsons Land Corp.’s P3.1507-billion offer.

The bonds will have a term of five years and six months, and will pay up to 250 basis points higher than the Philippine Dealing System fixing yield five-year average for the offer period tentatively set today.

Investors may buy a minimum of P50,000 worth of bonds, and in multiples of P10,000 thereafter. Megaworld picked BDO Capital and Investment Corp. and the Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. as joint lead managers and bookrunners for the offering.

Megaworld said the bonds have received the highest grade of “AAA” from the Credit Rating and Investors Service Philippines, Inc.

As of the first half, Megaworld’s combined interest bearing loans and bonds payable stood at P11.84 billion, while cash and cash equivalents were at P15.73 billion, documents showed.

Megaworld shares went down by P0.06 to P1.52 apiece yesterday. -- Don Gil K. Carreon


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