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SM Prime sees ‘09 net up 8-10%, eyes REIT

[ ] February 4, 2010

SM Prime Holdings Corp. may have posted an 8-10 percent rise in 2009 net income, and expects double-digit revenue growth this year on new and bigger malls.

The company’s 2009 net profit estimate was slightly above its 7 percent net income growth in 2008 and largely in line with market consensus for a 7.4 percent increase to P6.88 billion ($149 million), according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

SM Prime, part of the SM Investments Corp. conglomerate owned by the country’s richest man Henry Sy, expects revenue growth this year to remain at double-digit levels after a likely 12-15 percent increase in 2009, Jeffrey Lim, the company’s CFO, told reporters on Wednesday.

SM Prime also plans to raise $300 million this year from a public offer of its real estate investment trust (REIT) in the Philippines to fund its P12 billion capital spending and debt repayments this year.

"We’re looking at a size that’s good for international investors," Lim said regarding the REIT IPO. "Liquidity is very important for the capital market." He said SM Prime was considering other options such as borrowings and a retail bond issue if it does not push through with a REIT IPO.

Philippine property firms are required under law to offer at least one-third of total outstanding stock to the public. The government has yet to finish the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for the REIT law.


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