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SM group to trim holdings in real estate subsidiary


Monday, 31 May 2010 00:00 [ manilatimes.net ]
BY KRISTA ANGELA M. MONTEALEGRE REPORTER

The SM group will trim holdings in its housing unit to raise additional funds to acquire more land.
Rogelio Cabuñag, SM Development Corp. (SMDC) president, said the SM group, which owns 80 percent of the real estate firm, may unload 5 percent to 10 percent of its shareholdings. “Initially, it will be 5 percent then it might increase, depending on the market,” Cabuñag said, adding that the company has received offers to syndicate the secondary offer.
The sale of a 5-percent stake could raise more than P1 billion.
SMDC is 64-percent owned by SM Land Inc., formerly Shoemart Inc., and 11-percent owned by its founder, Henry Sy Sr. The rest of the SM group’s stake in SMDC is owned by the rest of the Sy family.
Cabuñag said the funds would be used to buy land in Taguig and SMDC already received an offer to sell a 5,000-square-meter property in the area.
“We are looking at properties in Fort Bonifacio. We have one but we want more,” the SMDC executive said.
The property firm already owns close to 4,000 square meters in Fort Bonifacio, where an upscale SM Residences project will rise next year.
SMDC wants to accelerate the company’s land banking initiatives, thus, it has been raising funds starting early this year to complete these plans. The company recently doubled the amount of debt papers it is selling from P5 billion to P10 billion amid high investor demand.
It has acquired properties along Taft, Manila and Katipunan, Quezon City, where De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University, respectively, are situated.
For the first quarter, SMDC reported a net profit of P632 million, or 51 percent more than last year. It pre-sold 3,547 units worth P7.2 billion, 294 percent higher year-on-year.
SMDC has 12 ongoing residential projects, eleven of which are in key areas within Metro Manila, and one in Tagaytay.
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