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Ayala Land steps up projects



Tuesday, 22 June 2010 00:00 [ manilatimes.net ]
BY KRISTA ANGELA M. MONTEALEGRE REPORTER
AYALA Land Inc. (ALI) has accelerated its project launches this year in response to the positive outlook on the economy and the rising optimism in the market. Jaime Ysmael, ALI chief finance officer, told The Manila Times that the company fast tracked the launch of new towers and succeeding phases of its projects because of very strong demand.
“We’ve accelerated some of our project launches in response to very favorable market feedback,” he said.
He cited the company’s upscale condominium Park Terraces in Makati City and the Santierra lots in Nuvali, which have set new sales records when they were launched in January. These registered combined bookings of P2.78 billion in the first quarter.
“We will proceed with the expansion of our new malls and we’re also looking for areas where we can expand not just our malls, but our residential projects as well,” he said.
First-quarter profits of the country’s biggest property developer grew 32 percent to P1.2 billion from P907 million in the same three-month period last year.
ALI will launch 15 to 20 more projects this year on the back of strong take-up during the first three months. This is on top of the original 9,275 units that it plans to launch in 2010.
Because of the positive signs of market recovery, ALI also plans to launch another 120,000 to 130,000 square meters of new business process outsourcing space, mostly in areas outside Metro Manila.
Ysmael said the increased level of activity would result in higher capital expenditure and the fast take-up of its projects would have an effect on ALI's future capex.
But while interest rates remain at a record low, Ysmael said the company is not rushing to get outside funding for its projects since robust pre-selling is financing its capex for the year.
“We will borrow as we need it,” he said.
Its parent company Ayala Corp. has earmarked a record P70-billion capex for this year. ALI got the lion’s share of the budget at P27 billion, which would be allocated for the expansion of the company’s residential and leasing businesses as well as possible land acquisitions.
Besides ALI, the parent firm disclosed that it would subscribe to its pro-rata share in the P10-billion stock rights offering of unit Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).
Last week, BPI said it plans to raise equity from existing shareholders to strengthen its businesses and core franchises as well as solidify its capital adequacy and financial strength.
Shares in ALI rose 3.7 percent to P14 each on Monday.
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