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

Ortigas group eyes Camp Aguinaldo

[ ] September 1, 2010

Realty firm Ortigas & Co. of the Ortigas family is eyeing to develop the military and police’s 220-hectare Camp Aquinaldo and Camp Crame headquarters.

Rex Drilon, Ortigas chief operating officer, yesterday said it plans to revive "in the next few months" its proposal to modernize the military by relocating Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame and redevelop the property for commercial use.

Drilon said they had submitted a similar conceptual plan with the Arroyo administration through former defense secretary Avelino Cruz but this was shelved after Cruz left the government.

Under the new administration, Drilon said they plan to come up with another proposal which will include cash for modern military hardware as well as housing for enlisted personnel.

Drilon noted the Aquino administration’s pronouncements earlier on the need to modernize the military. Drilon said they intend to seek partners for their proposal, adding they are hoping to be able to exercise their reversal rights to some 34 hectares the firm donated to the government in 1968.

Drilon said the company will focus on the redevelopment of this area while other developers may take charge of the government portion of the land as well as by providing the military with a replacement site for the two camps.

Robinsons condo targets ‘yuppies’

Posted on 09:08 PM, August 31, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

GOKONGWEI-led property developer Robinsons Land Corp. has launched a P3-billion condominium project at the Ortigas business district, aiming to capture the market of young professionals used to a “metropolitan lifestyle.”

The two-tower The Sapphire is the third residential project of the listed property developer in the Ortigas central business district (CBD).

“The reason why buyers are buying properties outside the Ortigas CBD is because there was an absence of new first-class projects for a long time,” Robinsons Land President Frederick D. Go said during the project launching.

“We are one of the first locators in Ortigas Center. By introducing this new development, we help Ortigas keep pace with other CBDs, making it dynamic with other developments,” Mybelle V. Aragon-Gobio, vice-president for business development of Robinsons Land, said.

Ms. Aragon-Gobio said each tower would have 38 floors and about 400 units each.

[Total sales value] is P1.5 billion per tower,” Ms. Aragon-Gobio said, adding that the first tower would be completed in 2015.

One-bedroom units occupying 30 to 37.3 square meters (sq. m.) will be sold for P2.8 million; 45.5- to 60-sq.-m. two-bedroom units for P4.5 million or higher; and 97-sq.-m. three-bedroom units for P9 million.

The Sapphire falls under the Robinsons Residences brand that builds condominiums in business districts. Robinsons Land operates under four brands -- Robinsons Luxuria for the high-end market, Robinsons Residences, Robinsons Communities for the middle-income segment, and Robinsons Homes for house-and-lot developments in the provinces.

The latest project is located on a 2,500-sq.-m. property bought by the real estate firm from Veterans Bank five months ago.

Early this month, Robinsons Land launched the three-hectare Woodsville Residences in Parañaque. The residential townhouse project can generate a minimum P1.172 billion in sales.

Previous residential projects of the property developer in Ortigas Center are the 45-storey East of Galleria and the 33-storey Galleria Regency.

Shares in the listed Robinsons Land, whose profits grew by 11% in the first half to P2.59 billion due to mall expansion, shed P0.16 to close at P14.10 each yesterday. -- Neil Jerome C. Morales

SMDC sells P11.3 billion worth of residential units in Metro in first half

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated September 01, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – SM Development Corp. (SMDC) has sold over 5,000 units worth P11.3 billion in the first half this year, making it the largest residential developer in Metro Manila both in terms of the number of units sold and the value of sales, according to property research specialist Colliers International Philippines.

The performance of SMDC was compared with those of nearly 80 other developers competing in Metro Manila.

SMDC attributed the robust take-up of its units to the projects’ good location, aggressive marketing and competitive pricing strategy.

Last year, the company sold a total of 4,700 units.

SMDC’s sale of condominium units from January to June this year accounted for 26 percent of total real estate sales in Metro Manila and exceeded the company’s full-year sales in 2009. The 210-percent growth in sales mainly came from Princeton, Light, Jazz, Sun and Wind Residences projects.

In addition to its current inventory, SMDC plans to launch this year My Place, Blue Residences and Green Residences.

“We thank Colliers for this citation – a very encouraging development especially since SMDC is one of the new players in the business. Moving forward, it is our goal and our mission to provide the best home for every Filipino, through improved lifestyles, an innovative approach to design and amenities, finding the best locations, even as we price them right,” SMDC vice chairman Henry Sy Jr. said.

As of the first half this year, SMDC had 13 residential projects in the market. In June, the company launched My Place South Triangle on the Panay Avenue – Mother Ignacia area of Quezon City. It is SMDC’s initial project under its new My Place brand which aims to tap a younger market, composed mostly of upwardly mobile young adults who want to experience independent living.

Together with the company’s SM Residences brand, My Place is expected to further strengthen SMDC’s product offerings.

FELI, Megaworld resume talks on 2 big projects

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated August 30, 2010 12:00

MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Estate Land Inc. (FELI) has gone back to the negotiating table with Megaworld Corp. for the joint development of two multi-billion peso large-scale projects.

On the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting last week, FELI chairman Robert John Sobrepeña said it has resumed talks with Megaworld for the development of Twin Lakes at Taal Ridge in Laurel town, Batangas and Sta. Barbara, a mixed-use complex in Iloilo.

The global economic crisis of 2007 has prompted both parties to put these two projects in the back burner.

The 731-hectare Twin Lakes project was supposed to cough up roughly P40 billion in revenues over a development period of eight to 10 years. The first phase, which was to consist of a golf course and land development and basic utilities, was estimated to cost at least P1 billion.

Megaworld and Fil-Estate had infused P2 billion worth of assets — land and cash-in what was proposed to be the joint venture of the two companies.

The Iloilo project, on the other hand, sits on a 150-hectare lot.

Development cost of the first phase was earlier placed at P150 million. Other phases of the project will include condominium-hotels, a cyberpark and other high-rise developments.

Fil-Estate expects to rake in P17 billion over the next two or three years from its current inventory of projects.

After successfully trimming debt and operating costs, Fil-Estate is now focused on accelerating completion of its projects and generating sales to boost its cashflow.

Bank debts and payables to suppliers, contractors and other creditors were reduced through asset swap arrangements utilizing its real estate and golf and resort shares inventory.

Fil-Estate’s strategy is to forge alliances with other real estate developers or entities to fund its big-ticket projects.

The company is eyeing to raise as much as P6 billion from the sale of its 56-hectare Park Lane along Daang Hari in Tagaytay as well as lot pads within the 126-hectare Fairways and Bluewater in Boracay.

One-stop shop eyed for P180b projects

[ ] August 28-29, 2010

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said Friday he has created a Public-Private Partnership Center that will serve as a one-stop shop for P180 billion worth of private-sector funded projects lined up for next year.

The center’s undertakings would ensure the country will meet its target of 7 to 8 percent growth in the gross domestic product next year, he said.

“PPP will be developed as an innovative policy tool to put dynamism into traditional public service delivery, particularly for infrastructure. We will make PPP work to create better value for our taxpayers’ money,” Mr. Aquino said.

“Through the PPP Center, we will be able to improve the quality of PPPs that will be up for tendering. It will also ensure that the approval process for PPP engagement will be completed within six months—instead of the usual tedious process that sometimes takes years to complete.”

Mr. Aquino also said he had earmarked P500 million in government subsidy to development projects to be implemented next year by third- to fifth-class municipalities.

The Interior Department would handle the fund for the projects, of which many were aimed at achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development goals, he said.

The PPP Center has been tasked to provide technical assistance and help facilitate the development of project proposals, and it will be attached to the National Economic Development Authority.

“We are eyeing more PPP engagements particularly in infrastructure, where investments will yield a multiplier effect,” Mr. Aquino said. The priorities would include light rail systems, airports, roads and flood-control projects, he said. Joyce Pangco Pañares

SM property arm eyes five more projects next year

Posted on 07:07 PM, August 27, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

SM Development Corp., the property development arm of the Sy mall and banking conglomerate, is eyeing further expansion next year with at least five projects, an executive said on Friday.

The property developer is already looking at a minimum of five locations for new projects. Next week, the Sy-led conglomerate will start non-deal international road shows to update potential investors, the official said.

"In the line up next year, [SM Development] will keep on adding new projects," Jose T. Sio, chief finance officer of SM Investments Corp., told reporters at the sidelines of the 4th Annual Best Financial Institutions awarding ceremony in Makati.

"Initially that is five project locations, usually one project per location," Mr. Sio said.

SM Investments, the holdings firm of the SM Group, has five core businesses -- retail (SM Retail, Inc.), malls (SM Prime Holdings, Inc.), banking (Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc. and China Banking Corp.), property (SM Development) and hotel and entertainment (SM Hotels and Conventions Corp.).

"SM Development is now becoming the number one [property developer] in terms of the volume sold," Mr. Sio claimed.

For the non-deal road shows next week, Mr. Sio said: "We are going to London, Denver and Boston."

"We go there every year, we visit our investors and update them on what is happening," Mr. Sio said.

He said the company still has no definite plans of tapping the debt market. At end-June, the conglomerate had about $1 billion in cash. In May, SM Development borrowed P10 billion through corporate notes for "land-banking."

Profits of SM Development Corp. jumped by 24% to P1.3 billion in the first half due to the strong takeup of new projects. Revenues went up by 77% to P4.1 billion while pre-selling more than tripled to P12.4 billion in the first semester.

SM Development has 13 residential projects in the market.

Shares in SM Development shed 1.4% or P0.10 to close at P7.00 apiece on Friday. -- Neil Jerome C. Morales

Biggest tax evasion case filed vs. property flipper

Friday, 27 August 2010 00:00
[ ]

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is pursuing a property flipper for failing to declare the correct taxes due on his transactions.

In a press conference, Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said the bureau filed criminal charges before the

Department of Justice against Macario Lim Gaw Jr. for mis-declaring his income and mis-classifying his business transactions to substantially cut his tax liabilities.

Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima told reporters that “this is the biggest ever case filed under the RATE program,” referring to the Run After Tax Evaders Program.

Jacinto-Henares said BIR investigation that showed Gaw under-declared his income in 2007 and 2008.

The BIR chief said Gaw purchased 10 lots in 2007 for a combined cost of P4.11 billion, and sold it twice its price for P8.4 billion in eight months, thus earning a profit of more than P4 billion.

“He declared this as capital assets when it should be declared as ordinary assets because he bought land to sell as may be evidenced by a short holding period. There are also other evidence that show he deliberately tried to make it appear like it’s a capital gains tax which will be a part of the case,” Jacinto-Henares said.

She said Gaw paid only a six percent capital gains tax amounting to P9.11 million and P418 million in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Jacinto-Henares alleged that Gaw evaded payment of the 32 percent income tax and the 12 percent value-added tax on the sale of land classified as ordinary assets.

The BIR chief said Gaw owes the govenrment P5.5 billion in unpaid taxes.

“If I may add, another thing that made this a really obvious attempt to evade taxes is the use of multiple tax identification numbers so it will be more difficult for the bureau to discover this scheme,” Purisima told reporters.

The DOF chief said the subject properties are located in the Marina area and were sold to a subsidiary of Azure Corp., which is one of the entities involved in the projects of state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

The BIR said Gaw owns Mega Packing Corp., Macro Liquid Petroleum Gas Co. Inc. and MGE Taxi Transit Corp.

SRP project ‘to raise FLI income’

Friday, August 27, 2010 [ ]
By Katlene O. Cacho

AN official of the Gotianun-led property developer Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) yesterday said the development of its P25-billion project at the South Road Properties (SRP) will beef up the sales growth of the company as it prepares to start the construction in December.

But FLI vice president for Visayas and Mindanao Tristan Las Marias said in a phone interview that the project’s significant contribution may be felt starting next year as it targets to deliver 150 condominium units to owners in December 2011.

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Las Marias declined to comment on the sales target for the year as they are still waiting for the release of their license to sell and collect payment for the residential units. But he reported that the company received “quite a significant amount of intentions and reservations from interested buyers.”


In a press briefing on Thursday, Las Marias said about P4 billion will be invested on the first phase of Citta di Mare, which includes the four five-story buildings in Amalfi Coast, the car-free residential area and Il Corso, the commercial and entertainment area on Pond F.

The two mid-rise housing projects in Citta di Mare will have about 12,000 to 15,000 total housing units.

He said the development will spur more economic activities in Cebu and make SRP a prime destination for locals and tourists.

“The development intends to entice non-Cebu based people to situate and foreigners to invest in Cebu,” las Marias said in a press briefing at the Laguna Garden Cafe.

In a report, FLI said that it will double its capital expenditure (capex) this year to almost P7 billion from P3.3 billion last year to fund landbanking and development of its 13 projects.

Las Marias said the Citta di Mare’s share is around 15 percent of FLI’s capex budget this year. And though it’s not the biggest project for the company this year, the “city by the sea” development is the biggest development of FLI in Cebu.

Las Marias said that aside from the Citta di Mare, FLI will continue to pour in more investments in Cebu to help the city position itself as a prime tourist and investment destination.


“FLI is also eyeing expanding its residential development and some office buildings in prime locations here,” he said.

In its recent disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, FLI said that for 2011 and beyond, FLI plans to build additional business process outsourcing offices in Cebu as well as other parts of Metro Manila, outside Filinvest Corporate City.

The firm said it hoped for continued robust signs in the local market and increase in overseas Filipino workers’ remittances to fuel growth in the coming years.

FLI posted a net income of P998 million in the first half of the year, a leap from the P579 million reported in the same period last year.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2010.

Globe Asiatique’s P3.3-b IPO okayed

[ ] August 27, 2010
by Jeniffer B. Austria

The Philippine Stock Exchange has approved the P3.3-billion initial public offering of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp., the property company owned by businessman Delfin Lee.

Informed sources said the PSE board approved Globe Asiatique’s IPO application in its meeting Wednesday afternoon.

BDO Capital and Investments Corp. president Eduardo Francisco confirmed in a text message the approval of the PSE board. BDO is the underwriter for the planned offering.

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved Globe Asiatique’s IPO as early as March this year. The PSE gave its go-signal just now because of some questions about it business operations.

Globe Asiatique in a previous application planned to offer 170.4 million in primary and secondary shares at P6.50 to P10 per share. The company is allotting 168.7 million shares to cover for overallotment.

The shares, which will be listed in the first board of the Philippine Stock Exchange, represent 15 percent of the company’s total outstanding capital stock.

Asiatique plans to use the proceeds from the public offering to finance the company’s property projects, namely the GA Sky Suites and Corporate Tower, a residential and office building in EDSA corner Quezon Avenue in Quezon City and horizontal housing development in Bacoor, Cavite and Mabalacat, Pampanga.

Globe Asiatique is one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the country, focusing on development of high-rise residential for socialized and low-cost housing sectors.

FELI turns around with P2.63-million profit in 9 months

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated August 24, 2010 12:00

MANILA, Philippines - Sobrepeña-led Fil-Estate Land Inc. (FELI) posted a net income of P2.63 million in the nine months ending June this year, a reversal of the P73.12-million loss incurred in the same period a year ago.

In a financial report filed with securities regulators, FELI said the turnaround was a result of the reduction of costs and expenses despite a drop in revenue. The net income translated to earnings per share of P.0011 as against a loss per share of P.02183 last year.

Cost and expenses dropped 28.5 percent from P549.47 million to P392.82 million.

Revenues amounted to P392.9 million from October 2009 to June 2010, down 16.7 percent from P471.49 million the previous period.

Sales of real estate and golf club and resort shares reached P136 million, coming from the sale of condominium units in Sto. Domingo, Quezon City; condotel units and forest cabins in Camp John Hay, Baguio City; residential subdivision lots in Manila Southwoods in Cavite; Forest Hills in Antipolo City; Riverina in San Pablo City; Goldridge Estate in Guiguinto, Bulacan; Puerto Del Mar in Lucena City; Plaridel Heights in Bulacan; Holiday Homes in Gen. Trias; Cavite City; Bentley Park in Antipolo City; Monte Cielo De Naga in Bicol; Puerto Real De Iloilo in Iloilo City; and golf club and resort shares in Fairways and Bluewaters in Boracay.

As of end-June this year, FELI had total assets of is P14.88 billion. But cash and cash equivalents decreased 58 percent to P81 million as funds were utilized for operations.

FELI is primarily engaged in the horizontal development of residential subdivision lots, integrated residential, golf and other leisure-related properties, and vertical development of mixed use complexes.

Alabang suburbs execs settle case with Chavez

By Benjamin B. Pulta
08/24/2010 [ ]

Former Solicitor General Frank Chavez and officials of the upscale Ayala Alabang Village Association (AAVA) have settled their differences.

As a result of the settlement between the parties, they have withdrawn the respective cases that they filed against each other before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa and the Court of Appeals.

State lawyers earlier filed a criminal complaint against AAVA officials following a suit filed by Chavez, accusing the village officials of refusing to return P200,000 in construction bond he paid.

Without objection from land owner Ayala Land Inc., both parties also entered into a Sublease Agreement on even date over the questioned easement whereby Chavez, as sublessee, shall pay AAVA P1 per year until 2025, renewable.

The AAVA governors are Apolinario de los Santos III, Rogelio Santos, Mariano Manas Jr., Miguel Vitorio, Mierado Avisado, Pedro Picornell, Godofredo Victor Juliano, Federico Sarabia III, Roberto Limcaoco, Leandro de Leon, Cynthia Arceo. AAVA and its governors were represented by Roberto Limcaoco, who was duly authorized per Secretary’s Certificate dated May 19, 2010.

RTC-Muntinlupa, which is hearing the estafa case filed by Chavez against the AAVA governors, approved both the MoA and Sub-Lease Agreement between the two parties. The MoA was signed last Aug. 12.

On the bases of the written agreements of the parties and the Affidavit of Desistance executed by Chavez, the court then said, in its Order dated Aug. 12, 2010, that in view of the execution of these documents, the “word ‘Landgrabber’ hurled against Chavez is misplaced and uncalled for.”

Facing estafa charges before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court were the above mentioned executives, all of whom are officers and members of AAVA board of governors. Bail in the amount of P40,000 each has been recommended for their temporary liberty.

In a six-page resolution, the DoJ through the City Prosecutor of Muntinlupa had recommended the criminal prosecution of the AAVA officers after it found probable cause to indict them for estafa, which is penalized under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.

“Finding probable cause against the respondents for estafa under... Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, it is hereby recommended that they be charged accordingly,”said the resolution promulgated by Assistant City Prosecutor Agripino Baybay III and approved by City Prosecutor Edward Togonon.

The prosecutors noted that indeed AAVA, through its board of governors and officers, received in trust from complainant Chavez the construction bond amounting to P212,000 for the construction of his Sarangani residence in the Ayala Alabang Village sometime in February 1996.

When asked to return the construction bond, respondents adamantly refused, the prosecutors said. “Respondents’ refusal, however, appears to be unjustified given AAVA’s earlier acknowledgment in its letter of Oct. 15, 1999 that complainant’s construction bond was still intact and that, not having incurred any fine or penalty except for certain deductions, he then had a refundable amount of P177,328.34,” the resolution said.

“Respondents’ unjustifiable refusal to return the subject bond to the complainant, thus, raises the presumption of misappropriation on their part of the subject bond,” it added.

Chavez initiated the complaint against AAVA officials after they failed and refused to return his construction bond in the amount of P177,328.34, exclusive of interests, despite his repeated demands.

Instead, the accused claimed that Chavez violated certain provisions of the Deed of Restrictions and will only return his money if he should remedy those violations. Records, however, disclose that AAVA acknowledged that Chavez has a refundable amount of P.177,328.34, less certain deductions that did not even indicate any fine or penalty for any alleged violations of Deed of Restrictions.

According to Chavez, it is AAVA’s serious problem. “If it (AAVA) does not comply with the HLURB Order, its license or registration as an association could either be suspended or canceled by the HLURB and I have a pending motion for such action from HLURB,” he said.

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