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

Fil-Estate suffers P140.87M loss

[ ] February 24, 2011
Listed Fil-Estate Land Inc. has reported a loss of P140.87 million for the first quarter of its the fiscal year beginning in October last year, against a P18.51 million profit in the same period the previous year.
The property developer attributed the loss to an increase in financing charges while consolidated revenue was declining.
Consolidated revenue reached P90 million, compared with P153.17 million in the same period the previous year, as sales of real estate and golf club and resort shares dropped 20.12 percent to P39.4 million from P49.42 million.
Income from rents and contract services went up 15.62 percent to P28.13 million from P25.33 million.
The balance of the revenue was contributed by equity in net earnings and other income worth P22.5 million, which fell 71.66 percent from P79.42 million.
The company also reported an increase in its trade and other payables to P2.83 billion from P2.69 billion.
Fil-Estate Land will soon be named Global-Estate Resorts Inc. after the Andrew Tan-led Alliance Global acquired a 60 percent stake in a P5 billion deal.
Alliance Global’s entry was accommodated through a doubling in Fil-Estate’s authorized capital to P10 billion.
The transaction allows Tan to develop the potentially tourism-rich properties of Fil-Estate of more than 1,000 hectares in Tagaytay, Nasugbu in Batangas, and in Boracay.
Alliance Global unit Megaworld Corp. earlier announced that it has partnered Fil-Estate to develop the latter’s 1,149-hectare property in Tagaytay into a world-class tourism-oriented community called Twin Lakes.
Fil-Estate has started the master planning of Twin Lakes, which will offer resort estates with panoramic views of its own lake as well as Taal Lake.
Initial phases of the development will host a luxury hotel, residential villas and condominiums, a shopping village, botanical garden, sports and country club and plantation estates.
The project cost of the initial phases is estimated to exceed P5 billion.
Succeeding phases will offer a golf course, international hotels, boarding schools and a retirement village complete with wellness and medical amenities.

Solid Group bares plan to sell modular houses

Posted on February 23, 2011 09:55:49 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
LISTED SOLID Group, Inc. is laying the groundwork for its entry into the business of building modular homes.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, Solid Group said its board had authorized the management to study and explore the “feasibility of engaging on the business of setting up modular housing units using pioneer technology.”
The holding firm plans to spend P20 million for the importation of modular equipment and for the setting up of pilot units.
Parts of modular houses will be built in factories before being assembled at housing sites.
Aside from real estate, Solid Group is also into distribution and after-sales service of electronic products.
It is also the maker of MyPhone mobile phones.
In the nine months that ended in September last year, profits of Solid Group attributable to equity holders of the parent firm fell to P90.4 million from P123.98 million in the previous year due to higher selling and distribution costs.
Shares in Solid Group, which has a market value of P2.06 billion, were unchanged at P1.13 each yesterday. -- Neil Jerome C. Morales

SM property firm seeking tax incentives for QC condo

Posted on February 22, 2011 10:46:14 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
SM Development Corp. (SMDC) is seeking tax breaks for the P2.4-billion second tower of its condominium project in Quezon City before the possible lowering of the mass housing price ceiling kicks in.
The Sy-led developer filed an application for incentives with the Board of Investments for Sun Residences Tower 2, the state agency said in a published notice.
The planned 1,947-unit building on EspaƱa Boulevard corner Mayon Street complements the 2,057-unit Sun Residences Tower 1 which was granted tax perks late last year.
Commercial operations for Tower 1 starts in January 2014 while that for Tower 2 is slated earlier in August 2013, according to data the firm made available to BusinessWorld yesterday.
SM Development is investing P3.1 billion for the first tower, the construction of which was estimated to generate 457 jobs, according to earlier reports.
Under the current Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), mass housing projects with units priced at a maximum of P3 million each are eligible for incentives such as income tax holidays and the duty-free importation of equipment.
Units at the two-tower Sun Residences will sell for as low as P1.8 million and as high as P3.5 million, SMDC data show.
The Board of Investments, however, had announced a proposed policy change wherein developers will have to sell units at a lower P2 million apiece if they want to qualify for tax perks under the draft 2011 IPP.
MalacaƱang has yet to approve the new IPP.
In the meantime, SMDC has bagged the state agency’s approval for incentives for pending projects, which aside from Sun Residences Tower 1, include condominium developments dubbed My Place @ South Triangle in Quezon City, Light Residences in Mandaluyong, and Wind Residences in Tagaytay. -- Jessica Anne D. Hermosa

Purisima gives nod on Reits

by Elaine R. Alanguilan
[ ] February 17, 2011
The Finance Department is now amenable to allowing developers avail of tax incentives on real estate investment trusts, or Reits, with an initial minimum public float of below 51 percent.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima told reporters Wednesday the Reits, which were delayed after the government and the private sector failed to agree on the minimum public float requirement, would now proceed.
“There is a series of meetings going on with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange [PSE] on the development of the capital markets and as to how we would go on the Reit matter,” he said.
“Essentially, we are now willing to implement the Reit, without [requiring] companies to comply immediately with the 51-percent public flotation requirement,” Purisima said at the sidelines of the general membership meeting of the Financial Executive Institute of the Philippines.
The government is “open” to letting a Reit initially sell less than 50 percent provided it will later boost public ownership, Purisima said. The Reit proponent will be “allowed to retain management control,” he added.
In September, Purisima said at least 50 percent plus one of a Reit should be sold immediately instead of 33.3 percent as required by law. He also said then that 67 percent of the trust must be publicly owned in three years from the sale.
“Of course, we want each real estate firm to maintain the management of their own corporations. Only that the public would become the majority owner representing 51-percent shares,” said Purisima.
The government last year placed on hold the publication of the implementing rules and regulations of the Reit law. Finance said it wanted companies to first give up 50 percent plus 1 percent of their shares to the public in order to enjoy fiscal incentives and other perks.
The Finance Department wanted the SEC to raise the percentage of Reit shares to be offered to the public from 33 percent to 50 percent plus 1, and further up to 67 percent in three years’ time.
The government said the higher ownership would expand the public’s participation in the real estate industry and enable it to benefit more from the sector.
The Finance Department estimates revenue losses of P3.7 billion a year from the implementation of the Reit Act. The government expects to lose P1 billion for the first year alone.

Coastal Road contractor to open 7-kilometer extension in April

Posted on February 16, 2011 10:46:25 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
UEM-MARA Philippines Corp., the private concessionaire of the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway Project, said yesterday it will open an extension of the Coastal Road to the public on April 1, after three years of delay.
The opening of the seven-kilometer (km.) Zapote-Kawit segment followed debt watcher Moody’s Investors Service decision to change its credit outlook on the project firm to “negative” from “stable” due to delays in the construction of the expressway extension.
In an interview, UEM-MARA Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Jennifer E. Bote told BusinessWorld only guard rails and other safety accessories needed to be installed to make the Zapote-Kawit segment fully operational.
“It’s already more than 90% complete. You still need guard rails, fences, and basics for road safety,” Ms. Bote said.
The project, which started in 1998, was expected to be completed in 2008, however, right-of-way acquisition and weather conditions affected the construction, Ms. Bote said.
“Weather conditions really affected the construction especially because the extension is being built on reclaimed land,” Ms. Bote said.
The original budget for the project was pegged at P4.9 billion, but the total project cost reached P5.5 billion, Ms. Bote said.
The project was funded by the company’s internal cash and internally generated funds, and through a P3.5-billion loan facility obtained from local banks, Ms. Bote said.
On Tuesday, Moody’s said the R1 Extension Expressway Segment 4 of Coastal Road was not expected to bring in toll revenues until May, three months behind schedule.
Moody’s said UEM-MARA’s offshore financing vehicle, Manila Cavite Toll Road (MCTR) Finance Co., had indicated that the longest of the project’s six bridges was completed in December and asphalting along the main stretch of the road started in January.
Moody’s assigned a “B2” rating to the Coastal Road project on Aug. 30, 2010 in connection with MCTR’s issuance of 12-year bonds. Moody’s described MCTR as a “single-purpose company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, with limited liability.”
MCTR has around $160 million in debts, the credit watchdog said.
UEM-MARA Philippines, which is led by businessman Luis J. L. Virata, is wholly owned by Coastal Road Corp., with rights under a toll road concession to design, finance, construct, and operate the Manila Cavite Toll Expressway, including the existing R-1 Expressway and R-1 Extension.
The Coastal Road concession runs for 35 years up to October 2033.
The toll road concession arrangements are under the state-owned Philippine Reclamation Authority, supervised by the Toll Regulatory Board.
In a text message, Julius G. Corpuz, Toll Regulatory Board spokesman, said toll rates for the extension will be P22 for Class 1 vehicles like jeepneys, pick-up vans and cars; P44 for Class 2 vehicles like buses; and P65 for Class 3 vehicles like cargo trucks and trailers.
Mr. Corpuz said there was no application for a toll fee increase for the project. -- Kathleen A. Martin

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