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

DMCI Holdings nixes plan to expand Boracay condo

Posted on October 31, 2011 10:09:41 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

CONSUNJI-LED DMCI Holdings, Inc. will no longer expand its condominium-hotel in Boracay, marking another decision to scale back corporate plans after earlier shelving a subsidiary’s listing debut.

The decision comes amid expectations that the conglomerate will post weak results for the second semester, an official said.

Victor S. Limlingan, DMCI Holdings managing director, said the company would not be expanding Alta Vista de Boracay in the famous tourist destination as the company realized that tourism is not its expertise.

“It’s one of our mistakes. It’s already there but we felt that we are not good in tourism,” he said in a chance interview late last week.

Mr. Limlingan clarified, however, that the project is doing well.

“We are starting to operate it. It is turning around. We are lucky that it is in Boracay Island so there’s no problem. But we decided that it is not our field of expertise,” he said.

Construction of Alta Vista de Boracay started in 2006 and it was completed in 2009.

The P5-billion project stands at a four-hectare property and has 17 buildings with three storeys each. Each building has 30 units, or 10 units per floor.

Mr. Limlingan said that second-semester performance of the company might not deliver a significant growth over year-ago levels. He, however, said that the company is projected to grow by 10%-15% for the whole year of 2011.

“Our properties are okay. The one we are disappointed is in our infrastructure…” he said.

“[But for full year,] I think 15% growth. That is through high price of coal, we maintained it. We also increased our production of power,” he added.

DMCI Holdings has so far notched P5.3 billion in net income for the first half, up 26% from year-ago levels.

Earlier, the firm had annouced it was shelving the initial public offering planned by subsidiary DMCI Homes, Inc. Officials had said it is easier to borrow from banks. Already, DMCI Homes has secured some P5 billion from lenders in January.

Mr. Limlingan added that the decision to shelve the listing debut was also due to concerns over its impact on the holding company.

“One of our independent directors said it might affect the holding company because it will sell at a bigger discount. Since we really don’t need to list, we decided to postpone the decision,” he said.

ALI says project launches on track with goal

Published : Tuesday, November 01, 2011 00:00  [ ]

AYALA Land Inc. said it was on track with its target launches this year, driven by strong domestic and overseas demand despite concerns of a global slowdown.

Bobby Dy, ALI executive vice president and head of the residential group, told reporters that Filipinos in Europe, particularly in Italy and Milan, remain very bullish and immune from the slowdown.

“If you see our launches for the year, the sales have been good to basically allow us to move or launch that many units as we originally planned,” said Dy, adding that sales performance hadbeen “according to plan.”

Overseas sales account for 20 percent of ALI’s total sales.

ALI set up an office overseas two weeks ago in Europe to reach out to more foreign-based Filipinos, bringing the company’s sales offices in the region to three.

ALI has doubled the volume of its residential launches this year to 20,000 units on the back of continued demand for property projects amid a favorable financing environment.

Given the depreciation of the pound and the euro against the peso, Dy said Filipinos in Europe may opt for lower priced products in the market, adding that ALI’s presence in four market segments allowed the company to serve a wider range of customers.

The property giant has four residential brands that serve up to 37 percent of the population. They are luxury brand Ayala Land Premier with price points ranging from P7 million to P20 million; high-end brand Alveo, from P3.5 million to P7 million; middle-income brand Avida, from P1.2 million to P3.5 million; and affordable brand Amaia, from P600,000 to P1.2 million.

Amaia, which serves 33 percent of the market, accounts for half of ALI’s target launches this year—a scenario the company expects in the next few years.

“When you look at the market, the bulk is in these brands, Amaia and the brand we’ll be launching in November and that’s because of the economic structure,” said Dy.

ALI is set to launch a fifth brand that will offer socialized housing products below P400,000, allowing the property giant to serve the hugely untapped socialized housing segment, which accounts for half of the 3.7 million housing backlog.

ALI has spent P12.5 billion of its projected P33-billion capital expenditure budget this year, but the company said its capex will accelerate further in the second half in line with the project launch schedule.

The strong performance of its property development and commercial leasing businesses lifted ALI’s net income to P3.38 billion in the first six months, 35 percent higher than the P2.51 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Its shares added P0.38 to close at P16.16 each on Friday.

Phinma to open 2 more Microtels

Posted on October 30, 2011 10:27:58 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

PHINMA CORP., encouraged by high sales, is looking to expand its Microtel Inns & Suites franchise further by putting up two hotels in Quezon City by next year, officials siad.

“There is one going up in Libis. The next one we’re aiming for is in the University of the Philippines-Ayala Land TechnoHub (UP TechnoHub) area,” Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr., Phinma president and chief executive officer, told BusinessWorld in a chance interview.

“We expect significantly higher revenues for Microtel this year,” he added without elaborating, noting Microtel’s strategy was to continue to provide five-star service at two to three-star prices.

Phinma holds the Philippine master franchise of US-based economy hotel chain Microtel Inn & Suites under Microtel Inn & Suites (Pilipinas), Inc. The international brand is on 300 properties worldwide catering to business and leisure travelers.

Microtel’s new Philippine hotels will firm up the chain’s presence in Metro Manila, in addition to the 150-room Microtel Mall of Asia branch which opened last year as the chain’s biggest hotel in the country.

Microtel Acropolis in Libis will have 84 rooms, while Microtel UP TechnoHub, will have around 50 rooms, said Marie Jehan Balbanero, Microtel Inns & Suites (Pilipinas) marketing communications manager in a separate telephone interview.

“The one in Libis is already under construction, having broken ground early this year. In TechnoHub, we’re waiting to finalize the terms of the lease. Hopefully, we’ll break ground before yearend,” Mr. del Rosario said.

This, as Phinma expects a robust yearend for Microtel on top of booming occupancy rates. “We’re having a very good year. Occupancy rates are quite high as we’re running an over-70% average occupancy rate for all nine opened properties,” Mr. del Rosario added.

The hotels’ brisk operations are driving the firm’s expansion plans, he said. “We’re quite pleased with our occupancy rates, that’s why we’re encouraged to do more,” Mr. del Rosario said.

At present, Microtel operates nine hotels in the country, particularly in Baguio, Batangas, Boracay, Cabanatuan, Cavite, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Tarlac, and Pasay City.

4,228 QC informal settler families to be relocated next year

By Arlie O. Calalo
11/01/2011 [ ]

The Quezon City government has identified at least 4,228 informal settler families (ISFs) residing along waterways and road right-of-ways as the city’s priority for relocation next year, Mayor Herbert Bautista said yesterday.

Of the total ISFs, 2,235 families are living along creeks and riversides, Urban Poor Affairs Office chief Ramon Asprer said in his report to the city chief executive.

Some 850 ISFs along Calamiong Creek in Barangay Bagong Silangan have been offered priority in the relocation program, the officials said.

They cited recent incidents where heavy rains often caused Calamiong Creek to overflow, sending flash floods across the community.

The city government will also be relocating ISFs with dwellings along San Juan River in Barangay Damayang Lagi, Timex in Barangay Santa Cruz, Nissan in Barangay Tatalon, Lagarian Creek in Barangay Obrero, Ermitanyo Creek in Barangay Mariana, Abra Creek in Barangay Ramon Magsaysay, Road 5 Creek in Proj. 6, Araneta Creek in Barangay Masambong, creekside in Barangay E. Rodriguez, Dario Creek in Barangay Bahay-Toro, Diliman Creek in Barangay Roxas and SSS Tullahan Creek at Barangay North Fairview.

Bautista said also given priority by the local government in the relocation program are some 2,000 ISFs living on road right-of-ways, which are vulnerable to being hit by vehicles.

ISFs occupying road right-of-ways along BIR Road, Barangay Central; Cazrdiz Street, Barangay Tatalon; Liwanag and Pook dela Paz Streets, Barangay Old Balara; Pansol center island, Barangay Pansol; Bernardo Park in Barangay Kamuning; NIA Road near Postal side in Barangay Pinyahan; Araneta Avenue, Barangay Manresa; Sto. Domingo and Mauban Streets, Barangay Manresa; and along Sto. Domingo Street in Barangay Manresa, will also be included on the priority list.

The city government has identified Site 4 Southville 8-B in Barangay San Isidro in Rodriguez, Rizal as resettlement sites for ISFs and IKI Southville 8-C in Rodriguez, Rizal and Towerville Phase 6 in Barangay Gaya-Gaya in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan as alternative resettlement sites.

This year, UPAO has relocated about 1,587 ISFs in the three resettlement sites designated by the National Housing Authority (NHA), Asprer said.

City’s Public Affairs Information Services Office chief Greg Banacia said the Bautista administration’s development goals are focused on providing more livable communities for the local residents, especially informal settlers living in danger areas, such as sidewalks, roadways, waterways, under transmission lines and on water pipelines.

The city government expects to generate more funds for socialized housing in the next five years as a result of the signing into law of the QC socialized housing tax ordinance last Oct. 25, the Paiso chief said.

Bautista has been quoted as saying: “The problem of poverty and informal settlements in Quezon City is huge. But, we can help make this challenge manageable through the pathways of collaboration and teamwork among ourselves.”

Metro Pacific to fully acquire Makati Med firm

By Danessa O. Rivera
11/01/2011 [ ]

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is set to acquire 100 percent of the shares of Colinas Verdes Hospital Managers Corp. (CVHMC), through its affiliate Medical Doctors Inc. (MDI).

MPIC said it has entered into an agreement with MDI which owns and operates the Makati Medical Center.

CVHMC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MDI that was established in 2008 to enter into a 20-year Lease Agreement with Philippine Realty Corp. (PRC) to operate the Cardinal Santos Medical Center, a 237-bed tertiary hospital located in Wilson Street, San Juan, Metro Manila. MDI has also guaranteed certain obligations of CVHMC to PRC.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to the approval of PRC, MPIC will acquire 100 percent of the shares of CVHMC from MDI for P 300 million and assume all the guarantee obligations of MDI to PRC.

MPIC Hospital Group president Augie Palisoc Jr. said the transaction is beneficial to all parties involved as it will generate a substantial amount of cash for MDI to enable it to continue funding its major upgrade programs — facilities renovation, purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment, environmentally-friendly energy savings initiatives — to modernize and further improve Makati Medical Center.

“It will also free MDI from the need to possibly fund Cardinal Santos Medical Center’s own expansion program. It will make CVHMC a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of the MPIC Hospital Group. As such, MPIC will be able to fully consolidate the financials of CVHMC,” he said.

“With this restructuring, we will be able to directly support both hospitals and pursue their respective improvement/expansion programs for the benefit of their patients, doctors, and other stakeholders,” Palisoc added.

The MPIC Hospital Group is now the largest private hospital operator in the Philippines consisting of five premier hospitals with a total of 1,600 beds. Comprising the MPIC Hospital Group are Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, Metro Manila, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa Manila, Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod, and Davao Doctors Hospital in Mindanao.

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