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

Outsourcing seen to grow by 20-25%

[ ] December 1, 2011

The contact center industry is expected to grow at a faster clip of 20 to 25 percent per year over the next five years, according to Benedict Hernandez, president of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP).

In an interview, Hernandez said the industry originally saw 15-20 percent growth until 2016 despite an already high base.

"We earlier thought the growth rate would be closer to 15 percent until 2016, but now it’s in the 20 to 25 percent range," said Hernandez, adding that the sustainability of the industry has not been more prevalent than today.

He said the growth is expected from a combination of expansion and new investments in offshoring and outsourcing (O&O).

Hernandez also sees better opportunities since there are many companies that have not outsourced their needs and would now begin to look at cost advantages.

Hernandez also said there could be plenty of "captive" businesses that be brought about by the crises in the United States and Europe,

"The crises put a lot of cost pressures on these companies," Hernandez said, adding that these firms may well look beyond their shores, including the Philippines, which is already enjoying a boom in the outsourcing industry.

"Despite the volume of activities that we already have, there are still a lot of companies which have yet to outsource, both US and non-US," said Hernandez.

Based on CCAP’s mid-year assessment, the full-year target of 15 percent to 20 percent growth of revenues and workforce this year is achievable.

Hernandez said the worst crisis the industry has experienced was the financial debacle in the US in 2008 and 2009.

Yet, he said, the industry grew "significantly" during those years when bigger companies globally became aggressive in offshoring their manpower to manage their costs.

"Crisis or not, they are looking at ways to reduce costs – through offshoring," Hernandez said.

CCAP recently signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education for a five-year partnership that aims to improve college curricula, provide training programs for teachers, and evaluate student graduate skills

"We want to make a module for the aspiring call center agent," Hernandez said.

A student can take "BPO 101" as part of the core curriculum. He can also take 21 units BPO services management as a minor course.

Hernandez said that the course will be offered in selected colleges and universities by next school year 2012-2013.

However, Hernandez said the industry faces increasing challenges that could constrain growth.

The challenges include long-term sustainability of a qualified labor pool supply, talent retention, government support for the industry, favorable regulatory policies and incentives and, lastly cost concerns that include labor, inflation, infrastructures and utilities.

For this year, CCAP projects revenues will grow 18 percent to $7.1 billion, with the sector employing about 406,000 compared with last year’s $6.2 billion revenues and 344,000 workforce.

Shang Properties posts 24% profit hike in 9 months

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated December 01, 2011 12:00 AM 

MANILA, Philippines - Shang Properties, the local real estate development arm of the Malaysia-based Kuok Group, posted a net income of P827.14 million in the nine months ending September this year, up 24 percent from P667.07 million a year earlier.

In a report to securities regulators, Shang Properties said revenues rose only 3.4 percent to P2.11 billion as condominium sales fell to P395.96 million from P610.55 million a year earlier.

Revenues from condominium projects declined due to fewer units sold and fewer inventories of units from St. Francis Shangrila Place as the project becomes almost fully sold out.

One Shangrila Place, a 64-story twin tower residential project in Ortigas Center, chalked in sales of P200.8 million in the first nine months of the year, up from P173.2 million due to the increase in bookings and completion level.

Atop a high-end six-level mall podium, One Shangrila Place will offer over 1,300 condominium units.

Meanwhile, revenues from leasing operations went up 5.5 percent to P1.33 billion, largely due to rental escalations and sustained growth in sales of tenants on percentage rental structure.

Rental revenue from The Enterprise Center tenants increased by P11.2 million due to higher occupancy.

Shang Properties is spending P12.2 billion to build One Shangrila Place, P9 billion of which will go to the development of the residential component of the project. The balance of P3.2 billion will be used to expand the Shangrila Plaza mall and the carpark building.

Target completion date of the mall expansion is 2013 while the upscale residences are expected to be completed in 2014.

Megaworld to develop 550 ha of CDC

[ ] November 30, 2011

Megaworld Corp. said it has signed an agreement with Clark Development Corp. (CDC) for the development of about 550 hectares of land in the commercialized area.

Valued at P7 billion, the project, which will straddle the areas of the Clark Freeport Zone and the Clark Special Economic Zone, is "a mixed-use complex featuring office, commercial, retail, leisure and entertainment, residential and health and wellness components that can cater to foreign and local business process outsourcing locators, retirement communities and tourism enterprises."

CDC president Felipe Antonio Remollo said the project of Megaworld, together with others in the pipeline, is expected to reinforce the Freeport’s reputation as both an investment and tourism destination.

Apart from Megaworld, the other projects identified by Remollo are: the proposed Clark STAR, which stands for Sports, Training, Amusement & Recreation, at the sprawling Clark Highlands and is being groomed as a site for a transport terminal, wakeboarding complex, soccer stadium, hotels and villas, athletes’ dormitories, nature and theme park, swimming center, boulevard and promenade, and athletes’ training ground;

The Clark Highlands, formerly known as the Next Frontier located at the Sacobia Valley, which will cover 10,684 hectares of land adjacent to the Clark Freeport eyed for development into ICT parks, residential, light-industrial, agro-industrial, and tourism and leisure projects.

FLI to temper 2012 capex

Published : Wednesday, November 30, 2011 00:00
Written by : Krista Angela M. Montealegre

Filinvest Land Inc. expects no increase in capital expenditures next year as the company sees steady growth in 2012.
Joseph Yap, FLI president, told reporters the company may keep its capex for 2012 at the same level as this year’s P10 billion to P12 billion.

“We’re still finalizing but it may be about the same or a bit higher,” he said.

Value of project launches may grow between 15 percent and 20 percent next year, compared to the projected 17 percent rise to P12.1 billion in 2011.

Next year’s target is lower than the original P13.2 billion announced at the start of 2011 because of the delay in loan take-outs at state-run Pag-IBIG Fund.

“What we’ve done is slow down in the socialized segment. We’re selling more the affordable and middle-income projects,” said Yap, adding that Pag-IBIG vowed to speed up the process of obtaining loans.

The Subdivision and Home Developers Association had attributed the lower take-outs to Pag-IBIG’s stringent loan rules coupled with the Land Registration Authority computerization project, which has prolonged transactions.

FLI earlier intended to introduce 17 projects and 24 additional phases of existing projects, equivalent to over 14,000 units, almost double the close to 7,300 units launched last year.

Sales take-up generated in the first nine months reached P8.43 billion, 21 percent higher than the P6.99 billion last year.

On Tuesday, FLI listed P3-billion bonds at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. The bonds due 2016 have a fixed interest rate equivalent to 6.1962 percent per annum.
Its shares were unchanged at P1.09 each on Tuesday.

Megaworld, GSIS defer project

by Jenniffer B. Austria
[ ] November 28,2011

State-run Government Service Insurance System and property developer Megaworld Corp. have deferred plans to put up a P3.5-billion joint mixed-use condominium project within the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex along Roxas Boulevard.

Megaworld executive director and senior vice president Kingson Sian told reporters in an interview both parties were putting the project on hold for undisclosed reasons.

GSIS and Megaworld agreed to build the Palm Bay condominium project, with the pension fund contributing its 7,741-square-meter lot property within the CCP complex in Pasay City as equity. The proposed project, which is adjacent to the Coconut Palace, will feature three 20-storey condominium towers and other facilities.

Megaworld committed to spend for the construction of the condominiums. Each of the three buildings is estimated to have 300 units measuring 43 square meters each.

The units were priced between P95,000 and P120,000 per square meter.

Then GSIS president and general manager Winston Garcia said the pension fund would get 18 percent of the revenues to be generated from the project. The project was originally scheduled for completion by 2014.

Megaworld earlier said it expected 2011 to be a banner year for the company, with projected net income hitting a record P6 billion, up 18 percent from P5.09 billion in 2010, due to robust sales of its mega-communities and the growing strong reservation sales for retail and office space.

Reservation sales are forecast to grow to P44 billion this year while rental income is seen to hit a record P4 billion with the completion of Lucky Chinatown Mall, which will have more than 108,000 square meters of retail space by the end of 2011.

The company will also complete more than 77,000 square meters of new office space, which will cater to the growing demand from business process outsourcing companies.

Share price of Megaworld on Friday closed at P1.78, down P0.22 week-on-week.

Anchor Land profits grow by 40% in the third quarter

Posted on November 28, 2011 10:14:42 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

REAL ESTATE firm Anchor Land Holdings, Inc. saw its net income rise by 40% in the third quarter from a year ago as lower expenses offset a flattening in real estate sales.

The developer, which claims a niche in the Filipino-Chinese market, posted a third-quarter net income of P210.83 million from P150.64 million a year ago.

Revenues were flat at P919.06 million versus P925.15 million last year due to slightly lower real estate sales.

Cost and expenses for the July-to-September period, meanwhile, fell by 18.94% to P642.49 million versus P792.51 million in the same period last year. This was attributed to savings from construction costs and higher profit margins of existing projects.

“We are glad to report that Anchor Land and its subsidiaries continue to perform remarkably well, sustaining our upward earnings trajectory and putting us on path to another profitable year in 2011,” said Anchor Land Chairman Stephen Lee in a press statement released yesterday.

This brought Anchor Land’s nine-month net income to P560.94 million, 40% higher than the P401.14 million booked in the same period last year.

Revenues rose by 4.55% to P2.138 billion from P2.045 billion year on year, while costs and expenses declined by 12.42% to P1.411 million versus P1.611 million in year-ago levels.

The company’s major revenue source for the period was SoleMare Parksuites at the ASEANA Business Park in Parañaque City, the first residential development in the area. Additionally, revenues were also derived from Anchor Land’s commercial properties, namely One Shopping Center Mall in Baclaran, Parañaque City, and Mandarin Square in Binondo, Manila.

The first phase of Solemare Parksuites is nearly completed and will be ready for turnover this quarter, while the construction of its second phase is currently ongoing, with sales reportedly being robust, Anchor Land said. The company is also eyeing a third phase for Solemare, having acquired nearly two hectares of property at the business park for the said purpose.

Meanwhile, 39-storey Wharton Parksuites and 56-storey Anchor Skysuites -- the tallest in the area -- are currently being built in Manila’s Chinatown district, with a 60% and 26% respective completion percentages to date, the company said.

Two Shopping Center, another commercial project of the Anchor Land in Pasay City, is 93% completed as of end-September.

The company has also started constructing the 53-storey Admiral Baysuites along Roxas Boulevard. It will serve as the luxury residential component of the Admiral Hotel, currently being redeveloped by Anchor Land into a European-inspired boutique hotel.

Anchor Land, first incorporated in 2004, is the holding group of Anchor Group and is engaged in real estate development and marketing with a focus on high-end residential condominiums in Manila.

Anchor Land shares were last traded unchanged at P18.50 apiece on Nov. 24.

Binay awards 215 land titles to QC settlers

11/29/2011 [ ]

Vice President and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman Jejomar Binay yesterday awarded 215 land titles to qualified beneficiaries of the National Government Center (NGC)–West Side Housing Project located at Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City.

This is the sixth batch of awardees of the NGC–West Side Housing Project where a total of 315 titles had already been released this year.

“I encourage all the beneficiaries of this project with existing contracts to sell to update your accounts and religiously pay your monthly dues,” Binay said.

“Siguro naman ay malinaw na bago mapasainyo ang mga titulong ito, may mga alituntunin at patakaran na dapat gawin at sundin. Kasama riyan ang pagsunod sa reblocking ayon sa naaprubahang subdivision plan, at ang actual occupancy o tunay na pagtira sa loteng naigawad o nailaan sa inyo,” he added.

Vice President Binay also announced that 85 titles are ready to be awarded this year and that the NHA–NGC West Management Office are waiting for the would-be recipients to submit their complete documentary requirements. He added that they are expecting 500 land titles to be distributed next year.

“Sa mga gusto pang humabol na makuha ang kanilang mga titulo sa taong ito, pwedeng-pwede pa po. Basta magawa lang ninyo ang mga kinakailangan,” he said.

“Kami naman ay laging nasa likod ninyo, nakaalalay. At tulad ninyo ay naniniwala na ang pagkakaroon ng sariling bahay ang simula ng magandang buhay,” Binay added.

The NGC-West Side Housing Project was created by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 137 issued by then President Corazon Aquino in 1987.

This housing project was placed under the administration and supervision of the National Housing Authority and the implementation of the project started in 1994 after a census-survey of potential beneficiaries was conducted.

Its purpose was to secure the land tenure of the urban poor and allocating lands located in the NGC, Quezon City to be utilized for housing, socio-economic, civic, educational, religious and other purposes.

“Inuulit ko po, napakahalaga ng inyong kooperasyon at pagtupad sa obligasyon bilang mga nakikinabang sa pabahay na ito. Kasama na rito ang pagbabayad sa buwanang hulog nang nasa tamang oras,” Binay said.

“Huwag magdalawang-isip: kaya ninyong gawin ito. Tandaan lang na ang pangangalaga sa proyektong ito ay nakasalalay hindi lang sa gobyerno kundi sa inyo rin na nakatira rito,” he added.

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