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FTI sale deferred to 2012 amid low budget gap

[ ] November 24, 2011

The government will not likely to meet its P6-billion revenue target from the privatization of state assets this year after deferring the sale of the 103-hectare property of Food Terminals Inc. in Taguig City to next year.

Finance Undersecretary John Philip Sevilla, who heads the Finance Department’s privatization efforts, said the FTI privatization would not happen this year as earlier announced.

“The FTI is not going to happen this year. The fiscal situation does not need it [privatization proceeds] so we don’t need to rush,” said Sevilla. “We got other offers [for the property]. This would give us more time to study them.”

Finance earlier said it would sell FTI this year and that it had received an offer of P19 billion for the property, the biggest asset up for sale. Talks with an interested party were reported to be in the “advanced stages.”

The bid was a lot higher than the P13-billion floor price that the Aquino administration set for the FTI property when it renewed plans to privatize it.

The offer will be subjected to a Swiss challenge to ensure the government gets the best offer for the property. Under a Swiss challenge, other interested parties have a chance to offer better bids for the property.

Since plans to sell the FTI complex were bared, several big developers such as Ayala Land Inc., SM Group, Robinsons Land Corp., Megaworld Corp. and Filinvest Land Inc. have signified their intent to bid for the property.

The sale of the FTI property involves some 103 hectares. It would be sold on an as is, where is basis. It is the biggest remaining block of undeveloped property in the vicinity of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the Bonifacio Global City.

Sevilla said the P6-billion programmed proceeds from privatization as set by the Development and Budget Coordination Committee early this year would not be met. Elaine R. Alanguilan

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