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

RLC opens hotels in Tacloban, Dumaguete

Published : Tuesday, May 01, 2012 00:00 [ ]

Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) value hotel chain is strengthening its presence in the Visayas region by opening two new branches in the largely-untapped cities of Tacloban and Dumaguete.

According to general manager Elizabeth Gregorio, the two new branches are located beside Robinsons malls and will benefit from the synergy since the mall will make it more convenient for their guests looking for dining, shopping and entertainment options.

She said that the two new hotels will add 200 rooms to the chain and raise the total to 600 rooms in five branches. The Dumaguete branch will have 102 guest rooms while the Tacloban branch will have 98 rooms.

The branch in Dumaguete is also seen to benefit from the transport terminal beside the mall which will be completed soon.

Dumaguete is known as a university town with at least four universities located in the city proper, namely: Silliman, Foundation, Negros Oriental and Saint Paul. As such, there is a demand for hotels in the area.

The quiet city of Dumaguete has recently seen a surge in tourism because the lush marine life off the beaches of nearby Dauin and Apo Island has been attracting a rising number of local and foreign scuba diving enthusiasts.

The local economy is also booming since the high level of education of its residents and the presence of universities there has attracted business process outsourcing firms into setting up operations in the city.

On the other hand, Tacloban is seen to help place the city in the map of tourists who are drawn to its relatively untapped natural attractions and its rich historical heritage.

It was in Tacloban where Gen. Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his famous promise to return to the Philippines and liberate it from the Japanese occupation during World War 2.

Gregorio said that will also cater to travelers and businessmen from other parts of Leyte, Samar and Cebu because of its proximity to access roads and existing land, sea and air transport terminals.

Besides the new gohotels branch, RLC has recently added an annex to its Robinsons Place Tacloban Mall which has been a huge success. It has counted over 18 million visitors to the mall in just two years after opening its doors to the city.

After the opening of its 223-room pilot branch in Mandaluyong City, has become a sought-after hotel in its category, because it focuses on essential travel services which included the quality of its bed and bath facilities and does not charge guests for frills they do not need.

It also offers free WiFi to guests and given guests the option to purchase transport and breakfast services online together with their room accommodation.

Filinvest records slower earnings growth in 2011

Posted on April 30, 2012 10:50:28 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

FILINVEST DEVELOPMENT Corp., the holding unit of the Gotianun clan, saw its profit growth slow considerably last year, coming from a surge in 2010 when it first began recognizing earnings from its hotel arm.

The Gotianun-led firm grew its 2011 net income by just 3.65% to P3.69 billion from P3.56 billion in 2010, a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) showed yesterday.

This is significantly slower compared to the 106.98% profit increase the company recorded in 2010.

In contrast, total revenues last year grew by 10.08% to P24.13 billion, supported by sales growth in the conglomerate’s real estate, banking, and hotel units.

Filinvest Development’s real estate operations, through listed Filinvest Land, Inc., accounted for roughly half of the group’s revenues last year. The unit’s sales was 17.45% up from P10.37 billion in 2010 due to higher turnover of middle-income residential projects.

Revenues from EastWest Banking Corp. (EastWest Bank) and FDC Forex Corp., meanwhile, inched up by just 1.56% to P9.12 billion from P8.98 billion, aided by higher interest income from credit cards, automobile loans, and corporate lending.

EastWest Bank will be listing on the local bourse next Monday, making it the first bank to debut on the stock exchange in eight years.

Hotel revenues from the company’s three unlisted hospitality units, meanwhile, more than tripled in 2011 to P555.93 million versus P140.45 million the year previous as it recorded gains from Crimson Resort and Spa, the company’s new hotel in Cebu province.

Revenues from Filinvest Development’s sugar business under Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp., however, dipped by 6.17% to P2.28 billion from P2.43 billion in 2010, mirroring a drop in the prices of raw sugar, refined sugar, and molasses that year-on-year fell by 13%, 9%, and 44%, respectively.

Filinvest Development’s total costs -- mostly used to sell lots, condominiums and club shares -- grew by 22.70% to P9.19 billion from P7.49 billion, while expenses, mostly from the firm’s financial and banking services, increased by 1.60% to P8.87 billion versus P8.73 billion in the same period two years ago.

Previously, the company said it was eyeing a possible private placement this year in order to boost its float level -- pegged at 3.5% as of yesterday’s data -- and meet the minimum level of 10%.

Last year, the PSE said all listed firms must have a minimum public float level of 10% by the end of a mandated one-year curing period ending Jan. 1, 2013, or else face penalties leading to eventual delisting from the stock exchange.

Filinvest Development shares shed 1.42% to P4.85 apiece yesterday from P4.92 last Friday. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente

Ayala finally bags N. Occidental lot

Posted on April 30, 2012 10:38:29 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

BACOLOD CITY -- The provincial board of Negros Occidental yesterday ratified the signed contracts for the sale and lease of the 7.7-hectare of state property to Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) despite earlier pronouncements that the project had been shelved.

The board’s concurrence came four days after Governor Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. signed both the deed of conditional sale and contract of lease with ALI President and Chief Executive Antonino T. Aquino and Senior Vice-President Jose Emmanuel H. Jalandoni.

“The Commission on Audit will issue a ruling as soon as it receives copies of the signed deed of sale and contract of lease,” Mr. Marañon said.

During a special session Monday morning, 12 board member unanimously passed two separate resolutions ratifying the signed deed of conditional sale and the contract of lease.

Ayala Land has proposed a P6-billion development dubbed The Capitol Civic Center for the 7.7-hectare property. -- NLG

SEC greenlights IPO plans of Lopez-led Rockwell Land

Posted on April 29, 2012 10:24:48 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

ROCKWELL LAND Corp. has bagged the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval for its planned listing on the local bourse, a document released to media showed.

The developer bagged the recommendation of the SEC en banc after the regulator’s corporation finance department endorsed the Lopez-led firm’s planned listing by way of introduction on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) as well as the distribution of property dividends, a document dated April 25 showed.

A total of 6.23 billion common shares will be listed on the bourse, a number which represents 100% of its issued and outstanding common shares, the document showed.

Listing shares by way of introduction in the bourse allows companies to have its shares traded without having to undergo an initial public offering immediately.

The document also clarifies that the so-called chainlisting rule does not apply to Rockwell Land, thus allowing the firm to list.

PSE rules state that “...a subsidiary or a parent company of an existing listed issuer will not be considered for listing if the assets and operations of the applicant are substantially the same as those of the existing listed issuer.”

The company said that its business and revenue streams are separate from its major stakeholders, Manila Electric Co. and First Philippine Holdings Corp.

The company has long declared its targeted listing on the bourse last year, after Meralco announced its planned divestment of its shares in Rockwell.

Meralco is disposing its 51% stake by distributing them as property dividends.

Rockwell Land is the developer behind the Power Plant Mall, residential One Rockwell and the Edades Tower. -- MJOC

NEDA approves LRT-1 Cavite extension

Published : Friday, April 27, 2012 13:34
[ ]

Transportation Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd announced on Thursday that the P60-billion Light Rail Transit-1 (LRT-1) Cavite Extension was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority in March and is set for bidding in the first week of May.

Roxas said that the construction of the tracks, the stations and all its attendant facilities worth about P30 billion would be bidded out. The other half of the P60-billion project, which includes the purchase of the coaches, will be borne by the government through money funded via Official Development Assistance (ODA), which has lower interest rates over local private financing.

Commenting on the recent partnership of conglomerates Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investment Corp. to jointly participate in government infrastructure projects, Roxas said: “Any expression of interest, particularly by people possessing these qualifications is always welcome.”

“We want companies with huge capitalization, who have a good track record of delivering large infrastructure projects, who clearly have access to the [latest] technology, manpower, management and all the skills necessary to successfully deliver all of these projects,” he said.

Roxas added that the government wants to avoid or minimize participation of ‘flippers’, or companies that bid low on a contract, then sell it to some other groups without the necessary expertise to implement the project. This ploy only delays a project and badly affects its delivery.

The Cavite Extension project will extend the existing 20.7-kilometer LRT-1, which runs from Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City to Baclaran in Parañaque City, by adding 11.7 kilometers of rail heading toward Bacoor, Cavite.

Eight passenger stations, with a provision for two additional stations, one satellite depot and three intermodal facilities are part of the project. The passenger stations will tentatively be constructed in the following areas: Redemptorist Station in Redemptorist Road near Roxas Boulevard; MIA Station near the Coastal Mall also along Roxas Boulevard; Asia World Station near Asia World Development also in Roxas Boulevard; Ninoy Aquino Station on the east side of Ninoy Aquino Bridge over the Parañaque River; Dr. Santos Station, south of Dr. Santos Road; Las Piñas Station, east of Quirino Avenue and south of Las Piñas River; Zapote Station, north of the Alabang-Zapote flyover; and Niyog Station, south of the Niyog Road bypass and Aguinaldo Highway intersection.

Two provisional stations in Manuyo Uno in Las Piñas City and Talaba in Cavite, are also being proposed.

Once complete, the new line will increase ridership of the LRT-1 from 500,000 passengers to 700,000 passengers a day. It will provide faster and more convenient alternative mode of transport for residents of Cavite, Las Piñas and Parañaque.

The construction will be divided into two phases—from Baclaran to Dr. Santos Avenue (Phase 1A) and from Dr. Santos Avenue to Niyog Station (Phase 1B).

“We expect half the work to be completed by late 2014 and the other half by late 2015,” Roxas said.

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