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Megaworld set to invest P12b

Sunday, 01 April, 2012 Written by Jenniffer B. Austria
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Property developer Megaworld Corp. has allotted P12 billion in capital expenditures this year and plans to launch 11 new projects in the first half.

Megaworld president Kingson Sian said in an interview the company remained bullish about the property sector despite concerns of a possible glut with the large of number of condominium units being launched in the market.

Sian said the property firm was readying 11 new projects for launching in the first semester, up from the eight projects it launched in the whole of 2011.

“We are launching more projects this year because of our continued optimism about the property market. The property sector should continue to grow,” Sian said.

He said the company, which has enough landbank, would line up more projects in the second half, depending on how the market absorbs the inventory.

Sales of the Megaworld Group, including its subsidiaries Empire East Land Holdings Inc. and Suntrust Properties Inc. fell 25 percent to P37.1 billion in 2011 from P49.68 billion in 2010.

The group sold 10,451 units, with saleable area of more than 400,000 square meters for the full year 2011. The total saleable area represents at least a 35-percent lead over the group’s closest competitor.

Megaworld is also looking at a wider range of customers through Empire East and Suntrust Properties, which focus on projects in the low- to medium-income and affordable market segments, respectively.

The company, which has yet to release its 2011 financial performance, reported that in the first nine months of 2011, consolidated net income surged 61.8 percent to P6.70 billion from P4.14 billion a year ago.

Stocks of Megaworld closed at P1.96 per share Friday.

Megaworld Corp. said earlier it would invest P45 billion in a 15-hectare integrated township district in Fort Bonifacio over the next 20 years.

The company said construction of the 45-story One Uptown Residence, the community’s first residential offering, would cost P7.5 billion.

One Uptown Residence’s basement would have a retail strip, which serves as a connecting walkway to the three-level 33,000 square meters Uptown Place next door.

Megaworld first vice president for business development and leasing division Jericho Go said the construction of the company’s next generation ‘green’ office developments in Uptown Bonifacio will help generate at least 80,000 new jobs in the area.

Megaworld has been ranked as the country’s top residential condominium developer, based on the latest study of CBRE Philippines.

The study cited the developer had cornered a 16-percent share of the market, which translates into more than 40,000 condominium units.

Megaworld, owned by business tycoon Andrew Tan, launched eight projects last year: One Eastwood Avenue in the developer’s pioneering 18-hectare Eastwood City township in Quezon City; 101 Newport Boulevard and Belmont Luxury Hotel in the 25-hectare Newport City in Pasay City; One Uptown Residence in the new 16-hectare Uptown Bonifacio in the Global City; Tower 1 of The Viceroy in the 50-hectare McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio; the second tower of Manhattan Heights, the third phase of the 5.7-hectare Manhattan Garden City at the Araneta Center; the 31-story Greenbelt Hamilton in the Makati CBD; and Eight Newtown Boulevard, Megaworld’s first luxury residential project in Mactan, Cebu.

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