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SMC property unit to launch 5 projects

By Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) Updated May 10, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The property arm of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) will launch five residential projects this year requiring P7.7 billion in investments.

San Miguel Properties Inc. (SMPI) wants to take advantage of the company’s idle assets and sell out existing projects, company officials said.

“We will be launching three premiere townhouse developments in Mandaluyong and Pasig and two high-rise condominium projects in Makati and San Juan,” said Karlo Marco P. Estavillo, general manager of SMPI.

He said construction cost is P4 billion for the Makati project, P3.3 billion for San Juan and P400 million for three townhouse projects.

Estavillo said the condominium units will be completed in three to five years while the townhouse project is scheduled for completion in 18-20 months.

“We wanted to maximize the value of prime properties we have instead of them being idle,” said SMPI sales manager Karen V. Ramos.

Last year, the property firm launched just one project as it focused on planning for new developments, she said.

The Makati high-rise project will be composed of three 37-story towers with a total of 1,300 units worth up to P3.5 million each. The 18-story San Juan project will consist of 300 units for the middle to high-income segment.

The three townhouse projects will feature 12 to 20 units worth between P8 million to P12 million each.

“These are pocket developments located in prime areas. We are now venturing into townhouse, which is an additional segment in addition to our vertical developments,” Ramos said.

SMPI also plans to sell all remaining inventory in its projects in Gen. Trias in Cavite. Specifically, these projects are upper-middle income projects Maravilla and Asian Leaf, and affordable housing development Bel Aldea.

“As we sell down the remaining inventory in Cavite, the company is getting ready to offer fresh inventory in response to the growing demand for near-city and city-center dwellings,” Estavillo said.

To date, SMPI is building a 29-story serviced apartment in Greenbelt area in Makati. The project will be completed in 2014.

Completed residential developments include low-income subdivisions Buenavista Homes in Cebu and Villa de Calamba in Laguna; middle-income subdivision Primavera Hills in Cebu, Legacy in ParaƱaque City and Maravilla and Bel-Aldea in Gen. Trias; and high-end subdivision Wedge Woods in Silang, Cavite.

Last year, SMPI’s profits slumped to P86.89 million from P717 million a year ago on the absence of one-time gains from the sale of several properties.

Revenues rose 43 percent to P844.43 million given improved offtake in residential development and record reservation sales.

 Meanwhile, SMPI is looking at options to increase its 0.6-percent public float to the 10 percent requirement of the local stock exchange.

“One of the options being considered is declaring stock dividends to SMPI. SMC will declare stock dividends to its shareholders,” SMPI manager Karen Cas-Caballa said.

Meanwhile, SMPI and parent firm SMC completed yesterday a share purchase deal with Malaysia’s CIMB Bank Berhad.

The firms sold 65.08 million shares or a 58 percent stake in Bank of Commerce for P12 billion.
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