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More property dev'ts eyed near big gov't infra projs

By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) Updated September 01, 2012

MANILA, Philippines - More property developments are locating close to big government projects such as the Light Rail Transit Line (LRT) Line 1 extension to Cavite, MRT-7 project and Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) link.

Julius Guevara, associate director for advisory services at Colliers International, said in a press conference yesterday that property developers are looking closely at government infrastructure projects being implemented.

“The LRT and MRT projects are something we are really looking at, the LRT (Line 1) extension to Cavite and MRT-7 going to Quezon City up to a part of Bulacan. Developers recognize this and are currently positioning themselves around these infrastructure developments,” he said.

He said the Daang Hari-SLEx link, the first project to be rolled out under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) program, is also seen to be driving more property development activity in that area.

“We are seeing more projects like this will help the property market in general,” he said further.

The P60-billion LRT Line 1 extension project will involve increasing the existing 20-kilometer (km) railway to 32.4 kms.

Through the project, the LRT Line 1 which runs from Roosevelt station in Quezon City until the Baclaran station in Pasay City, will be extended until Niyog in Bacoor in Cavite.

Outgoing Transport secretary Manuel Roxas II said earlier that the Department of Transportation and Communications is set to conduct a feasibility and engineering study on the plan to extend the LRT Line 1 further to Dasmariñas in Cavite.

The deadline for the submission of qualification documents for the project has been moved to Sept. 28 from an original schedule of Aug. 22.

The MRT-7 project meanwhile, involves the construction of a 22-kilometer train line with 14 stations which will extend from San Jose del Monte in Bulacan to the corner of North Avenue and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City.

The MRT-7 project also includes a 22-kilometer, six-lane highway to Bulacan.

Earlier, a joint venture between Marubeni Corp. of Japan and DM Consunji Inc., Marubeni-DMCI consortium signed with Universal LRT Corp. Limited a contract for the construction of the Metro Rail Transit System and Intermodal Transportation Terminal of the MRT-7 Project.

The Daang Hari-SLEx link was awarded to Ayala Corp. in December last year.

The 30-year contract will involve development and operation of a new four-kilometer four-lane toll road that will link the southern Cavite province to the SLEx.

Colliers International is engaged in providing real estate services focusing on property marketing, sales and leasing brokerage, real estate management, investment advisory, corporate solutions, valuation and consultancy or research services.
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Empire East cleared to raise P2.69b

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Posted on September 01, 2012 | 12:01am |

The Philippine Stock Exchange has approved the P2.69-billion stock rights offering of Empire East Land Holdings Inc., the property firm which teamed up with Japan’s Okada Group to build a luxury residential project in Entertainment City Manila.

Shareholders of Empire East will be entitled to purchase one right share for every four common shares they own at an offer price of P1 per share. The offer period will be on Oct. 8 to 12 while the shares will be listed in the PSE on Nov. 29.

Megaworld Corp., the major controlling shareholder of Empire East, committed to subscribe to its entitlement shares and to any unsubscribed rights shares that will not be taken up during the offer period.

The property firm tapped BDO Capital and Investments Corp. as the underwriter for the offering.

Empire East signed a joint venture agreement with Okada Group’s Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. and Eagle 1 Landholdings Inc. last month to take the lead with a majority stake in the development of a 12.95-hectare luxury residential resort condominium project in Entertainment City.

The high-end resident project will have more than 25 residential towers in several phases. Development cost is expected to reach P45 billion.

The company earlier agreed to increase its authorized capital stock to P33.4 billion from P23.4 billion.

Empire East reported a net income of P60.4 million in the first half, up 12 percent from P54 million posted in the same period last year.

Consolidated revenues also increased 21 percent to P1.15 billion from P954 million recorded a year ago, as real estate sales climbed to P712 million from P470 million during the period.
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SM to buy grocery chains to hasten expansion

Published on Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00
Malaya Business News Online | Philippine Business News

SM Investments Corp. plans to buy more retail grocery chains to hasten expansion. By doing this, SM will be joining the bandwagon started by PureGold’s  fast acquisitions of smaller retail chains like Parco.

Jose Sio, SM Investments chief finance officer, said the company is on the lookout for buying “opportunities” in the Visayas and Mindanao area, which if successful could accelerate the company’s plan to open  30 new stores  every year.

“If there is opportunity during this remaining months, and we see a good opportunity, we would acquire,” said Sio.

Sio said the acquisitions would compliment SM Investment’s presence in General Santos City and Davao, while expanding its presence in Southern Philippines.

“We just opened GenSan, so at least we already have a foothold there,” said Sio.

The move towards acquisition is departure in the company’s old tack of growing the business organically --- where the company sets up its own structure to house its retail stores.

“The 30 new stores every are merely organic growth... The direction then is we just open our department store, our food business in the mall where we are operating. Three years ago, we said, okay if it is within the vicinity of the mall. Now we are improving that, where it’s not necessarily within the vicinity but anywhere,” said Sio.

“Because what is important in retail is volume. The more volume you sell, the lower your cost and lesser the expense. Retail is low margin so you have to improve that retail,” he added.

Robert Kwee, SM Retail executive vice president, recently said that bulk of the expansion will be for its SaveMore stores. SM Retail’s food business can be found on SaveMore stores, SM Supermarket, and SM Hypermarket.

Sio expressed confidence of closing “some” within the rest of the year with the company’s preferred target be a business that has a network of stores in good locations.

“In choosing that, we have to see what location. Second is the number of stores that he has. Five in a small city or small or medium sized area is fine,” he said.

“If the location is right, we can improve not just the store but the travelling area. If there is a potential then create that into a regional mall with more tenants,” Sio added.
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Manila council: Oil depot must go by 2016

By Sandy Araneta (The Philippine Star) Updated August 29, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Pandacan oil depot will have to relocate on or before January 2016, based on an ordinance approved yesterday by the Manila City Council. 

Approved on third and final reading was Ordinance 7461 entitled “An Ordinance Amending Section 2 of Ordinance No. 8187 by Reclassifying The Area Where Petroleum Refineries And Oil Depots Are Located From Heavy Industrial (I-3) to High Intensity Commercial/Mixed Use Zone (C3/MXD).”

Councilor Jong Isip, the Manila City Council’s spokesman, said the council unanimously voted to approve the ordinance.

“Owners or operators of petroleum refineries and oil depots, the operation of which are no longer permitted under Section 1, are hereby given a period until the end of January 2016 within which to relocate the operation of their businesses,” Section 2 of the ordinance read.

The country’s three biggest oil firms – Petron Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., and Chevron – are the users of the depot.

Councilor Jocelyn Dawis-Asuncion is the principal author of the ordinance. The other authors are councilors Dennis Alcoreza, Irma Alfonso-Juson, Numero Lim, Edward Tan, Ruben Buenaventura, Joel Chua, Ma. Asuncion Fugoso, Don Juan Bagatsing, Jocelyn Quintos, Richard Ibay, Cristina Isip, Elizabeth Rivera, Casimiro Sison, Edward Maceda, and Marlon Lacson.

Minority council members Mon Morales, Josie Siscar, Rod Lacsamana, Lou Veloso, Eduardo Quintos, Bobby Lim and Eunice Castro also voted for the ordinance.

Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, who presides over the council, also approved the ordinance.

In Section 1, Section 2 of Ordinance No. 8187 shall be amended to read as follows: “The land use where the existing industries are located, the operation of which are permitted under Section 1 hereof, are hereby classified as Industrial Zone except the area where petroleum refineries and oil depots are located, which shall be classified as High Intensity Commercial/Mixed Use Zone (C3/MXD),” the ordinance stated.

Section 3 states that the City Planning and Development Office shall prepare an amended zoning map and zoning boundaries, which shall be submitted to the City Council for review.

The ordinance takes effect 15 days after its publication in a major daily.

Mayor Alfredo Lim needs to sign the ordinance before it can be implemented.

On Feb. 13, 2008, the Supreme Court ordered the so-called Big 3 oil firms to submit to the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 39 a comprehensive plan and schedule for relocation.

The Supreme Court’s order was signed by then Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

The Supreme Court (SC), in its 56-page resolution, said that while the oil firms were essentially fighting for their right to the property, the right to life and property of residents around the depot should take precedence.

The SC said “without a doubt, there are no impediments to the enforcement and implementation of the relocation” and that “any delay is unfair to the inhabitants of the City of Manila and its leaders who have categorically expressed their desire for the relocation of the terminals.”

“Their power to chart and control their own destiny and preserve their lives and safety should not be curtailed by the intervenors’ warnings of doomsday scenarios and threats of economic disorder if the ordinance is enforced,” the high court stated.

The SC cited that the oil companies still were unable to allay the apprehensions of the city regarding security threat in the area in general.

“No specific action plan or security measures were presented that would prevent a possible large-scale terrorist or malicious attack especially an attack aimed at Malacañang,” the court said.

The measures set in place by the oil firms were more internal in nature and did not include the prevention of an external attack, the SC said.

“It is not enough for the city government to be told by these oil companies that they have the most sophisticated fire-fighting equipment and have invested millions of pesos for these equipment,” the court said.

“The city government wants to be assured that its residents are safe at any time from these installations, and in the three public hearings and in their position papers, not one statement has been said that indeed the absolute safety of the residents from the hazards posed by these installations is assured,” the SC said.

“Now that they are being compelled to discontinue their operations in the Pandacan Terminals, they cannot feign unreadiness, considering that they had years to prepare for this eventuality,” the SC said.

In January 2008, a defective tanker containing 2,000 liters of gasoline and 14,000 liters of diesel exploded outside the depot, killing one person and causing extensive damage.   
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