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Villar property company to sell all treasury shares

Posted on January 03, 2013 10:09:13 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
THE BOARD of property developer Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. has cleared the sale of all the company’s treasury shares to take advantage of perceived strong investor demand and in a bid to boost liquidity, the Villar-led firm said in a disclosure yesterday. 
 “On Jan. 3, the board of directors of Vista Land authorized the company to sell all of its existing treasury shares totaling 133.91 million shares to meet demand from investors and increase liquidity of the company’s shares of stock,” the disclosure read.
Vista Land’s management team was tasked to determine the terms and conditions of the planned share sale.
“The board likewise authorized the implementation of all necessary corporate and other actions to proceed with the sale of the aforementioned treasury shares, and further authorized and empowered management to determine and decide on the price at which the treasury shares shall be sold,” the disclosure added.
The Philippine Stock Exchange defines treasury shares as “shares of stock which were previously issued and fully paid, but subsequently reacquired by the issuing corporation by purchase, redemption, donation, or through some other lawful means.”
Treasury shares are not considered outstanding, are non-voting and are not included in dividend issuances.
Ricardo B. Tan, Jr., Vista Land chief financial officer and compliance officer, said in a text message yesterday that the planned sale would unlock more shares for public trading, hence, beefing up the firm’s liquidity.
“There was significant foreign demand for these blocks of shares, and the company wanted to add liquidity. With the treasury share sale, there will be more shares available for trading in the open market,” Mr. Tan explained when asked to elaborate.
This was echoed by a market analyst.
“Selling means more shares that can be traded by investors, hence more liquidity. Why would they sell it? To profit,” Jose Mari B. Lacson, head of research at Campos Lanuza & Co., Inc., said in a separate text message.
Vista Land, founded by Senator Manuel B. Villar, Jr., has so far delivered about 200,000 units to buyers since 1977, and claims to have a presence in over 50 cities and municipalities nationwide, according to the company’s Web site.
The firm grew its net income by 23.76% to P3.23 billion as of September from P2.61 billion in the same nine months last year, thanks to robust sales of the firm’s flagship, Camella Homes.
In the same comparative periods, revenues expanded by 22.88% to P13.21 billion from P10.75 billion, while cost and expenses accelerated by 25.13% to P9.81 billion from P7.84 billion.
Vista Land operates through five business units, namely: Brittany Corp.; Crown Asia; Camella Homes; Communities Philippines, Inc.; and Vista Residences, Inc.
Last month, Vista Land said that it expected capital expenditures this year to exceed P18 billion, higher than the P15-billion budget it set last year, amid expectations of robust demand for real estate to be driven by consumer sentiment upbeat on the economy’s prospects.
Vista Land shares shed two centavos or 0.41% to close at P4.85 apiece yesterday from P4.87 last Wednesday. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente         

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