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

SMDC plans 12,000 condo units

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Posted on Apr. 01, 2013 at 12:01am |
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SM Development Corp., the real estate unit of conglomerate SM Investments Corp.,  plans to launch 12,000 new condominium units this year.
SM Development said in a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange it would unveil at least four new projects within Metro Manila and three expansion buildings to add over 12,000 new units in the market.
“Although the units to be marketed are infused with the latest innovations in housing development, they remain to be affordable to potential buyers due to its value-engineering employed in the construction of the projects,” SM Development said.
The property company said it had adequate sources of landbank, construction materials and funds to implement the planned projects this year.
SM Development in 2012 acquired several properties in Metro Manila valued at P7.4 billion and with a total area of approximately 23 hectares. The properties, which are strategically located in Manila, Pasay, Makati, Taguig, Mandaluyong and Parañaque, are to be developed into future residential and commercial condominium projects.
SM Development earlier reported a net income of P4.9 billion in 2012, up 17.5 percent from P4.1 billion in 2011. Revenues from real estate grew 33.3 percent to P21.6 billion from P16.2 billion in 2011.
The company in 2012 sold 12,614 units, up 7.6 percent from 11,726 units in 2011, while reservation sales increased 20.8 percent to P31.7 billion from P26.3 billion in the previous year.
Most of the units sold during the year were from Shell Residences in the Mall of Asia Complex, Green Residences along Taft Avenue, Jazz Residences in Makati, Light Residences along Edsa, Sun Residences in Quezon City, Grass Residences, also in Quezon City, and Wind Residences in Tagaytay City.
In a recent study done by the Advisory and Research Services of Colliers International Philippines, SM Development captured the top spot in terms of number of units sold, corresponding to a 23-percent market share of the total condominium units sold last year.

Alliance Select converts property into ecozone

Posted on March 26, 2013 10:59:20 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
FISH CANNER Alliance Select Foods International, Inc. has converted its eight-hectare property in General Santos City into a government-registered ecozone that will allow it as well as future locators to enjoy fiscal and non-incentives.
In a disclosure yesterday, Alliance Select said its 40%-owned unit, Alliance MHI Properties, Inc. (AMHI), inked a registration agreement with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) turning AMHI’s two lots measuring a total of 82,016 square meters in Barangay Tambler, General Santos City into an agro-industrial economic zone dubbed “Foodport Processing Zone” (FPZ).
The agreement was based on Presidential Proclamation No. 564 dated March 14, 2013 that designated the eight-hectare area as an agro-industrial economic zone upon the recommendation of PEZA.
Locators in the FPZ will enjoy, among others, a 5% tax on gross income in perpetuity, exemption from all local and national taxes, tax free importation of machinery, exemption from export taxes and zero-rated value-added tax on local purchases.
Alliance Select’s tuna cannery, as well as its can manufacturer FDCP, Inc. and smoked salmon subsidiary, Glory Bay Salmon & Seafood, Inc., are presently inside the FPZ and will apply to PEZA as locators.
“The incentives provided by the government will allow Alliance Select to continue making investments in the processing facilities and further cement its place as a preferred vendor to some of the globe’s leading supermarket chains. Furthermore, it will allow the company to offer more competitively-priced products and have a positive effect on the company’s profitability and returns,” Alliance said in the disclosure.
“This will result in increased employment opportunities for the region and contribute to the nation’s economic prosperity,” Alliance Select added.
Company shares gained one centavo or 0.49% to P2.07 each yesterday from P2.06 last Monday.
Alliance Select added that idle land within FPZ may be leased to new locators.
“This will give AMHI an additional revenue stream, the benefits of which will also accrue to Alliance Select,” Alliance added.
Alliance Select, formerly Alliance Tuna International, Inc., was incorporated in 2003 and began commercial operations in General Santos City in 2004, engaging in tuna processing, canning, and the export of canned tuna products to Europe and North America.
The company swung to a net income of $1.57 million in January to October last year versus a net loss of $1.14 million in the same period in 2011 due to higher tuna sales. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente

SM allots P5 billion for retail expansion

Posted on March 31, 2013 10:58:06 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Franz J. G. de la Fuente, Reporter
SM RETAIL, Inc., which operates various supermarkets and department stores under holding firm SM Investments Corp., has allotted an estimated P5 billion to grow its portfolio by up to 35 new stores nationwide, in line with expectations of double-digit sales growth.
SM RETAIL, Inc. will spend about P5 billion for the opening of between 30 to 35 stores in 2013, three of which will be department stores.
“We expect to open between 30 to 35 stores. There will be three department stores and the rest are in the retail. Breakdown not yet available as locations are still being identified,” said Corazon P. Guidote, SM Investments senior vice-president for investor relations, in an e-mail on Monday last week when asked about SM Retail’s expansion plans this year.
In total, the new stores could cost “about P5 billion,” she added.
In comparison, SM Retail last year opened 34 stores consisting of five SM Department Stores, four SM Supermarkets, 18 SaveMore (neighborhood grocery) stores, and seven SM Hypermarkets.
“SM Retail will continue to expand its market reach in order to service the needs of consumers particularly in areas where organized retail is either nonexistent or limited,” Ms. Guidote said of SM Retail’s expansion in 2013.
SM Retail is the unlisted retail arm of Sy-led SM Investments. As of end-2012, SM Retail’s store network numbered 46 department stores, 37 SM Supermarkets, 37 SM Hypermarkets, and 82 SaveMore stores, for a total of 202 stores.
In 2013, SM Retail is expected to ride on the wave of robust spending associated with the upcoming election campaign and post double-digit sales growth for the full year.
“Elections are always good for consumption spending. For this year we are looking at growth of 8 to 10% in overall sales. Operating costs will also be well-managed, as we continue to find ways to be more efficient, particularly in energy consumption and logistics,” Ms. Guidote said.
SM Retail grew its net income last year by 12.5% to P6.6 billion year on year on the back of improved sales, which rose by 7.6% to P159.50 billion versus the year previous.
Ms. Guidote declined to elaborate on SM Retail’s plans to introduce new retail brands this year.
“The department store (SM Department Stores) is always on the lookout for new and interesting international brands. It is, however, too early to mention any names at this time,” she said.
In December last year, Teresita T. Sy-Coson, SM Investments vice-chairman, told reporters that SM Retail was is looking to bring in two foreign clothing brands to the country this year to boost its fashion portfolio, which currently consists of fast-fashion retailers Forever 21 and Uniqlo.
SM Retail allotted roughly P65 billion in capital spending this year, a record figure up from P56.80 billion in 2012, mostly for its flagship mall and condominium development units: SM Prime Holdings Corp. and SM Development Corp.
On Jan. 7, SM Investments announced that SM Prime and SM Retail signed an initial deal with shopping mall operator Waltermart Group for a joint venture expected to be sealed within the year to further grow the Waltermart branch network under current management, pending further negotiations and due diligence transactions. SM Investments posted a full-year net income of P24.7 billion last year, or 16.51% higher than 2011’s P21.2 billion, while revenues rose by 12% to P223.9 billion versus P199.9 billion, due to the strong performance of all its businesses led by banking and retail.
Shares of SM Investments leaped by P56.00 to P1,115.00 apiece last Wednesday from P1,059.00 last Tuesday. Financial markets were closed on March 28 and 29 in observance of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, respectively.

March 2013 Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination Results Released

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announces that 1,928 out of 2,969 passed the Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination given by the Board of Real Estate Service in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Lucena this March 2013.

The members of the Board of Real Estate Service who gave the licensure examination are Dr. Eduardo G. Ong, Chairman; Ramon C.F. Cuervo III, Florencio C. Diño II and Rafael M. Fajardo, Members.

The results were released in eight (8) working days after the last day of examination.

Registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registration will start on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 until April 5, 2013 at the Registration Division-Unit C, Ground Floor PRC Main Building. Those who will register are required to bring the following: duly accomplished Oath Form or Panunumpa ng Propesyonal, current Community Tax Certificate (cedula), 2 pieces passport size picture (colored with white background and complete nametag), 1 piece 1” x 1” picture (colored with white background and complete nametag), 2 sets of metered documentary stamps and 1 short brown envelope with name and profession and submission of Original Surety Bond, minimum amount of which is P 20,000.00, with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)/Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) as Obligee and to pay the Initial Registration Fee of P600 and Annual Registration Fee of P450 for 2013-2016. Successful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

The date and venue for the oathtaking ceremony of the new successful examinees in the said examination WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER.
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RCBC sells stake in realty unit

By Donnabelle L. Gatdula (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 27, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), the banking arm of the Yuchengco Group, has sold its stake in RCBC Realty Corp. to the consortium of Pan Malayan Management and Investment Corp. and House of Investments (HI), the bank said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
RCBC informed the PSE that it would be disposing its 34.8 percent stake in the realty firm for a maximum amount of P5.48 billion. Pan Malayan and HI are both investment vehicles of the Yuchengco Group. RCBC Realty is a joint venture between RCBC and the Government (of Singapore) Investment Corp.
Majority-owned by RCBC Land Inc., RCBC Realty primarily engages in managing and developing real estate infrastructure projects. The company’s maiden project is the RCBC Plaza, which is RCBC’s corporate headquarters.
The RCBC board, in its meeting held March 25, also gave its go-signal to declare P1 per share cash dividends to its shareholders worth a total P1.14 billion. The record date for the cash declaration has yet to be set and would need approval of regulators.
RCBC recently sold P4.8 billion worth of non-performing assets (NPAs) to the Philippine Asset Growth One Inc., a special purpose company spearheaded by the International Finance Corp., the private sector investment arm of the World Bank; and partnered with OSK Holdings Berhad and Altus Transactional Services Inc.
RCBC president and chief executive officer Lorenzo V. Tan said the sale of the NPAs, a product of the 1997 Asian crisis, allows the bank to free up more funds for lending.
Also recently, RCBC made a formal signing with IFC wherein RCBC issued 45.15 million common shares amounting to $100 million to IFC Capitalization (Equity) Fund, a global equity and subordinated debt fund founded by IFC and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JICA).
This development will boost the bank’s total Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio (CAR) to 11.5 percent.

DENR chief sounds alarm

Written by  Arlie O. Calalo
Monday, 25 March 2013 00:00 [ ]
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has warned the public against buying tracts of land in areas covered by the government’s agro-forestry program, saying these are public forest lands that are inalienable or could not be disposed of.
In a statement e-mailed to The Tribune, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje issued the warning after authorities have discovered a massive land-fraud scheme involving an Antipolo City-based group selling lands located within the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL), which was declared a protected area by virtue of Proclamation 296 signed by President Aquino in 2011.
Formerly known as the Marikina Watershed Reservation, the UMRBPL is a 26,126-hectare protected area covering the upper reaches of the Marikina watershed in the province of Rizal, flowing through Antipolo City and the towns of Baras, Rodriguez, San Mateo and Tanay.
“Any part of a proclaimed protected area is classified as public forestland and could not be in any manner disposed of, much less sold as a titled property,” Paje said.
The new land scam has come to public attention after a television investigative program featured Vanguard for Resourcefulness and Self-Reliance Livelihood and Housing Foundation Inc. (VRS Foundation), which was reportedly involved in the selling of lands within the UMRBPL.
In an entrapment operation held last Feb. 20 at the group’s office in Antipolo City, VRS Foundation officer Juanito Sta. Maria was arrested after receiving marked money from a DENR asset, who posed as buyer of a real property being sold by the foundation.
The operation was carried out by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police and the DENR led by Assistant Secretary for Internal Audit and Anti-Corruption Daniel Nicer.
Further  investigations revealed that VRS Foundation was also engaged in buying  certificates of stewardship contracts from upland farmers taking part in DENR’s  Integrated Social Forestry Program and would use these CSCs as bases to resell plots of lands in the guise of “transfer of rights.”
Started in the 1980s, ISFP grants a 25-year stewardship contract to qualified forest occupants, allowing them to settle and till the upland areas; in return they agree to protect and reforest these lands.
However, Paje said that under the ISFP regulations CSCs cannot be assigned or transferred without permission from the DENR secretary. “Rights to ISF areas cannot be transferred, sold or even titled; more so if they are inside protected areas.”
Paje called on all other victims to come forward and file charges against the foundation, urging them to report to Nicer’s office any unlawful sale of public land, especially those involving DENR people.

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