PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .
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LRA marks 110th anniversary today

(The Philippine Star) | Updated February 1, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Land Registration Authority (LRA) is accelerating its computerization of all land titles in the Philippines, timed with the observance of its 110th anniversary today at the LRA headquarters on East Ave., Quezon City.
Guest of honor and speaker at the event is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. The LRA is administratively under the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The justice secretary’s speech will be preceded by a switch-on ceremony, showing an illuminated map that indicates registries of deeds nationwide that have already activated their computerization processes.
Billed “Land Titling Computerization Project,” the conversion from paper-based titles to e-titles, is a build-operate-own (BOO) agreement between the LRA and the Land Registration Systems, Inc. (Lares).
As of latest count, about 92 percent of 12 million old paper land titles have been converted into digital files, making LRA the biggest data bank of one of the most important documents held by individuals or corporations.
This according to LRA Administrator Eulalio C. Diaz III, who added that the Agency is “on a fast track mode in persuading land owners to surrender their old titles for conversion into computerized titles.
Ronald A. Ortile, LRA deputy administrator, said e-Titles are free from damage or loss. “Even if an RD office is gutted by fire for some reason, we can always reconstruct the same database,” he pointed out.          
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IRC gets Pag-ibig approval for P40-million loan

 Published on 01 February 2013
 Written by Madelaine B. Miraflor [ manilatimes.net ]
Listed IRC Properties Inc. has obtained the approval of the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig Fund) for a P40-million loan that it is seeking to fund the development of 510 housing units in its 8.72-hectare subdivision in Rizal province.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), IRC Properties confirmed that Pag-ibig Fund approved its P40-million loan application under the direct development loan program for the Sunshine Fiesta Phase 2-Fiesta Casitas project in Binangonan, Rizal.
According to the oil firm-turned real estate developer, the purpose of the loan application is to “finance the land development and house construction of 510 housing units of Sunshine Fiesta Phase 2-Fiesta Casitas project in Binangonan, Rizal.”
The company also specified that the term of loan is three years, and the interest rate is based on Pag-Ibig Fund’s full risk-based pricing framework for the duration of the loan.
The collateral, meanwhile, involves the First Real Estate Mortgage on Transfer Certificate of Title registered under IRC’s name.
Early last year, IRC announced that it entered into a partnership with Dell Equipment and Construction Corp. for the development of a residential subdivision in Binangonan, Rizal.
A previous PSE disclosure said that the board of IRC Properties authorized the company to enter into a joint development agreement with Dell Equipment and Construction in turning its 8.72-hectare lot into a residential subdivision.
Fiesta Casitas, according to earlier disclosure, will form part of the Sunshine Fiesta Subdivision.
Under the partnership, Dell Equipment and Construction will develop the property at its own expense and take an 88-percent share in the developed house and lot units.
In February 2012, Securities and Exchange Commission has approved Interport Resources Corp.’s application to change its corporate name to IRC Properties. IRC also became a real estate developer. Interport Resources was an oil exploration firm.
The original purpose of the Interport Resources was oil exploration and real estate was secondary.
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Filinvest holding firm to issue $300-M bonds

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 1, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC), the listed investment holding company of the Gotianun family, said it plans to raise as much as $300 million through an overseas bond sale.
Fresh funds from the bond sale, which follows a successful bond issuance of a local conglomerate, will used for capital spending this year, the company told the local bourse yesterday.
In a meeting, the board of directors of FDC approved the company’s plan “to issue and float bonds in the offshore market with an aggregate principal amount between $200 million to $300 million.”
“The proceeds from the bond issuance will be used by the corporation to finance its capital requirements for 2013,” it added.
Target date for the bond sale is within the second quarter, subject to the approval of concerned government agencies.
The exact amount and other details like the yield and maturity will determined by management, FDC said.
Local conglomerates are increasingly tapping the international bond market for fresh capital.
Early this month, the overseas unit of taipan John Gokongwei’s investment vehicle JG Summit Holdings Inc. raised $750 million by selling corporate bonds overseas to finance general corporate expenses. GT Capital Holdings Inc. of banking tycoon George S.K. Ty, on the other hand, plans to issue P10 billion worth of fixed-rate bonds to support its capital expenditure program.
The Filinvest Group is one of the country’s leading conglomerates, with interests in real estate development (Filinvest Land Inc.), hotel (Crimson Resort and Spa at Seascapes Resort Town in Cebu), financial and banking services (East West Banking Corp.) and sugar manufacturing (Pacific Sugar Holdings).
Its power generation and distribution unit FDC Utilities Inc. is pursuing clean coal projects mostly in Mindanao, with a total of 395 megawatts of generating capacity expected to be committed by 2017.
The group first made its presence felt in the power sector in 1995 via East Asia Power Corp. and eventually, Cebu Private Power Corp. from 1998 until 2000.
FDC is also joining the bidding for the P17.5-billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project to expand and operate the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
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SM Prime mulls $200-M syndicated loan

By Zinnia B. dela Peña (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 1, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Shopping mall giant SM Prime Holdings Inc. is planning to raise around $200 million through a syndicated loan facility to bankroll its aggressive expansion here and in China, a company official said.
In an interview, SM Prime chief financial officer Jeffrey Lim said the company is in talks with several financial institutions for a syndicated loan transaction, targeted in the first or second quarter this year.
Lim said the company remains on an expansion binge to capitalize on a booming economy and robust consumer spending.
The firm has set a P63-billion three-year capital spending program to build up to 18 malls in its bid to become a regional player.
SM Prime may spend P21 billion each year to build four to five new malls at home and one mall annually in China.
SM Prime ended 2012 with 46 malls across the country and five in China, with an estimated combined gross floor area of 6.3 million square meters.
The SM China malls are enjoying healthy increases in rental rates with occupancy level currently at 95 percent.
SM Prime continues to sees vast opportunities in China given the latter’s growing population and emerging middle-class.
The group is currently looking to acquire five properties in its second biggest market to further widen its geographical footprint.
The expansion is also in line with the SM Group’s strategy to list its China assets either in Hong Kong or Singapore by 2015 in a public offering that could fetch up to $500 million.
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DOF targets P50 B/yr from estate taxes

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 31, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Finance wants to increase estate tax collection to P50 billion annually given a buoyant property market and record low interest rates which have jacked up property values.
In a briefing yesterday, Finance Secretary said the agency is closely working with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and sees the need to revisit the estate tax to increase government revenues.
The estate tax is defined by the BIR as the tax on the right of the deceased person to transmit his/her estate to his/her lawful heirs and beneficiaries at the time of death. It is not a property tax but a tax levied on the privilege of transferring property upon the death of the owner.
Purisima said it was an ambitious target considering that collections from estate taxes amount to  only P850 million to P1 billion.
“If you analyze estate taxes collected by the government, it’s always around P850 million to P1 billion. Over the past many years, asset prices have increased just from that you would expect estate taxes should increase. Our long-term goal is to bring that number up to about P50 billion annually.  We will closely monitor with the BIR and its offices to try to meet this target,” Purisima said.
“This is an ambitious target.  It’s a big jump. We don’t expect that to happen overnight.  But we will closely monitor this number.  If we success that’s another 0.5 percent of GDP (gross domestic product),” Purisima said when asked about the timetable for the plan.
The estate tax accounts for less than one percent of the BIR’s total revenues.
The executor or administrator or any of the legal heirs of the decedent is required to file the estate tax return where through exempt from estate tax, the gross value of the estate exceeds P200,000 and where regardless of the gross value, the estate consists of registrable property, motor vehicle, share of stocks or other similar property for a clearance from the BIR is required as a condition precedent for the transfer of ownership.
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DMCI notes strong demand for project

Posted on January 30, 2013 10:19:20 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
PROPERTY developer DMCI Project Developers, Inc. (DMCI Homes) expects to fully sell within the year all units at Iris Tower, the latest installment at its residential hub in Mandaluyong City, as demand for the project’s resort-inspired amenities and features continues to grow, a company executive said yesterday.
“We don’t have a definite date, but we are hoping very soon, because by March it will already be ready for occupancy. We’d love for that to happen within the year,” Antonette L. Atienza, DMCI Homes corporate marketing and communication officer, said in an interview on the sidelines a project briefing in Mandaluyong City yesterday when asked when the company expects Iris Tower to be sold out.
Iris Tower is a 645-unit, 42-storey residential building located in Tivoli Gardens Residences, DMCI Homes’ five-tower, high-rise development located on a 2.7-hectare lot along Coronado Street in Mandaluyong City.
Other completed towers in Tivoli Gardens Residences are the Bauhinia, Eugenia, and Heliconia Towers.
Iris Tower also has The Observatory, a 1,628-square-meter roofdeck promenade with landscaped walkways, observation decks telescopes, seating areas and floor-to-ceiling glass walls, affording guests with a 360-degree view of the city skyline.
“Start-up families, young couples, singles and urban professionals will find Iris Tower’s varied condo units the perfect home,” DMCI Homes said in a statement yesterday.
READY BY MARCH
Iris Tower, which has been 80% sold since its launch in November 2009, should be ready for occupancy this March, Joseph B. Carizo, DMCI Homes project development specialist, said in a separate interview.
Ms. Atienza attributed the robust sales of Iris Tower to the Tivoli Gardens Residences’ resort-like features that are marketed as being unique in Metro Manila.
“In Metro Manila, Tivoli Gardens (Residences) is the only resort-inspired community. When you come inside, the environment already changes, and buyers like authentic resort living,” Ms. Atienza said. “Security is also a factor, as well as nearness to CBDs (central business districts) and other places of interest.”
Tivoli Gardens Residences’ units are decked out in tropical modern design and are available in studio, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom configurations, with gross floor areas ranging from 25 to 119.50 square meters per unit, the company’s statement read.
The fifth structure at Tivoli Gardens Residences, Hibiscus Tower, has also been reporting robust sales to date.
“We launched Hibiscus in July 2011, and to date, it is already 60% sold out. It will be ready for occupancy in September,” Mr. Carizo said.
DMCI Homes is the unlisted property arm of listed DMCI Holdings, Inc. It has recently undertaken fund-raising and land banking transactions.
The property firm in March last year acquired for P500.22 million three lots along Sheridan Street, Mandaluyong City that used to be owned by Swift Foods, Inc., boosting the former’s land portfolio by an additional 11,116 square meters.
In October last year, it raised P10 billion from the issuance of seven-year, fixed-rate corporate notes, to be used for project development, construction, real estate acquisitions, and general corporate spending.
DMCI Homes grew its net income by 46.40% to P1.83 billion as of September last year from P1.25 billion in the same nine months in 2011, driven by an increase in revenues from its projects, which rose by 45.10% to P7.4 billion from P5.1 billion, according to DMCI Holdings’ end-Sept. 2012 financial report.
DMCI Holdings was incorporated in 1995 as a holding company to consolidate the Consunji family’s businesses, including investments in construction and mining.
Shares of DMCI Holdings lost 10 centavos or 0.18% to close at P55 yesterday from P55.10 last Tuesday. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente    
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