By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 27, 2014 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The holding company of the Roxas Group is strengthening its real estate portfolio within the next two to three years as several new projects progress and near completion.
During the annual stockholders meeting of Roxas & Co., Inc. in Makati yesterday, company chairman Pedro E. Roxas said some P1 to P2 billion in fresh capital has been allocated for the completion of its existing developments and construction of new ones within the next two to three years.
“We want to ramp up this business because we feel there is growth within three to five years, so we are getting a foothold in this sector,” he said.
RCI’s main holdings are real estate properties located in Nasugbu, Batangas, Tagaytay and other locations under Roxaco Land Corporation as well as sugar-production facilities in Batangas and Negros Occidental under listed Roxas Holdings, Inc. (RHI).
Through Roxaco Land’s hotel management arm, Fuego Hotels, it manages several luxury resorts in Batangas, Boracay and Bataan.
“Right now we are managing these properties, but moving forward, we are envisioning that in the future we would be managing and investing in some of these properties,” said Roxas.
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Around 80 percent of RCI’s business is still sugar. Pangilinan-led First Pacific recently acquired a 34-percent stake in RHI, a share sale seen to be beneficial for the sugar miller as it can take advantage of the global conglomerate’s reach in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia.
Roxas said the company is looking into further diversification of the company’s holdings.
“As we have divested our sugar investment, we are looking at ramping the property side then balance it out,” said Roxas. “We are looking at making it 50-50 and maybe add a third sector so we can have a more balanced and diversified portfolio.”
For now, he said, RCI would concentrate on developing its real esate business this year.
“We have already done work there and it is just a matter of ramping up the projects,” said Roxas.
Santiago Elizalde, senior vice president of Roxaco Land Corp., said the Landing Townhomes project in Nasugbu, Batangas is expected to be completed this year, being already 50 percent finished. Around 70 percent of the units have already been sold.
The Orchards at Balayan residential project, also in Batangas, is the second phase of development.
The second phase of the development of the Anya Resort & Residences in Tagaytay City is seen to begin next month.
The company is also expected to break ground next week for the first of the five Go Hotels up for construction.
Late in 2013, Roxaco forged a joint venture with Singapore’s Vanguard Hotel Group for the construction of five Go Hotels in Metro Manila and select provincial destinations within three years.
The first Go Hotel would rise in Paranaque City by 2015, while the second would rise in North EDSA at a still undetermined time as it is still in the final stages of negotiations.
“The reason why we decided to go into the value hotel business is that the Philippines has had close to 40 million local travellers in the past years. So the huge volume of travellers has triggered that decision,” said Roxas.
He said that as a long-term plan, Roxaco wants to have holdings in all hotel market segments, not just in the value hotel segment.
“Well, we already have a partner in the value hotel segment and as far as the other sectors are concerned, right now we are evaluating a number of proposals but no decisions yet,” he said.