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Cebu Holdings allots P7B for 2 mixed-use projects

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 9, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Cebu-based affiliate of property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is spending around P7 billion for two new mixed-use projects that will ride on the economic growth of the Queen City of the South.

ALI-branded residential projects, business process outsourcing (BPO) office buildings and retail space will rise in Mactan and Mandaue in partnership with the Aboitiz and Gaisano groups, a company executive said late last week.

“We have very exciting projects to fund. It’s a business district in Mandaue and a mixed-use development in Mactan,” said Cebu Holdings director Emilio J. Tumbocon following the company’s listing of P5 billion bonds in the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx).

The two projects, to be launched this year, will require around P6 billion to P7 billion in the next two years, Tumbocon said.

Cebu Holdings is the company behind Cebu Business Park, the largest operating integrated, masterplanned, mixed-use information technology (IT) Park in the country. Its subsidiary Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. is the owner and developer of Cebu IT Park, which is home to over 70 percent of Cebu’s IT-BPO companies.

“The one in Mandaue will be similar to our development in Cebu Business Park...We will be putting up retail, BPO and residential [components],” he said.

Last year, ALI and AboitizLand Inc. forged a 50-50 joint venture deal to develop a 15-hectare property in Subangdaku in Mandaue City into a mixed-used city center.

For the Mactan project, Cebu Holdings will put up a mixed-use leisure community banking on the tourism sector.

Cebu Holdings owns 55 percent of Taft Punta Engaño Property Inc. (TEPEPI) that was created to develop a 12-hectare property in Mactan, Cebu. TPEPI is the joint venture company of ALI and Taft Property Venture Development Corp., which is owned by the Gasiano family’s Vicsal Group of Companies.

Tumbocon said Cebu Holdings is more bullish on Cebu especially with major infrastructure projects underway like the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the planned bus transit system.

“The opportunities in Cebu will improve further,” he said.

Located about 570 meters south of Manila, Cebu is considered to be the second most important city in the Philippines next to Manila. Cebu is one of the fastest expanding economies in southern Philippines with a gross regional domestic product growth of 7.3 percent last year, driven by the BPO sector.

While landbank from the two projects is good for 10 to 12 years of development, Cebu Holdings has the option to further expand the property in the coming years through land acquisition or joint ventures, Tumbocon said.

Cebu Holdings was created in 1988 to transform the urban landscape of Cebu and help realize its economic potential. Last week, it listed P5 billion worth of bonds in PDEx, completing its debut in the debt capital market.

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