PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .
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ALI taps bond market to fund various projects

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 31, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and its subsidiaries are tapping the bond market this year to support the development of various projects.

A new tranche of the innovative Homestarter bonds is set to be offered this year and Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) is raising P5 billion this year while non-listed subsidiaries are also seen to tap the bond market moving forward, an official said.

“We will continue issuing Homestarter bonds. We are looking at one offering probably around the third or fourth quarter this year,” said ALI vice-president and treasurer Augusto Cesar D. Bengzon.

“We understand there’s already a following for the Homestarter bond so we would like to satisfy the demand,” Bengzon said, adding that ALI raised P3 billion in two tranches of Homestarter bonds last year.

Bengzon said the property firm is still getting inputs from underwriters to gauge if there is market appetite for another P3 billion Homestarter bonds.

Bondholders, who are notified of newly launched projects of the property giant, may select an ALI-developed property and use the savings as downpayment. Investors will enjoy discounts depending on the amount of investment and the purchase price of ALI residential units.

ALI launched the first Homestarter bonds in 2006, worth P168 million. It was followed by a P504-million offering in 2009, P1 billion in 2010, P2 billion in 2011 and P1 billion in 2012.

Aside from the parent firm, Cebu-based is also planning to raise as much as P5 from the bond market this year.
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DTI prefers low-cost condos

By Othel V. Campos | Mar. 31, 2014 at 12:01am [ manilastandardtoday.com ]

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the government may consider tax incentives to affordable medium-rise condominiums in Metro Manila that will house ordinary workers near factories and offices.

“I’m biased against horizontal development [subdivisions] because that’s a very inefficient use of land. It takes away land that could be used for agriculture. The preference should be on vertical [developments]. If you look at well-planned economies, they try really to minimize horizontal development,” Domingo said over the weekend.

Domingo said the government would continue to provide support to socialized housing and middle-income housing projects in the upcoming 2014 Investment Priorities Plan, but new projects should involve vertical developments.

He encouraged real estate developers to launch low to mid-rise, low-cost and mid-range housing projects for ordinary employees, instead of dispersing them to far-flung areas away from work sites.

“Why should we allow them to have a three- to four-hour ride everyday? We should encourage people to be able to live in more affordable housing closer to work. Maybe, it is now possible to do socialized housing in a vertical platform,” he said.

He said decongesting Metro Manila by dispersing families to the rural areas was not an option yet because of the lack of infrastructure, such as rail lines, schools, utilities and roads.

“Until such a time that infrastructures are in place, it doesn’t make sense to push people out [of Metro Manila]. The cost to the economy in lost productive hours shall be recovered if they lie near their places of work,” said Domingo.

He said the vertical design would make it possible to build affordable housing for common workers and employees within the highly-populated and urbanized Greater Manila Area.

Domingo said the government would allow the private sector to take a shot at vertical socialized housing.

“The government’s role is to provide what the private sector cannot to the extent that the private sector could fill the gap. We should allow them to do so. We should not compete with the private sector. The government should only step in if the private sector fails,” he said.

A group of real estate developers and builders earlier expressed optimism about continued government support for socialized housing projects in the 2014 IPP.
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Megaworld expects 45,000 jobs in Cebu

By MST Business | Mar. 29, 2014 at 12:00am [ manilastandardtoday.com ]

Property developer Megaworld Corp. expects to generate 45,000 jobs in its 28.8-hectare The Mactan Newtown township in Lapu Lapu City, Cebu over the next five to seven years.

The company said it was fast-tracking the construction of state-of-the-art office towers to boost more employment in Cebu, particularly in Mactan Island.

Megaworld first vice president Jericho Go said the company would construct five to 10 more office towers in the township by 2021 to reach the target of 150,000 square meters of office space inventory.

“Due to an overwhelming demand of office spaces and significant growth of the BPO industry in Cebu, we are doing a massive infrastructure push in The Mactan Newtown. We have received inquiries left and right from top BPO companies that are interested to set up operations in our township,” said Go.

The strong interest among BPO companies was propelled by the recent announcement that the township will have its own beach. In January, Megaworld announced that it is developing the former Portofino Beach to form part of the township.

“The Mactan Newtown will be the first cyberpark to have its own beach. This will make living, working, and playing in our township more exciting than what it used to be,” said Go.

The township’s first office tower, One World Center, is now fully leased out by two international BPO-IT companies—US-based Enfra USA and Results Manila. Both companies employ more than 2,000 employees today.

The second office tower, Two World Center, was recently topped off and is expected to open for operations this June.  Canada-based Manulife, one of the oldest life insurance firms in the country, has leased out the entire building for its operations in Cebu.
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Sales fuel Rockwell’s 2013 profit growth

Posted on March 28, 2014 07:20:43 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

ROCKWELL Land Corp. grew net income by a fourth last year on the back of strong sales, the Lopez-led property developer said in a statement attached to a disclosure yesterday.

Rockwell said its net income after tax climbed 25% to P1.4 billion from P1.1 billion in 2012 on "[s]trong sales from new and existing projects, substantial construction completion of existing projects and a solid recurring income from Power Plant Mall and RBC (Rockwell Business Center)".

The company’s financial statement was not immediately available.

Revenues climbed 14% annually to P7.8 billion, with revenues from residential developments contributing P6.8 billion, or 87%, to the total. "Residential developments’ 16% year-on-year growth can be attributed mainly to increased completion of The Grove (By Rockwell in Pasig City) and 205 Santolan and from higher booking of sales for The Proscenium towers. Reservation sales rose 37% annually to P12.6 billion.

Revenues from the company’s commercial business -- consisting of retail and office leasing, and cinema operations -- expanded by 5% year-on-year to P1 billion.

Rockwell ended last year with P7.9 billion in capital expenditures, mainly to develop new office projects, the RBC Tower 3 and Lopez Tower.

Rockwell’s business has two segments: residential development and commercial leasing. It has four wholly owned subsidiaries, namely: Rockwell Integrated Property Services, Inc.; Primary Development Corp.; Stonewell Development Corporation, Inc.; and Primaries Properties Sales Specialist Inc.

Rockwell shares dropped one centavo or 0.61% to close P1.63 apiece on Friday. -- AMRV          
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Roxaco Land eyes 1,000 budget hotel rooms

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 28, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Roxaco Land Corp. and Singapore-based Vanguard Hotels Pte. Ltd. are putting up at least 1,000 budget hotel rooms in the next two years.

The partners, through budget hotel chain Go Hotels, are taking advantage of the strong growth of the local tourism industry, Roxaco Land said.

“Roxaco Land and Vanguard Hotels are looking at delivering at least 1,000 hotel rooms in two years in their joint venture to build affordable hotels in Metro Manila,” the company said.

Late last year, Roxaco Land, a subsidiary of listed Roxas & Co. Inc., partnered with Vanguard to build at least five new Go Hotels, the budget hotel chain of Robinsons Land Corp.

Roxaco-Vanguard Hotel Corp. already started work on its initial hotel, the Go Hotel Manila Airport Road located near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport  (NAIA).

“Both parties are committed to completing the five hotel projects, which would deliver at least 1,000 hotel keys, within the two-year timeframe,” said Roxas & Co. chairman and CEO Pedro E. Roxas.

Roxaco Land senior vice-president Santiago R. Elizalde said the venture is focused principally on strategic locations in Metro Manila.

“We hope that our maiden hotel, which will be in ParaƱaque City, will be ready to cater to the room requirements of travelers, especially those that fly in and out of the NAIA by yearend 2014,” Elizalde said.

Vanguard Hotels Group CEO Bruce Musick said the second Go Hotel will be built in North EDSA in Quezon City.

“The second hotel will cater to those that come in and out through the north,” Musick said.

Vanguard Hotels is a Singapore-based company that operates hotels in Southeast Asia while Roxaco Land is the company behind Fuego Hotels, which manages the 88-hectare premiere luxury seaside resort Club Punta Fuego in Batangas, the Terazzas de Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Batangas, 7 Stones Boracay Suites and Boracay Gems in Boracay, Aklan and Camaya Coast in Bataan.
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