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SM Group investing P80b this year

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Feb. 01, 2015 at 11:45pm [ manilastandardtoday.com ]

SM Investments Corp., the holding company of tycoon Henry Sy, is investing P80 billion this year to support the expansion of shopping mall, property development and retail businesses.

SM Investments investor relations head Core Guidote said the conglomerate was accelerating its capital expenditures in 2015, in anticipation of sustained economic growth, driven by consumer spending and strong inflow of dollar remittances from Filipinos working overseas.

“The odds are in our favor. Barring any climate disturbance, our economy will be very good this year,” Guidote said.

Guidote said pre-election spending and the decline in oil prices were also expected to boost the domestic economy this year. The next presidential and national elections will be held in 2016.

SM Investments has stakes in banking, real estate, shopping malls, tourism and retail. It also has holdings in integrated resorts through Belle Corp. and in copper mining through Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp.

SM Prime Holdings Inc., the real estate and shopping mall arm of SM Investments, said earlier it would spend P60 billion for capital expenditures this year, primarily to build malls in the Philippines and China and as well as to launch residential developments.

SM Prime, the country’s largest property developer, said it planned to launch seven residential projects with total sales value of P42 billion in 2015.

Guidote said on retail development, the SM Group was slowly building a chain of mini-marts under the joint venture partnership with Alfamart of Indonesia.

She said from only three stores in October, the company now had 22 stores located mostly in Cavite province.

The company said the expansion of Alfamart stores was still on the test phase to determine the viability of the business model.

“However as we get better, our store rollout will also be much faster,” Guidote said. She said the existing Alfamart stores were performing within expectation.

Aside from Alfamart, SM Investments has three other store formats in food retail that offer products and services. These are SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket and Savemore.

SM Investments had 206 food retail stores with total selling area of 597,680 square meters as of end-September 2014.
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