PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .

SM, Ayala win Cebu project

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Jun. 30, 2015 at 11:01pm [ ]

SM, Ayala win Cebu project

A consortium led by property developers SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Ayala Land Inc. has won a contract to develop a 26-hectare reclaimed property in Cebu City.
SM-ALI Group consortium submitted a bid of P10 billion to develop the 26-hectare Lot No. 8-B1, the largest portion of the 45.2-hectare South Road Properties in Cebu.  The group was the lone bidder for the lot, sources said.
Cebu City’s bid and awards committee said it awarded the project to the SM-ALI Group after they put a bid of P10.09 billion for the property which has a total area of 263,384 square meters or at the price of P38,015.98 per square meter.
The winning consortium immediately issued a managers check worth P1.186 billion as security bond to the city government,  representing10 percent of the total bid.
This is the first collaboration between the country’s two largest property companies in Cebu. SM Prime said in a disclosure to the stock exchange it had formed a consortium with Ayala Land and its affiliate Cebu Holdings Inc. to bid for the project.
SM-ALI Group said the project was expected to benefit from the combined financial muscle, technical expertise and the real estate experience of two companies.
“With the resources and expertise of these real estate companies, this newest development at the SRP is planned as another showcase of integrated, master planned and sustainable developments that will bring in more investments and jobs for the local economy,” SM-ALI Group said in a statement.
The group will co-develop the property pursuant to a joint master plan.
The city government of Cebu on Tuesday conducted the bidding for two lots with a combined area of 45.2 hectares at the SRP for a floor price of P20,000 per square meter.
Other companies that earlier expressed interest in bidding for the SRP lots were Rockwell Land Corp., Filinvest Land Inc., Robinsons Land Corp. and Aboitizland Inc.
The 26-hectare lot won by SM-ALI is near the SM Seaside Mall being built by SM Prime while the other site is Lot 7 and Lot 17 with a consolidated area of 19.2 hectares.  Bidding for the other lots was being conducted as this was being written.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella described the outcome of the bidding as a “healthy exercise.”
“There is no substitute to a public bidding; open, fair and competitive and the city will dictate the price of the property… while in unsolicited proposal, it’s the buyer who will dictate the price.” Labella said.
SM Prime vice president for market research and planning Ronald Tumao said the group would follow the terms of reference of the bidding.
“We will be following the TOR..It will be a big boast to the development of the entire Cebu and not only the SRP.” Tumao said.
Tumao said the group would start the development in the area after six months based on the TOR.

Real estate loans climb 23% in Q1

By Kathleen A. Martin (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 1, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Banks’ exposure to the property sector rose 23 percent in the first quarter on sustained demand, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday.
The real estate exposure of banks climbed to P1.27 trillion in end-March from P1.03 trillion in the same period last year, the central bank said. The latest figure is also four percent higher than the P1.22 trillion recorded in end-2014.
The BSP’s latest Senior Loan Officers Survey showed an increase in the demand for real estate loans in the first quarter.
Real estate loans, which made up 86 percent of the exposure, jumped 26 percent to P1.09 trillion in the first quarter from P866.62 billion in end-March of last year.
The loans accounted for 19.54 percent of the banks’ total loan portfolio for the period, close to the mandated 20-percent cap on borrowings extended to the property sector.
Borrowings made by land developers, construction companies, and other corporate entities went up 26 percent to P679.742 billion from P538.536 billion, while residential property loans also increased 26 percent to P413.212 billion from P328.088 billion.
Gross non-performing real estate loans, however, remained low at 2.57 percent or P28.1 billion of the total borrowings extended to the sector.
The rest of the banks’ real estate exposure is made up of investments in the property sector which grew seven percent to P180.111 billion in the first quarter from P168.639 billion in the same period last year.
The BSP monitors banks’ REE to keep any possible property bubbles in check in line with its mandate to maintain a stable financial system.
Last year, the central bank required banks to undergo a separate stress test to assess the impact of their exposure to the housing sector once borrowers fail to pay their loans.
BSP Circular 839 mandated banks to maintain a common equity tier 1 capital ratio of at least six percent and a minimum risk-based capital adequacy ratio of 10 percent even if 25 percent of their exposure has been written off.
BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. earlier this year said local banks have passed the real estate stress tests in end-June and in end-September last year.
He noted that the lenders even had capital ratios above the minimum despite the simulated write-off of loans to the real estate sector.
Banks are required to submit a quarterly report on the real estate stress test and those found non-compliant with the limits will be asked to present an action plan to address their shortcomings.

Auto-hub ambitions lure developers to factories

Posted on June 29, 2015 10:32:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
PHILIPPINE developers are expanding into industrial estates as the government moves to make the nation a car-manufacturing hub have sparked interest from Japanese automakers.

THE entrance gate to the First Philippine Industrial Park is shown in this photo. The country’s largest builders are expanding industrial estates amid demand from Japanese automakers following a government move to grant more incentives to the car industry, Bloomberg reported yesterday. -- WWW.FPIP.COM
“We haven’t seen this kind of interest from Japanese companies since the mid-1990s,” said Rick M. Santos, chairman of CBRE Group, Inc. in Manila. “The industrial sector gets a boost from robust foreign demand.”
That is attracting builders such as Ayala Land, Inc. and Megaworld Corp., which are now developing industrial properties to diversify their portfolios, recognizing the increasing demand for industrial space, said Antton Nordberg, head of research at KMC MAG Group, Inc., Savills Plc’s Manila associate.
President Benigno S. C. Aquino III met business groups in Japan this month, after policy makers on May 29 approved tax incentives for automakers to support production of new car models in the country.
These are meant to help stimulate an economy growing at its weakest pace in three years.

“Japanese manufacturers are closely looking at setting up shop in the Philippines,” said Carmelo Maria Luza Bautista, president of GT Capital Holdings, Inc., the Philippine partner of Toyota Motors Corp.
Japanese companies including Toshiba Corp. and Seiko Epson Corp., enticed by cheaper labor and real estate costs, have also expressed interest to expand operations in the Philippines.
The average annual rent in Philippine industrial estates is as much as $5 per square meter, compared with China’s $7, according to data from CBRE.
Ayala Land, the country’s largest builder by revenue, has at least 100 companies in its 244-hectare manufacturing hub south of Manila, company Vice-President Maria Rowena M. Tomeldan said.
Commercial space in Megaworld’s first industrial estate, unveiled last year, is sold out, while half of the industrial lots in the 350-hectare area south of Manila have been sold, the company said in an e-mail reply to questions. Tenants are mostly Japanese and Chinese manufacturers.
About 14 Japanese companies agreed last year to locate in an industrial estate partly-owned by Tokyo-based trading house Sumitomo Corp. and partner First Philippine Holdings Corp., the Manila-based company said in its annual report.
The Philippines wants a larger share of Japanese companies leaving China. After his visit to Japan, Mr. Aquino said that 11 Japanese companies signed letters of intent to invest or expand operations in the country.
CBRE estimates industrial rent in the next two years will rise at a slower pace than the country’s inflation rate -- forecast at 2.5% next year -- as developers keep prices low to attract more locators.
“Right now, it’s a price war,” said Jan D. Custodio, head of CBRE’s global research and consultancy in Manila.
Philippine industrial parks sit on former US bases and rice fields that have been turned economic zones north and south of the capital.
Ayala Land expects all plots at a 31-hectare industrial estate north of Manila to be “fully sold out within the second quarter” after it was unveiled in January, Ms. Tomeldan said.
First Philippine may expand its industrial park to 2,000 hectares from the current 450 hectares, the Philippine Star reported on May 26, citing President Elpidio L. Ibañez. It will invest more than 1 billion pesos ($22 million) to expand, according to its annual report.
Despite cheaper labor and property costs, logistics costs are high in the Philippines, KMC MAG’s Mr. Nordberg said.
Investing in industrial estates in the also is complicated by manufacturing logjams and poor infrastructure.
Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. President Paolo A. Villar said the company doesn’t plan to expand in the sector because while manufacturing is improving, it’s still hampered by expensive power costs.
Still, “industrial property provides a good diversification opportunity by presenting diversified tenant, credit profiles, geography and industries to maximize returns,” Claro dG. Cordero, Jr., head of research and valuation at real estate advisory firm Jones Lang La Salle, said. -- Bloomberg

Ortigas firm maps out expansion program with SM, Ayala groups

By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 30, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - OCLP Holdings Inc., the investment holding firm of the Ortigas family, is mapping out a five-year expansion program with the SM and Ayala groups now onboard.
OCLP is looking to bolster its operations and portfolio over the medium term with the infusion of both SM Prime Holdings and Ayala Land Inc.’s expertise in mall and mixed-used developments.
“We are developing our plans for the next five years,” said ALI chief finance officer Jimmy Ysmael, holder of one of the two ALI seats in the OCLP board.
The five-year program is expected to bring to new heights the Ortigas family’s property company, owner of strategic land areas in the Ortigas business district.
Ysmael in an earlier interview said both ALI and the SM Group are revisiting master plans of ongoing OCLP developments to identify areas where the two property giants can contribute.
He said both are also helping OCLP restructure its loans as well as fix the company’s balance sheet.
Both ALI and SM Prime have earlier unveiled their respective 2020 expansion plans.
With their respective five-year expansion program, ALI eyes its net income to hit P40 billion while SM Prime expects theirs to double from the present level.
The Ortigas family is behind shopping centers such as the Greenhills Shopping Center and Tiendesitas as well as residential enclaves and mixed-use projects such as Frontera Verde, Circulo Verde, Capitol Commons, Greenmeadows and the Greenhills Subdivisions.
SM and ALI in November last year made its entry to the group by partnering with the two factions in the Ortigas family.
OCLP has recently unveiled its latest 62-story residential tower development called Maven, the third residential tower to rise at Capitol Commons in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

UP tagged in land ‘scam’

June 28, 2015 9:35 pm [ The Manila Times Online ]

Private claimants to a 77-hectare property in Quezon City, on which the posh Ayala Technohub sits, have accused the University of the Philippines (UP) of seizing the land “illegally” by invoking an “unconstitutional” Supreme Court (SC) division ruling issued more than a decade ago.
The prime property, now the subject of a legal tug-of-war, is worth a whopping P77 billion.
Heirs of claimants Jorge H. Chin and Renato R. Mallari filed at the SC last month a petition for substantial justice in a bid to retrieve their land from UP, which leased the property to the Ayala Techno Park.
Respondents in the cases docketed as GR Nos. 133547 and 133843, copies of which were obtained by The Manila Times, assailed as “unconstitutional” the November 11, 2003 decision of the High Court’s First Division that rescinded their titles over the land.
Chin and Mallari said they were the victims of a grave injustice and extrinsic fraud because they have owned the property since the 1970s.
Through their lawyers and representatives, the claimants said that while they have already lost their land by virtue of the 2003 decision that was penned by retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno, they are appealing to the SC under Ma. Lourdes Sereno to reopen the case under the doctrine of “substantial justice.”
They cited jurisprudence well settled in past SC decisions that emphasized that procedural justice and legal technicalities should not get in the way of the courts affording “substantial justice” to litigants.
The petitioners said Puno’s ponencia, concurred in by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide and Associate Justice Alicia Martinez, was unconstitutional and thus must be overturned by the tribunal, whether as a division or sitting en banc.
The claimants said the questioned ruling was issued in “gross disregard” of the Constitution’s admonition that the “SC is not a trier of facts” and that it is “bound by the factual findings of lower courts such as the Court of Appeals (CA).”
Chin and Mallari said their ownership of the 77 hectares had already been affirmed by the unanimous decision issued on February 10, 2000 by the SC’s First Division that was made final and executory, and the ruling by the Court of Appeals that they “have a better right” over the property against UP.
Thus, they added, they got the shock of their lives when the Puno ponencia overturned the February 10, 2000 decision and set aside the division’s own December 7, 2001 resolution that ordered the CA to determine UP’s and Chin and Mallari’s overlapping claims on the 77 hectares.
The CA favored Chin and Mallari over UP based on a verification report from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources submitted to Branch 99 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC), which said the two were the true and absolute owners based on pertinent documents, the claimants said.
In their petition, Chin and Mallari asked the SC to take note of the scathing dissenting opinion of Justice Consuelo Ynares Santiago on the Puno ponencia.
Santiago noted that the factual findings of the CA are well supported by records so that its conclusions and recommendations must be upheld, as they are binding on the SC, particularly its finding that the evidence preponderates in favor of Chin and Mallari. Associate Justice Adolf Azcuna concurred with Santiago’s dissent.
The former justice said Chin and Mallari have a better right over the 77 hectares as shown by the reports and findings of various government officials and agencies. The two showed that the titles to the 77-hectare property — TCT Nos. 52928 and 52929 — are under their names.
To further prove ownership, they said the source of UP’s title, Original Certificate of Title No. 735, was registered much later and the university’s claim of ownership is not supported by clear, competent and substantial evidence.
Chin and Mallari added that the Puno ponencia did not even contain any justification as to why it was disregarding the factual findings of the CA.
“As the dissent of Justice Ynares-Santiago will show, there was indeed no basis for upholding UP’s claim, more particularly because, as the CA found, its supposed land title was issued on May 3, 1914 which was a Sunday,” they said.
Records also showed that the titles of the petitioners were issued in 1938 while those of UP’s were issued in 1949.
In the latest petition, the claimants said that the property’s worth “carries a huge financial impact on businesses in the country, and could affect the welfare of communities across the nation.”
They argued that the resolution of the motion for intervention that UP filed in the previous cases “should have been elevated to the Court En Banc, since it has become clear that the doctrine or principle laid down earlier by the First Division in its unanimous Decision and Resolution faced reversal or modification by the new majority of the Division.”
UP, on the other hand, argued that the disputes had been settled and that the university stands by its rightful claim over the property.
In an interview with The Manila Times, lawyer Ricardo Lapesura Jr., who handled the case, stressed that the petition for substantial justice may not be given merit.
“Per our records, UP received an Entry of Judgment in the subject case last March 21, 2005. So the case is already closed and terminated,” he explained.
SC spokesman Theodore Te, who was UP’s vice president for legal affairs when the case was being heard by the High Court, refused to comment on the latest petition filed by the heirs of the claimants.
“I don’t think it’s proper for me to speak on that case because I no longer work as UP legal counsel. I do know that that claim has long been dismissed and settled by the final decision of the SC and also by the terms of the UP charter,” Te said in a separate interview.
It was learned that the High Court, on September 8, 2004, upheld UP’s ownership of the property in a separate petition filed by another private respondent, Domingo Canero. This ruling further affected the claims of Chin and Mallari.
The SC decision, also penned by Puno, told “courts and unscrupulous lawyers to stop entertaining spurious cases seeking further to assail respondent UP’s title.”
Reached for comment, the former Chief Justice told The Manila Times that he stands by their decision in the past.
“The decision speaks for itself,” he said in a text message.

SM Prime grows land bank in key thoroughfare

Posted on June 28, 2015 09:13:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Krista A. M. Montealegre, Senior Reporter
SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the property holding firm of tycoon Henry Sy, Sr., has beefed up its land bank along the Philippines’ busiest highway.

FILE photo shows SM Prime Holdings Executive Vice President Jeffrey C. Lim at the company's analyst and media briefing.
SM Prime Executive Vice-President Jeffrey C. Lim told reporters last week the company recently purchased about two hectares of land from DMCI Property Developers, Inc. located near the Guadalupe station of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3.
“It’s a big block owned by DMCI. Siguro nalakihan sila (Maybe DMCI thought it was too big) so they sold to us a portion of the property,” Mr. Lim said, but declined to provide the value of the land.
The acquisition of the Guadalupe property brings SM Prime’s land bank along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) to 12-14 hectares, consisting of roughly six chunks of land located in Makati, Ortigas, Mandaluyong and Quezon City.
“Who can argue about EDSA?” Mr. Lim said when asked why the developer was increasing its land bank on the country’s major highway.
SM Prime may launch residential projects with a retail component on the ground floor within these lots in the next two years, he said.
SM Prime’s strategic move to grow its land bank along EDSA is a manifestation of the confidence of developers in the role of the transport system in drawing its target market to its developments.
“Commuter-based residential and retail developments attract the target market due to convenience and ease of transport to and from their place of work. Foremost of this target market are those Metro Manila workers -- who live within Metro Manila during weekdays, but reside in the fringe provincial areas during the weekend,” Claro dG. Cordero Jr., head of research and valuation at real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle, said in a mobile phone message.
Commercial land values along EDSA have increased at an annual cumulative average growth rate of approximately 15% over the last 10 years, Mr. Cordero said.
“Developers are banking on the efficiency of existing and future developments, where it is possible for seamless commute from Metro Manila to other provincial areas -- through the planned MRT lines and the ongoing Skyway projects,” he added.
At end-March, SM Prime had a land bank of 177.5 hectares for its condominium developments, some of which could be converted into mixed-use developments, according to a presentation to investors uploaded on its Web site.
The SM Group has also won three reclamation deals over the last two years, the latest of which is a P138-billion 1,500-hectare project in Cordova, Cebu.
The cities of Pasay and Parañaque, in 2013 and last year respectively, both awarded to the SM Group separate contracts to reclaim and develop around 300 hectares each in Manila Bay under their jurisdiction for P54.5 billion and P50.19 billion, respectively.
SM Prime, however, must hurdle several government approvals before it can proceed with the reclamation projects.
SM Prime reported a consolidated net income of P12.6 billion in the first quarter, up 176% year on year, due to a one-time gain from the sale of securities and sustained growth in its shopping mall and residential businesses.
Even without that one-off gain, SM Prime’s profit was still up 14% -- picking up from the 11% growth seen a year earlier.
SM Prime is part of Sy-led SM Investments Corp., which has core businesses in retail, banking and real estate.
The Sy family also has interests in gaming, geothermal energy and infrastructure.

Ayala cool to Clark project

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Jun. 28, 2015 at 10:40pm

Ayala Land Inc. said it is still undecided if it will make a bid for the property or not, despite purchasing auction documents for the Clark Green City project.

Ayala Land chief finance officer Jaime Ysmael said in an interview at the sidelines of a recentforum sponsored by the Shareholders Association of the Philippines the company had not made a decision on the master-planned new metropolis in Central Luzon because of the “lease-hold” strategy of the project.

“We looked at it and we are looking at it. But I don’t know exactly if we are going to bid for that. We are still studying it,” Ysmael said.

He said there was no development potential for Clark Green City project because of its lease-hold feature.

“Lease-hold has very limited or no development potential. But it is still an  interesting project. We will just have to figure it out how we will develop it considering that it is lease-hold,” Ysmael said.

The amended term of reference issued by state-owned Bases Conversion Development Authority for the bidding of the phase 1 of the Clark Green City stated that the winning property firm should enter into a 50-year long term lease agreement, renewable for another 25 years, with the government.

Another factor that is holding back Ayala Land from bidding in the project is  the huge mixed-use township development it is developing in Porac, Pampanga called Alviera.

Alviera is a 1,100-hectare development, where Ayala Land plans to invest P90 billion over the next 20 years. “We plan to focus on that first,” Ysmael said.

Phase 1 of the Alviera involves 207 hectares comprising of the new industrial park, the country club, two academic institutions and three Ayala Land residential communities.

Robinsons Land Corp. earlier said its interest level in the rebidding of Clark Green City was not high because it involves a long term lease on the property and not an actual sale.

Other companies looking to Clark Green City is Megaworld Corp. of tycoon Andrew Tan and Filinvest Land Inc. of the Gotianun family.

The BCDA last week said it extended for two months the bidding of phase 1 of  Clark Green City development to give property developers more time to study the project.

Meanwhile, Ysmael said it would defer to next year its planned issue of up to P2-billion Homestarter Bonds.

Homestarter Bonds is an interest-earning financial instrument that primarily targets retail investors who plan to invest funds that may be used as full or partial downpayment in the purchase of an Ayala Land property.

Anchor Land spending P21B over 5 years for Metro Manila projects

By Danessa O. Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 26, 2015 - 12:00am

Anchor Land Holdings Inc. is setting a P21-billion capital expenditure in five years, of which P5 billion will be allocated this year, Anchor Land CEO Steve Li said after the company’s shareholders’ meeting. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Anchor Land Holdings Inc. will continue to concentrate on developments in Metro Manila, earmarking P21 billion for a mix of upscale residential and office projects in the next five years.

The high-end property developer is setting a P21-billion capital expenditure in five years, of which P5 billion will be allocated this year, Anchor Land CEO Steve Li said after the company’s shareholders’ meeting.

He said the five-year capex would finance the company’s 13 projects, of which six would be rolled out towards the end of 2015.

“All of these will be ongoing. We are launching six projects in the last part of this year. So together with the existing ones, we will have 13 working projects,” Li said.

The six projects include three residential projects, the 63-story Anchor Grand Suite in Binondo, Manila and the 43-story Emerald Grand Suites along Roxas Blvd. and another residential and hotel in Binondo project; one hotel development called Emerald Hotel; two-tower, 12-story office buildings and a commercial center in Aseana Business Park in Parañaque City.

While major developers are branching out their developments in the provinces, Anchor Land will continue to invest in the Metro Manila.

“We still believe there is untapped market. We don’t want to diversify our resources so we are more concentrated in Manila as of this time,” Li said.

In particular, the company official said the Aseana Business Park will house most of the developments as it is seen “most promising.”

Li said the residential projects will remain to serve the high-end market.

“Ever since, what we are doing is more focused on the niche market. A lot of developers are focused on their size, so our development is more focused on the family end-users and the bigger-sized development,” he said.

Emerald Grand Suites will have 51 units, Anchor Grand Suites with 400 units while the other Binondo development will have 250 units mixed with the hotel component.

Meanwhile, the office buildings and commercial areas are part of Anchor Land’s commitment to build on its recurring income.

“Last year we had a significant drop. so we are trying to go back to regular momentum,” Li said.

In 2014, Anchor Land posted a 40 percent drop in net income to P662.37 million from P1.11 billion in 2013 on lower revenues.

The trend continued into the first three months of 2015, as net profits fell 14 percent to P184.83 million from P214.48 million a year earlier.

GERI converting Iloilo village into ‘full-blown township’

By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 26, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Global Estate Resorts Inc. (GERI) is transforming its 173-hectare master-planned community in Western Visayas into an integrated urban township, making it the 18th township of the Megaworld Group.

Megaworld Corp., the flagship property unit of tycoon Andrew L. Tan, will lend its expertise to subsidiary GERI to develop the vast property into a mixed-use urban community.

GERI president Monica Salomon said in a statement the company has seen the potential of Sta. Barbara Heights of “becoming a full-blown township because of its strategic location near the Iloilo International Airport.”

“In the next five to 10 years, this masterplanned community will help spur economic activities in this town, and we will be able to provide transient passengers and tourists with facilities that are truly welcoming and world-class,” she added.

The development will have direct access to the Iloilo International Avenue, a six-lane highway leading to the province’s international airport.

The existing masterplan calls for Sta. Barbara Heights to be geared towards a more residential project, Megaworld senior vice president Jericho Go said in a briefing yesterday. 

“Currently, there’s ongoing sales and development which are mostly residential in nature,” he said.

But under the transformation, Go said more areas will be allocated to commercial development and other amenities that would enhance the township, like schools and medical facilities.

“To be added in Sta. Barbara Heights is definitely retail. On the commercial side, we’re certain to enhance value of residential, taking advantage of its close proximity to airport,” he said.

Go noted that more projects to complete the township offering, like offices, are still being planned and will be announced within the year.

Of the entire development, half is allocated for the Sta. Barbara Heights Residential Estates, a 1,000-lot residential village offered in three phases.

This village will feature a five-hectare Village Center with amenities including a 260-meter swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, children’s park and picnic ground.

Earlier this month, Megaworld said it is targeting to have 20 townships by yearend.

Prior to the announcement on Sta. Barbara Heights, the property firm has already launched two townships this year, namely Northill Gateway and The Upper East, both in Negros Occidental.

Tan had said the townships will fuel a double-digit profit growth of at least 10 percent annually starting this year.

Government support to keep BPOs on growth path

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 25, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The business process outsourcing industry (BPO) expects continued growth in the medium term with enough support from the government, an industry expert said.

Rainerio “Bong” Borja, considered one of the pillars of the Philippine BPO industry said there is still much room for growth for the sector.

Borja agreed with the view of some Liberal Party members, including Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, a “Roxas administration” would translate to continued growth for the BPO sector.

He said that as then Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), now Interior Secretary Mar Roxas laid the groundwork for the industry’s growth, referring to the broadening of tax incentives that attracted call center investors as well as the creation of the Call Center Association of the Philippines.

 “Mar has been a big contributor and supporter of the Philippine BPO industry since its inception. He was our industry partner in government and was instrumental to our success. He was, as Secretary of the DTI, architected of much of our industry’s growth,” said Borja, president and country head of Expert Global Solutions.

Borja believes a “Roxas administration” would indeed be a big boost to the sector.

“I would expect that if Mar becomes president and the fact he has explicitly stated he will continue to support our industry’s growth, can only be positive for us. We share the same belief that the country is capable of sustaining further industry growth and will continue to be a significant economic contributor,” Borja said.

Umali, for his part, said Mar has deep knowledge of the industry and could push for its continued success.

According to real estate consultancy CBRE Philippines, BPO companies have been fueling the growth of the property sector with its various expansion needs.

In 2014, BPO revenues grew 18.7 percent to roughly $18.4 billion, translating to strong office space demand since the start of the year.

CBRE expects demand to increase further this year.

Robinsons Home eyes P1.5-B sales

Posted on June 23, 2015 09:56:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

ROBINSONS Homes said it will likely hit P1.5 billion in sales this year, replicating the previous year’s feat.

That amount meant an annual sales of 1,500 housing lots.

“We will still be launching new projects this year. We’re doing pretty much okay. We are on track,” Robinsons Homes General Manager Corazon L. Ang Ley told a media briefing yesterday at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Ortigas district.

Robinsons Homes is one of the four brands under the residential division of listed developer Robinsons Land Corp., with the rest being Luxuria, Residences, and Communities. It offers lots in master-planned, gated subdivisions with option for house construction.

Robinsons Homes Assistant Manager Ian Emerson S. Lee said the unit contributed P1.5 billion in sales last year, with projects in Visayas and Mindanao still the major growth drivers.

“And as you’ve noticed, some of the developers are really expanding there. We already have a foothold there, so those areas are the major contributors,” he said yesterday.

Robinsons Homes, which is in charge of the company’s horizontal developments, introduced three new sub-brands last February to cater to different markets.

The most upscale is Bloomfields, with lot sizes from 320 square meters (sq.m.), priced at P8,000 per sq.m, plus options for housing for less than P10 million. The mid-priced Brighton has lots starting at 180 sq.m. with a price tag of P6,000 per sq.m. The Springdale brand, on the other hand, offers 120-sq.m. lots at P4,000 per sq.m., while house and lot packages carry a price tag of below P2 million.

“The one with the strongest demand is still Brighton. In terms of market segmentation, it’s still the mid,” Ms. Ang Ley said.

The company will build model units this year in General Santos and Bulacan, and plans similar projects in Palawan and Bacolod. Turnover is scheduled one to two years after construction.

Robinsons Homes has so far built 32 subdivisions nationwide, serving more than 25,000 families. -- Daphne J. Magturo

DMCI Homes eyes more prov’l projects

By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 23, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - DMCI Homes, the real estate arm of engineering conglomerate DMCI Holdings Inc., plans to venture into more projects in the provinces to support its plan to increase sales by 10 percent annually.

DMCI president Isidro A. Consunji said the property developer is looking at more areas outside Metro Manila such as Davao, Bataan, Naga, and Dagupan.

Consunji said the plan is to put mid-rise, high-rise and subdivision projects in these markets to support its growth.

“We are starting now, we’re already talking to some people. Provincial markets are now maturing. Demand is growing. The growth of the business process outsourcing sector is creating a lot of demand for affordable housing,” he said.

Consunji said the company would apply the same concept of “community based and family-oriented” approach it has in Metro Manila for its planned provincial venture.

“We want to sell below the P2-million market,” Consunji said.

For its existing projects, Consunji said DMCI Homes has been focused mostly on the mid- to high-rise residential development around Metro Manila, attracting “urban couples with one or two children.”

DMCI Homes expects to grow its residential sales by 10 percent annually starting this year.

Sales and reservation sales this year are expected to reach P22 billion from last year’s P20 billion.

The company earlier said it is preparing to spend as much as P12 billion this year as it seeks to grow profits over a tenth by yearend.

DMCI Homes plans to launch five projects this year that will add 3,155 units to its existing 40 completed projects consisting of 28,854 units.

For next year, DMCI Homes will continue with its expansion with nine new projects already being lined up.

The nine new projects up for launch in 2016 will further boost the company’s portfolio by an additional 10,770 units.

Since its establishment in 1999, DMCI Homes has launched 56 projects composed of larger than usual condominium units in mid-rise and high-rise developments.

Torre de Manila woes might stir caution among developers

Posted on June 21, 2015 09:10:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

A SUPREME COURT ruling against a high-rise condominium project near the Rizal Monument could stir caution among real estate developers and prompt them to review their master plans, property consultants said over the weekend.

THE 49-STOREY Torre de Manila high-rise condominium looms in the background of the Jose Rizal tomb at Luneta Park. A Supreme Court ruling that stopped the project -- after conservationists alleged it is ruining views of the national monument -- could spook developers, real estate consultants said. – AFP

The high court’s temporary restraining order -- handed down against Torre de Manila on June 16 -- would not entirely send a chilling effect on property developments, but still should prod developers to closely work with local governments to ensure projects are reconciled with the national heritage law, they said.

“On the part of the developers, they will avoid problematic scenarios such as the Torre de Manila case by properly identifying areas for land banking purposes that they will develop later on,” Claro Cordero, head of research at Jones Lang LaSalle, said in a mobile phone message.

“They definitely will be more careful in respecting zoning laws and in getting permits and zoning exemptions and variances,” Julius Guevara, head of advisory services at Colliers Philippines, said in a mobile phone message.

A DMCI Holdings, Inc. subsidiary is building that condominium project, which conservationists said ruins the view of the national monument.
Oral arguments were set for June 30, and DMCI last week said it might contest the ruling.

Regardless of the outcome of the Torre de Manila case, the government and private sector are seen undertaking more collaborative efforts to determine areas and properties that are suited for development and redevelopment.

“The developers along with the government as well as other stakeholders should work together to identify, preserve, enrich and ensure that the heritage/cultural development areas and other areas that serve the greater public interest are incorporated in the master plan of the communities they serve,” Mr. Cordero said.

8990 Holdings, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Januario Jesus Gregorio B. Atencio III said it has been common practice for the mass housing firm to be careful in developing projects, but the “sad situation” of the Torre de Manila project has brought the cultural and historical impact at the forefront of considerations that real estate firms must evaluate.

“There has to be a balance between development and respect for cultural or historical institutions, but the rules have to be clear,” Mr. Atencio said in a phone interview.

“At the end of the day, the property development sector as well as the government should be able to work together to find some compromise because you can’t stop development.”

The Philippines has an existing law governing the protection and preservation of the nation’s cultural heritage -- Republic Act 10066, or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 -- signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on March 26, 2010.

DMCI Holdings President Isidro A. Consunji told reporters in an interview in Aklan the residential tower has complied with all the legal requirements, including securing a clearance from the National Historical Institute.

“Some people say it destroyed the skyline, but that’s very subjective.

If we were told the rules of the game including if you build there you have to get the approval of the Knights of Rizal, we would have done that. It was not included in the rules so how do we know we’re offending the sensibilities,” Mr. Consunji said.

The Knights of Rizal was the petitioner in the case filed against DMCI that reached the Supreme Court.

The Torre de Manila project is the latest setback for DMCI with Maynilad Water Services, Inc. -- where it has a 25.24% stake -- locked in arbitration proceedings against the government over tariff increases.

“This experience is a little bit unsettling for investors because when people start to meddle on grounds which are not defined, it causes unnecessary anxiety… I don’t think the government understands the repercussions of being inconsistent. The repercussions don’t happen today,” Mr. Consunji said. -- Krista Angela M. Montealegre

A Brown to develop P17-B projects

By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 22, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Publicly listed A. Brown Co. Inc. is looking to develop P17-billion worth of projects encompassing the energy, real estate and agribusiness sectors over the next five years.

A. Brown executive chairman Walter W. Brown said bulk of the projects amounting to about P14.5 billion would form part of its energy business which consists already of both traditional and renewable power projects as well as oil and gas exploration.

The holding firm of the Brown Group of Companies also intends to strengthen its young bulk water business through recently formed subsidiary AB Bulk Water Co. Inc.

A. Brown is planning to submit an unsolicited proposal to the Municipality of Opol, Misamis Oriental to address its needs for a reliable and sustainable water supply system.

More than P1 billion worth of projects, meanwhile, are expected to beef up the company’s real estate portfolio while about P1 billion worth of projects are seen coming in for its agribusiness composed of palm oil plantation, milling and refinery.

Brown said the projects would be financed through a combination of self-generated equity, joint ventures and partnerships, as well as project financing.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Brown said the diversified company expects to perform better this year than it did the previous year as several power plants are scheduled to come on stream by the fourth quarter and early 2016.

The firm’s palm oil plantation and refinery in Northern Mindanao is also expected to contribute significantly to the firm’s bottomline as more mature fruits are processed and sold, Brown said.

For its 2014 fiscal year, A. Brown returned to profitability with a net income of P39.6 million following the previous year’s net loss of P1.6 million.

The company also booked 35-percent higher revenues year-on-year at P738 million.

Roel Z. Castro, president of subsidiary Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC),  said the first unit of its 2x135-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Concepcion, Iloilo is set to be fully operational by early 2016—two months ahead of its original schedule—while planning for a second unit is ongoing.

Castro said a 10.4-MW power facility in Bukidnon would also start operations by the second half of next year.

He said other power projects on the pipeline include a 15-MW and a 5-MW expansion in General Santos and San Francisco, respectively, and the 25-MW Carac-an Hydroelectric Project in Surigao del Sur.

Meanwhile, palm oil unit A Brown Energy and Resources Development, Inc. started commercial operations last month of its refinery which has a capacity of 60 metric tons per day.

“While we experienced some delays in 2014, we’re confident that our expansion and diversification efforts will bear fruit in 2015,” A. Brown president Robertino Pizarro said.

For its property business, Brown said the company plans to expand its horizons outside the high-end, master-planned communities which it currently has in Northern Mindanao.

Brown said the firm is setting its sights on middle income and socialized housing projects in Cagayan de Oro, Butuan City, Valencia and Malaybalay cities in Bukidnon, Toril, Davao City and Tanay, Rizal to take advantage of the three million supply backlog in the country’s housing segments.

Brown added plans of exporting the company’s master-planning expertise following an invitation from the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in the Pacific to develop projects in the territory.

“We’re studying this project seriously,” he said.

BOI raises concern on BIR delay for tourism perks

By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 20, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Board of Investments (BOI) has raised concern over the delay in the release of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s revenue regulations to provide incentives to tourism investments under the Tourism Act as the government encourages tourism activities and projects in the country.

“That is a concern. I think there is a general concern (because) that is a law. That is a congressional act,” BOI managing head Adrian Cristobal Jr. told reporters yesterday.

Under Republic Act 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009 approved by then President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, tourism economic zones (TEZ) will be created in which tourism projects or locators can enjoy incentives.

To avail of incentives, tourism enterprises within a TEZ will have to register with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism.

Among the incentives tourism enterprises within a TEZ can enjoy are income tax holidays; gross income taxation of five percent; 100 percent exemption on all taxes and customs duties on the importation of capital equipment; and the exemption of transportation and spare parts from tariffs and duties.

The grant of incentives, however, requires release of revenue regulations by the BIR.

Earlier, the Tourism Promotion Board (TPB) also expressed concern in the delay of release of the BIR revenue regulations which should facilitate the grant of incentives under the law.

The TPB is encouraging firms to make investments in tourism projects in the country and there is interest from companies to invest.

Cristobal said the BOI could accept applications for tourism establishments outside the TEZs.

Tourism is among the sectors being promoted by the BOI for investments.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which previously provided incentives to tourism establishments within its administered ecozones meanwhile, has stopped approval of registration of such projects.

The TPB said since the Tourism Act was passed, tourism investments should be under the TIEZA.

real estate central philippines
Copyright ©2008-2019