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

Parañaque rebrands as Bay City

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 1, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Parañaque City is aiming to be the country’s top tourist and entertainment destination with the rise of numerous world-class hotel resorts and leisure facilities in the area, its top executive said.

Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Parañaque will now be called “Bay City,” a new label that aims to transform the city into a tourist-friendly place.

“We are confident that our new nickname, the Bay City, will make Parañaque not only the country’s top tourist and entertainment destination but also one of the best in the whole Asia-Pacific region as well,” he said.

He attributed Parañaque’s economic surge partly to huge developments in Pagcor Entertainment City, a 100-hectare mixed-use complex along Manila Bay that features world-class casinos, hotels, shopping and leisure destinations, theaters and marinas, among others.

The sprawling Entertainment City has been attracting more investors eager to take advantage of increasing tourist traffic, both domestic and international.

Last year, Parañaque was adjudged the country’s most competitive city in terms of economic dynamism by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC). Just recently, the council declared the city among the top three most economically dynamic urbanized cities in the Philippines, Olivarez said.

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In terms of business registration, Olivarez said there has been a substantial increase in the number of new business registration last year, reaching 2,325, while renewal was at 17,122 for a total of 19,447 business establishments operating in the city.

At the Entertainment City, the first to open was Solaire Resorts and Casino, followed by City of Dreams Manila.

Two others are in the advanced construction stages, namely Aseana City and the Manila Bay Resorts, a 44-hectare integrated casino-resort project composed of an indoor beach club, entertainment facilities, retain and restaurants.

Olivarez said property giant Ayala Land Inc. would also build a huge shopping mall complex, a business process outsourcing center and a hotel within a nine-hectare property adjacent to Pagcor Entertainment City.

The property is located right across the new City of Dreams Manila, a casino and hotel complex owned by the SM Group in partnership with Melco Crown of Macau.

Furthermore, according to Olivarez, they are also expecting to generate new jobs and higher tax collection in the BPO sector as three SM malls in Parañaque – SM Sucat, SM Bicutan and SM BF Homes – are all planning to open BPO centers that would need 5,000 workers each.

He added aside from the hectic pace of development at Entertainment City, other major infrastructure projects that will complement the tourism destination are also underway, including NAIA Skyway Phase 2 and the extension of the LRT Line 1 to Cavite.

First Ayala mall to open in Bicol

By Celso Amo (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 30, 2015 - 12:00am

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines —Ayala Land Inc., the property development arm of the Ayala Group, expects its shopping mall venture with the Bicol-based LCC Group to be completed by December.

The P1.6 billion Liberty City Center will rise on a 1.4 hectare property in Legazpi, Albay.

LCC general manager Antonio Tan said Ayala Land would operate the mall while LCC, being a retailer, would take charge of the supermarket and department stores.

“I am proud that this is our first ever mall in Bicol and with this mall we hope to bring to you the excitement of an Ayala mall in partnership with LCC,” Ayala Land assistant vice-president for external affairs Dindo R. Fernando said  during a briefing at the office of Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal last Monday.

Ayala Land business management head Hans Katipunan said “security, house-keeping, and maintenance, would be handled by the property conglomerate

The four-story mall will have 200 stores, four cinemas and al fresco dining.  It also has a big atrium.

“We have  restaurants from the second floor all the way up to the fourth floor,” he said.

“What makes Ayala mall unique compared to its competitors is  the way we treat public spaces. So we have a four story atrium which is the signature element of our development from the physical standpoint. Our convergence area within the development area,” Katipunan noted.

“Our  homegrown concept is to encourage local restaurants, and entrepreneurs, and we want to promote local business which is the success story of Ayala throughout the country,” he said.

“We are trying to attract and expect a lot from small businesses from Legazpi City and nearby towns and municipalities that we are going to invite which is something the city can be proud of,” Katipunan said.

He said Ayala Land  is still negotiating with the mall tenants from Metro Manila.

“Foreign brands are interested because Legazpi city is known for its adventure tourism,” he said.

Fernando said Ayala Land is looking forward to bring employment and additional taxes for the city.

Tan said local entrepreneurs are allotted a kiosks inside the mall to encourage them as incubator local business.

“People have their own unique way of shopping based on studies and we want to offer the people of Legazpi  a wide range of merchandise line,” he said.

With these investments coming, Legazpi City which is now the second most livable city in the country, is expected to become the commercial capital of Bicol.

DMCI confident on hitting P12.7-B profit goal

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 30, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Consunji-led DMCI Holdings Inc. is hopeful of meeting its P12.66 billion net income target for the year, according to its top official.

On the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders meeting yesterday, DMCI chairman and president Isidro A. Consunji said first half core unaudited net profit was estimated at P6 billion on the back of the strong performance of its power, real and water businesses.

However, DMCI has yet to report the final figures, he said.

In his message to stockholders, Consunji said while the company is facing challenges, with construction and power businesses’ performance at below expectations last year, the rest of the group’s companies delivered exceptional results.

Nevertheless, he said the group would continue its efforts to further improve its financial position which has led to economic growth, more jobs and better living conditions for millions of Filipinos.

In the area of power, Semirara Mining & Power Corp., the Philippines’ biggest coal miner, is building its power capacity to 1,200 megawatts in the next three to four years, he said.

“It will be around 1,200 MW in 42 months. Semirara will add at least 650 MW of capacity in the next four to five years,” he said.

Semirara is also  building a 300 MW power plant in Batangas.

“The new 2x150 MW power units are expected to operate and start contributing to group earnings by 2015. Last week, we were able to ramp up generation of the first unit to 117 MW. The second unit is now on a trial run,” he said.

Consunji said the company is also in discussions for another 2x350 MW plant within the Calaca complex.  It wants to supply all the coal needs of its expanding power generation portfolio.

Semirara halted its exports of coal to ensure supply for local power generation following the suspension of its mining operations in Antique after a deadly landslide last July 17.

ALI, Puregold open 1st supermarket tieup

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 28, 2015 - 12:00am

Stack of items to be sold at the Merkado Supermarket-UP Town Center. 
MANILA, Philippines - Merkado Supermarket, a joint venture  between Ayala Land Inc. and Puregold Price Club Inc., will open its first branch at the UP Town Center along Katipunan, Quezon City on July 31. 
The 50-50 partnership marks ALI’s entry into the supermarket space. 
It will cater to the middle income segment, offering a wide range of fresh and grocery items, an extensive line of local and imported goods and featured product lines from its own bakery and rotisserie. 
The group is looking to open eight to 10  Merkado Supermarkets in about five years after the opening of the maiden branch this Friday. 
Ayala Land said the supermarket venture plays a significant role in its retailing business. 
“Merkado Supermarket plays a significant role in ALI’s business portfolio. Not only does this strengthen and expand our retailing which started with our convenience and department stores joint ventures but is also a testament to our commitment in delivering a holistic environment,”  Ayala Land vice president Maria Corazon Dizon said.. 
For Puregold, which currently has a chain of stand-alone stores, Merkado Supermarket is seen expanding its market. 
“With the mall-based Merkado Supermarket, this will enable us to tap a broader market. In the case of U.P. Town Center, this could range from students to young professionals and young families,” AyaGold Retailers president Anthony Sy said. 
AyaGold Retailers general manager Cesar “Arvi” Cudala said the supermarket would cater to the A, B and broader C markets. 
Cudala said Merkado would offer spacious aisles that are easy to reach and navigate as well as prices that would be competitive with other major supermarkets such as Landmark and SM Supermarkets. 
There would also be weekend promotions for the opening weekend, he said. 
For instance, buyers would be treated to a free item for every purchase worth P1,000. 
Ayala Land officials said AyaGold are also eyeing smaller Merkado Supermarket formats. 

“There’s always the possibility of looking at different possibilities of smaller formats. It will depend on the opportunities,” Sy said.

8990 on track of 2015 targets

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 28, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Mass housing developer 8990 Holdings, Inc. is on track to meet its financial targets for the year, its top official said. 
 The company has set a profit goal of P3.8 billion to P4 billion on revenue targets of P9.6 billion to P10 billion for 2015. 
“We are still on track to meet our earnings guidance in 2015,” 8990 president Januario Jesus Atencio said during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting yesterday.  The income forecast would translate to a 20 percent growth. 
In the first semester, the company’s net income grew by 18 percent. 
Atencio said 8990 expects to sustain its positive momentum with nine new projects set to be launched this year. 
“Our job in management therefore is to make sure these new projects achieve their desired operating speeds in the shortest possible time so they can start to contribute to the targets in 2015,” he said. 
The company is behind Deca Homes. Its projects are located in Cebu, Iloilio, Cavite, Davao, Pampanga and along EDSA in Metro Manila where its first Urban Deca Tower is rising. 
In 2014,  net income jumped by 51 percent to P3.3 billion from P2.2 billion the previous year. 
“Revenue increased by 43 percent while operating expense only rose by 36 percent. Net margin of 43 percent exceeded the benchmark of 40 percent,” Atencio reported. 
He said last year’s macroeconomic environment provided for a bullish and positive market for primary housing. 

“These factors are still in play today. What is new is Pag-IBIG Fund’s lowering their core interest rate to 6.5 percent, and the latest HUDCC policy increasing the ceiling of low-cost housing from P1.25 million to P1.7. This means that buyers of DECA homes can now avail of lower monthly amortizations even at higher package prices that allow us to provide more added value to our housing products and services,” he said.

Banks tighten standards for real estate loans

By Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 27, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Banks further tightened their lending standards for commercial real estate loans in the second quarter, a year after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) introduced stricter rules on bank’s real estate exposure.
Results of the second quarter 2015 Senior Bank Loan Officers’ Survey showed a net tightening of overall credit standards for commercial real estate loans for the 12th consecutive quarter. 
“The net tightening of overall credit standards for commercial real estate loans was attributed by respondent banks to perceived stricter oversight of banks’ real estate exposure along with banks’ reduced tolerance for risk,” the BSP said. 
The central bank said banks reported stricter collateral requirements and loan covenants along with wider loan margins, shorter loan maturities, and increased use of interest rate floors for commercial real estate loans. 
For the next quarter, the BSP survey showed most of the respondent banks expect to maintain their credit standards for commercial real estate loans. 
The survey also revealed the demand for commercial real estate loans was also unchanged in the second quarter based on the modal approach. 
“A number of banks, however, indicated increased demand for the said type of loan on the back of clients’ improved economic outlook and banks’ more attractive financing terms,” the central bank added. 
Over the next quarter, a number of banks expect demand for commercial real estate loans to continue increasing in the following quarter. 
Similarly, credit standards for housing loans extended to households showed net tightening in the second quarter due to perceived stricter financial system regulations along with banks’ reduced tolerance for risk and deterioration in the profile of borrowers. 
Data showed banks’ exposure to real estate increased 23 percent to P1.27 trillion in the first quarter of the year from P1.03 trillion in the same period last year. Real estate loans, which accounted for the bulk of the banks’ exposure to the sector, jumped 26 percent to P1.09 trillion from P866.62 billion. 
In June last year, the BSP introduced stricter rules on banks’ real estate exposure to ensure lenders have enough capital to absorb any potential losses. 
The central bank said the new measure simply reinforces the prudential policy that banks must have sufficient capital to absorb any potential shock on its credit exposures. 
The pre-emptive macroprudential policy measure approved by the Monetary Board required stress tests for banks to determine if their capital will be enough to absorb credit risk that may arise from their exposure to the property sector.
The BSP explained that universal, commercial, and thrift banks would need to meet a capital adequacy ratio of 10 percent of their qualifying capital following the stress test results. 
Moreover, universal and commercial banks, along with their thrift bank subsidiaries will also need to keep a Common Equity Tier 1 level of at least six percent of their qualifying capital. Stand-alone thrift banks, meanwhile, are required to maintain a Tier 1 ratio of six percent of their qualifying capital. 
Banks that fail to comply would need to explain formally to the BSP why they should not be given any further remedial action.

SM Prime pushes back plan to build low-cost housing projects to next year

Posted on July 26, 2015 09:02:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the Philippines’ largest builder by market value, has pushed back till next year a plan to foray into low-cost housing, a company official said. 

The listed developer originally planned to build horizontal projects this year in Cavite and Pampanga. 
“We’re still consolidating the properties so that will happen next year,” Jose Mari H. Banzon, the company’s residential business unit head, told reporters. 
The company needs a minimum of 30 hectares for the low-cost housing project, which will offer house and lot packages ranging from P850,000 to P1.5 million. 
“We want a decent size to make it optimal then will apply for conversion to residential [use],” Mr. Banzon said. 
SM brought roughly 8,000 condominium units to the market in the first six months with its launch of five residential towers. 
Those projects are located in Quezon City, Taguig City and Pasay City. 
Reservation sales were “considerably bigger” compared to figures in the same period last year, Mr. Banzon said, without giving specific figures. 
“Our first half has been very strong. We expect it to accelerate in the full year,” he said. 
Reservation sales increased by an annual 47% to 3,721 units in the first quarter, translating to a 34% uptick to P9.5 billion in value terms in the same period from P7.1 billion a year earlier. 
The property developer plans to roll out five more projects in the second semester, bringing its full-year launches to 12,000 to 14,000 units, Mr. Banzon said. 
“We ended last year with about 14,000 units [of inventory]. We expect to sell about 14,000 units this year so we will launch 14,000 units,” he said. 

“We need to have 12,000 to 14,000 any one time during the year.” -- Krista Angela M. Montealegre

Megaworld spending P20 B for 12 new office towers

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 22, 2015 - 12:00am 
UPBEAT ON UPTOWN: Presenting the ongoing construction of the new office towers in the 15.4-hectare Uptown Bonifacio township of Megaworld are (2nd from left) Jericho Go, senior vice president and (3rd from left) Harold Geronimo, head of public relations and communications.
MANILA, Philippines - Megaworld Corp., a property developer owned by tycoon Andrew Tan, is pouring in P20 billion to construct 12 new office buildings in three of its four townships in Fort Bonifacio. 
In a press briefing yesterday, Megaworld senior vice president Jericho Go said the new projects would bring its total office space inventory in Fort Bonifacio to more than twice its current 300,000 square meters by 2018. 
Four office towers are currently being built in Uptown Bonifacio, the company’s 15.4-hectare integrated urban township in the northern part of Fort Bonifacio near Kalayaan Avenue. 
These are the 15-storey Uptown tower 1, with a size of 30,000 sqm; the 15-storey Uptown tower 2 (30,000 sqm), the 20-storey Uptown tower 3 (40,000 sqm) and the 25-storey Alliance Global Tower. 
Alliance Global Tower will serve as the corporate headquarters of the companies under Alliance Global Group Inc., the holding firm of Tan. 
Uptown towers 1 and 2 will be finished and delivered this year while tower 3 is scheduled for next year, Go said.  
“Aside from the four towers, the company is also building six more campus-type office towers in its new township, the 34.5-hectare McKinley West – One West Campus, Two West Campus, Three West Campus, Five West Campus, Six West Campus and Eight West Campus. 
Each tower is five-storey high with 10,000 sqm of leasable office spaces, Go said. 
 “There is a remarkable demand for sustainable campus-type office buildings especially after we built 8 Campus Place in McKinley Hill, the first LEED Gold-certified BPO office building in the country,” Go said. 
“We look forward to our LEED certification for these new office buildings in McKinley West as well,” he added. 
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Developed by the US Green Building Council, it is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings and homes. 
Go said within three years, two more office towers are in the pipeline which will also rise in Fort Bonifacio. 
These new office towers will add around 140,000 square meters to the company’s office space inventory. 
 “We envision Uptown Bonifacio to rise as a bustling central business district of Fort Bonifacio. At present, several multinational companies have already signed up to set up their operations here. 
Uptown Towers 1, 2 and 3 are now 90 percent leased out even before we have completed the delivery of the said towers. These office towers are all LEED-registered,” he said. 
Go said that among those who have signed for lease are financial institutions, insurance and IT firms which are all Fortune 500 companies. 
Megaworld now has 19 office towers in McKinley Hill covering around 300,000 sqm of office space inventory. 

The property developer currently has 712,000 sqm of office space inventory, mostly leased to IT-BPO companies. It has over 130 companies in its portfolio of office tenant partners.

Tourism contributes 7.8% GDP in 2014

By Rosette Adel ( | Updated July 21, 2015 - 5:44pm 

As measured by tourism direct gross value added to total gross domestic product, the contribution of tourism industry is around 7.8 percent in 2014. File photo
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday reported that the contribution of tourism industry to the economy was estimated at 7.8 percent in 2014 as measured by the share of tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA). 
TDGVA, which serves as the indicator to measure the value added of different industries in relation to tourism activities of both inbound and domestic visitors in the country, was 14 percent higher in 2014 with P982.4 billion compared to 2013’s P861.7 billion. 
The recorded TDGVA was based on the latest results of the Philippine Tourism Satellite Accounts (PTSA) which also provide information on tourism expenditure and employment. 
Accommodation services had the biggest share of TDGVA at 32.6 percent, followed by shopping of tourism goods at 15.3 percent, miscellaneous at 15.2 percent, transport services at 12.6 percent, entertainment and recreation at 10.9 percent, travel agencies and other reservation services at 8.6 percent, and food and beverage services at  4.7 percent. 
Based on PSA’s report, employment in the tourism industry went up by 1 percent with estimated 4.8 million in 2014. This added 12.5 percent in the total employment in the country in 2014. 
PSA also noted that inbound and domestic tourism expenditure increased. 
The inbound tourism expenditure referring to expenses of non-resident visitors or foreign visitors and Filipinos permanently residing abroad within the Philippines rose by 21.9 percent in 2014. It amounted to P274.6 billion from P225.3 billion the previous year. 

On the other hand, the domestic tourism expenditure pertaining to resident visitors within the country significantly rose by 24 percent from P1.18 billion in 2013 to P1.47 billion in 2014.

Robinsons Retail to open two community malls a year till 2020

Posted on July 19, 2015 09:38:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Krista A. M. Montealegre, Senior Reporter
MULTI-format retailer Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) is expanding its community mall chain with a plan to open at least two Robinsons Townville every year through 2020, an official of the Gokongwei-led company said.
“We plan to open two a year [in the next five years],” RRHI President Robina Gokongwei-Pe told reporters last week. 
Robinsons Supermarket Corp. General Manager Jody S. Gadia said RRHI is not discounting the possibility of rolling out as much as three to four strip malls every year. 
Asked why RRHI is building more community malls, Ms. Gokongwei-Pe said: “Because of traffic.” 
“There are many densely populated neighborhoods in the Philippines. 
They don’t want to go out anymore....They want to find everything in their community,” she said. 
Robinsons Townville is located near densely populated neighborhoods within and in the outskirts of Metro Manila. 
Ranging from 5,000 square meters (sqms.) to 10,000 sqms., Robinsons Townville has Robinsons Supermarket as its anchor tenant. 
The Gokongweis’ multi-format stores account for 60-70% of the community mall’s retail space. The balance is leased out to quick service restaurants and a few other establishments to complete the shopping experience of its customers. 
RRHI ventured into community mall development three years ago but it was only this year when the company rebranded its malls to carry the Robinsons Townville brand, Mr. Gadia said. The company has a chain of nine community malls, which are different from malls under the Robinsons Galleria brand.

The listed retailer has six business segments: supermarkets; department stores; do-it-yourself (DIY) stores; convenience stores; drug stores; and specialty stores. Some of the brand names under RRHI include “Handyman Do it Best”, “True Value”, “Topshop”, “Topman”, “Toys “R” Us”, and “Ministop”. 
Likewise, RRHI has forayed this year into e-commerce, a retail channel it said holds “a lot of potential.” 
“We’re looking into it. Right now, we sell our appliances and consumer electronics via Lazada. That’s a start,” Ms. Gokongwei-Pe said. 
This year will also mark the start of the rollout of British coffee chain Costa Coffee with plans to open in four more sites including Robinsons Place Manila, Bonifacio Global City, and a second location in Libis, Quezon City, she said. 
Its wholly owned subsidiary Robinsons Gourmet Food and Beverage, Inc. last year inked an international distribution agreement for the operations of 70 Costa Coffee shops in the Philippines in the next five years.
Ms. Gokongwei-Pe had said in March it would allocate P6 billion this year for capital expenditures, higher than the P4 billion spent in 2014, to support store network expansion mostly outside the Philippine capital. 

The retailer is adding 270-300 stores that will boost gross floor area in the mid-teens level and increase store count to close to 1,600 stores by the end of the year.

Not enough land for housing

By Othel V. Campos | Jul. 19, 2015 at 11:40pm [ ]
Property developers expressed concern over the lack of available land to address the massive housing requirement of a growing Philippine population. 
The Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines Inc. said just about 2.52 percent of the total land in the country had been mapped out as suitable for housing development in 2012 from 1.27 percent in 2003. 
“Unless a socially acceptable definition and policy is adopted, the proposed measure must be held in abeyance,” the group said in a position paper in response to the proposed National Land Use Act. 
The total land area in the country, according to government data, is estimated at 30 million hectares, including 14.2 million hectares or 47.32 percent considered alienable and disposable area and 15.8 million hectares or 52.68 percent classified as forestland. 
The total built-up area, considered to be part of forestland, is 2.52 percent or 755,009 hectares. Built-up areas are those with structures like roads and other infrastructures. 
The group cited a need to revisit the proposed policy of protecting prime agricultural lands in the NLUA due to the growing housing needs and other competing interests. 
It noted that despite increasing land allocation for agricultural use, the  sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product was still smaller compared with Southeast Asian neighbors like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. 
Industry projections show Philippine housing needs up to 2016 would reach 5.53 million units and require about 43,726 to 73,043 hectares, depending on the use of land resources, whether vertical or horizontal. The estimate includes socialized housing. 
Socialized housing covers residential subdivision and medium-rise condominium units below P1.2 million, while economic housing covers subdivisions and medium-rise buildings sold above P1.25 million but not more than P3.2 million. 
The group is serious in resolving the 5.5 million housing backlog and build as much as 500,000 units each year for the next 20 years. 
The property builders said the government should support the creation of as much as 10 million housing units by 2025 because the problem was taking its toll on the people’s economic and social growth. 

Philippine housing backlog stood at close to 4 million, with over 75 percent classified as informal settlers living in urban centers.

Vista Land okays capital hike to P18b

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Jul. 19, 2015 at 11:50pm [ ] 
Home builder Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. is increasing its authorized capital stock to P18 billion from P12 billion in preparation for a possible fund raising activity. 
Vista Land said in a regulatory filing its board approved the increase in the company’s capital stock and called for a special stockholders’ meeting next month to clear the proposal. 
“With the increased authorized capital stock, the company will be able to take advantage of any equity fund raising opportunities that may become available, as the company will now have sufficient authorized and unissued shares that it can issue in an expeditious and efficient manner,” Vista Land said. 
Vista land set the special stockholders’ meeting on August 28, 2015. 
The P18-billion capital stock will be divided into 17.9 billion common shares with a par value of P1 apiece and 10 million preferred shares with a par value of P0.01 per share. 
Owned by the family of former senator Manuel Villar, Vista Land is the largest homebuilder in the Philippines having built about 300,000 homes in 86 cities and municipalities in 35 provinces around the country. 
Unit VLL International last month raised $300 million from the sale of senior unsecured notes due in 2022 with a nominal rate of 7.375 percent. It was the first 7-year tenor notes issued by the company under a $1-billion  medium term note program. 
VLL plans to use proceeds from the offering for refinancing, general working capital purposes and other general corporate activities. 
Since its re-IPO in 2007 when it raised P25.1 billion in proceeds, Vista Land has not generated funds through the equities market and has done most of its fund raising through the debt and bond markets. 
Vista Land posted a net income of P1.64 billion in the first quarter of 2015, up 10 percent from P1.49 billion year-on-year. Revenyes increased 10 percent to P6.06 billion fromn P5.49 billion on year. 

Vista Land said it would spend P25 billion in capital expenditures this year. Share price of Vista Land closed at P6.98 Thursday.

8990 Holdings raises P9b from bond sale

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Jul. 14, 2015 at 11:01pm 
House and lot developer 8990 Holdings Inc. said Tuesday it raised P9 billion from a recent bond sale amid strong demand from investors.
8990 said in a disclosure to the stock exchange it raised P8.4 billion from the issuance of five-year bonds and P375.5 million and 218.9 million from the sale of seven- and 10-year bonds, respectively. 
The company earlier priced the bonds at 6.21 percent per annum for the five-year bonds maturing in 2020, 6.13 percent for bonds maturing in 2022 and 6.87 percent for the bonds maturing in 2025. 
BDO Capital & Investments Corp. president Eduardo Francisco said in a text message total demand for the bonds fetched a little over P10 billion. 
The bonds will be listed with the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. on Thursday. 
The bond proceeds will be used to refinance and restructure the company’s debt into a long-term fixed-rate debt. 
The bonds were rated AA+ by CRISP ratings agency, which reflects the company’s very strong capacity to repay debt obligations with adequate resources that can serve as a buffer to changes in economic conditions, industry shifts’ and business circumstances. 
8990 Holdings has been rapidly expanding in various parts of the country. 
The mass housing developer said it planned to launch three huge housing developments in Zamboanga, Bacolod and Bulacan in the second half of the year. 
The company completed 24 mass sousing projects  and sold more than 28,000 units as of March 31, 2015/ 
It has a pipeline of nine projects with an existing and available landbank.  These projects are scheduled to commence between 2015 and 2019 and are expected to provide 64,000 units available for sale. 

For this year, the property firm expects net income to grow by as much as 21 percent to P4 billion and revenues to increase by 27 percent to P10 billion.

Sta. Lucia seeks clearance for P5-billion bond sale

Posted on July 14, 2015 10:35:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Krista A.M. Montealegre, Senior Reporter
STA. LUCIA Land, Inc. is seeking regulatory approval to raise up to P5 billion from a debt sale that will mark the developer’s bond market debut later this year.
A prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 9 showed Sta. Lucia intends to raise P3 billion from an offering of Series A bonds due 2018 and Series B bonds due 2021. The company can opt to sell another P2 billion in case of strong demand.
China Bank was tapped as the issue manager, lead underwriter and bookrunner for the offering.
Net proceeds of as much as P4.90 billion will be used to partly refinance existing debt (P2.935 billion), capital expenditures for land banking and ongoing projects (P1.7 billion) and general corporate purposes (P262 million).
If the oversubscription option will not be availed, the property firm will use net proceeds of P2.94 billion to settle the debt.
“This is our first ever [bond] issuance. Our target is to launch it at the start of the fourth quarter,” Sta. Lucia Chief Financial Officer David M. Dela Cruz said in an interview last month.
Sta. Lucia has an outstanding debt amounting to P3.01 billion from BDO Unibank, Inc., China Banking Corp., Rizal Commercial and Banking Corp., and Asia United Bank. The loans carry interest rates between 4.75% and 6% per annum, maturing between this year and 2018.
Originally incorporated in 1996 as Zipporah Mining and Industrial Corp., Sta. Lucia changed its primary purpose to that of a real estate company in 1996. Its portfolio consists of horizontal and vertical properties across the country, as well as a shopping mall in Cainta -- Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall.
The company’s shares rose two centavos or 2.78% to 74 centavos apiece.

PCGG warned vs. ‘Payanig’ auction

By MST Business | Jul. 13, 2015 at 10:00pm [ ] 
BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines Inc. has filed a lis pendens with the Registry of Deeds in Pasig City to warn the Presidential Commission on Good Government against auctioning off 18.4-hectares of properties known as the ‘Payanig sa Pasig’ lots. 
Lis pendens, which literally means a pending suit, refers to the jurisdiction, power or control that a court acquires over a property involved in a suit pending final judgment. 
“Effectively, it serves as an official and public notice that a particular real property is in litigation, and serves as a warning that anyone who acquires interest over the litigated property does so at his own risk,” said BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo in a statement. 
“More importantly, it binds would-be purchasers of the litigated property to the judgment or decree of the court, whether they are legitimate buyers or not,” Manalo said. 
The PCGG is auctioning the property is based on its claim that it holds a reconstituted title obtained after the Edsa revolution, through an assignment by alleged Marcos crony Jose Campos. 
Under the law, however, a reconstituted title is rendered void if the original title still exists. BLEMP said it was in possession of these titles. The company has issued an open challenge to any document verification experts to prove the titles were not original. No one has taken the challenge so far. 
“My advice to all the bidders is for them to consult and carefully deliberate with their lawyers, because they are literally taking a multi-billion peso gamble and leaving it up to the courts,” Manalo said. 

“This case is now entirely dependent on the legal merits of each claimant, and no matter how you spin it, nothing will ever beat the original, physical titles that we have in our possession,” he said.

SEC pushes amendments to corporation code

By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 13, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the corporate regulator, is pursuing a bill seeking to amend the Corporation Code of the Philippines. 
The pending measures seek to promote investments and make the provisions aligned with international standards. 
SEC chairperson Teresita Herbosa said the corporate regulator is currently collecting comments from stakeholders on the proposed amendments and expects the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship to complete its report on the bill before the end of the year. 
“Senator Bam Aquino plans to finish maybe the committee report by the end of the year,” said Herbosa. 
She said the lawmaker has been very helpful and understands the amendments needed. 
Authored by Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Senate Bill 2194 seeks to shift corporate life to perpetuity from the current maximum life of 50 years. 
 “To encourage new businesses, the amendments include shifting to perpetuity, removing the minimum number of incorporators and allowing the formation of one person corporations. Thus, corporations, in general, will have perpetual existence enabling a more long-term mindset that will foster sustainability; small businesses may reap the advantages of the corporate vehicle with as few as two incorporators, and single proprietors may protect their personal properties by setting up one person corporations,” the bill said. 

As part of the proposed amendments, existing corporations with terms of 50 years may apply for an extension three years before their franchise expires.                   

Albay’s lot prices climb 10 times

By Roderick T. dela Cruz | Jul. 12, 2015 at 11:20pm [ ]
 Lot prices in several parts of Albay, particularly in the new economic township called Guicadale, have climbed by nearly ten times since 2007, after the calamity-prone province unveiled a new redevelopment plan and implemented a disaster risk reduction strategy. 
Undeveloped lots in parts of Guicadale which sold for P30 per square meter in 2007 now command prices of P300 or more per square meter.  Guicadale refers to a new township in the towns of Guinobatan, Camalig and Daraga as well as the city of Legazpi. 
Guicadale covers some 64,000 hectares of safe lands for development, which has been identified under the province’s disaster risk reduction strategy. 
Housing subdivisions are currently being developed in the area, while commercial and recreational spaces are laid out with road networks linking up with several towns and cities and additional 87,000 hectares of upland areas, according to Albay Governor Joey Salceda. 
Salceda said with disaster risks in the province now properly addressed, Albay’s DRR strategy is now geared towards economic expansion. Guicadale started with the build up of 40 resettlement communities for 10,076 people, followed by the construction of the P4.7 billion Bicol International Airport. 

Salceda said one proof of redevelopment is a tiny village, called Barangay Anislag in Daraga town, which now teems with people almost equal to a town community where church, marketplace, commercial spaces and a hospital were established to serve the needs of its growing population.

Phl Property Awards puts spotlight on top developers

(The Philippine Star) | Updated July 11, 2015 - 12:00am

The best real estate developments were recognized at the third annual Philippine Property Awards held last July 9. SM Prime wins the highest award as the Best Developer of the Year.
MANILA, Philippines - More than 250 of the nation’s brightest leaders and talents in real estate, architecture and design gathered in Manila July 9 to reward the best of the best in the property sector at the third annual Philippines Property Awards 2015.
The prestigious gala dinner and awards presentation ceremony, part of the decade-old Asia Property Awards series, was held at the Raffles and Fairmont Hotel in Makati following a rigorous six-month entry process – which was free to enter – and comprehensive site inspection period by the esteemed and independent panel of judges, as assessed by BDO, one of the world’s biggest accounting firms.
Featuring 25 award categories covering the best developers, developments and designs in the local real estate sector, the awards celebrated the finest current projects in the residential, commercial, office, retail, hospitality, villa and green segments in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao.
SM Prime Holdings claimed the year’s top honor – Best Developer – beating last year’s champion Ayala Land Inc (ALI), which took home a Highly Commended accolade in the category along with fellow nominee Megaworld Corp.
With a total of nine nominations, the SM group was also declared winner in several other categories, including Best Retail Development and Best Retail Architectural Design, both for Mega Fashion Hall (SM Mega Megamall Expansion 2) Bldg. D, through subsidiary First Asia Realty Development Corp.
Meanwhile, the group’s SM Development Corp. (SMDC) unit dominated multiple categories, picking up the trophy for Best Landscape Architectural Design for Shell Residences – plus two Highly Commended certificates in the same category – the award for Best Affordable Condo Development (Metro Manila), as well as Highly Commended honors for another affordable condo project and a mid-range resort development.
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“This Best Developer award means so much for SM group, as we are in the company of the best developers in the country,” said Jeffrey Lim, SM Prime’s executive vice president.
“Our group is committed to building integrated communities across the country with residential, commercial, retail and lifestyle components, and this honor is a testament of our engagement to the property industry,” he said.
ALI did not go home empty-handed, taking the award for Special Recognition in CSR for its commitment to building sustainable communities in the Philippines, plus another award for Best Residential Architectural Design. Its subsidiary Alveo Land Corp. was declared two-time winner for its latest condo and residential projects in Cebu and Davao, respectively, while its Avida Land unit also received two Highly Commended certificates.
Other multiple winners of the evening included Megaworld Corp., with double wins in the Best Luxury Development (Resort) and Best Residential Interior Design, in addition to six Highly Commended awards; Vista Land and Landscapes Inc, taking home the Best Housing Development (Metro Manila) and Best Housing Development (Philippines) trophies; WJGlobal Inc, picking up two awards for Best Hotel Development and Best Hotel Architectural Design; Robinsons Land Corp., taking the accolades for Best Mid-range Condo Development (Metro Manila) and Best Condo Development (Philippines) for the The Sapphire Bloc; and BDO Unibank, picking up the Best Office Development, Best Office Architectural Design and Best Commercial Development (Philippines) awards for its new BDO Corporate Tower Ortigas project.
“Our highly-qualified central panel of judges have worked hard to ensure we have the highest quality winners across all categories from all deserving developers and projects that showcase the best of the best in the country’s real estate sector,” said Terry Blackburn, CEO of Ensign Media and publisher of Asia’s industry leading Property Report magazine.
“This year’s batch of winners, from Manila to Cebu and Davao, truly represents what the local real estate scene can offer,” he added. “The country’s property market continues to go from strength to strength, as demonstrated by the robust growth in the commercial, retail, office and mixed-use sectors, as well as putting the spotlight on secondary cities and resort destinations across the archipelago.”
Led by three-time chairwoman, Cyndy Tan Jarabata, president of TAJARA Leisure & Hospitality Group Inc, this year’s highly qualified judges panel also comprised the Philippines’ top real estate and design experts, including Lindsay J. Orr, chief operating officer of Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines; Architect William V. Consuella, principal, W.V. Consuella & Associates; Abelardo M. Tolentino Jr., president and CEO, Aidea Philippines Inc; Rommel M. Leuterio, group president, Property Management & Development Group/ICCP Group; Jaime A. Cura, Ph.D., vice-chairman, RGV Group of Companies; and Jose Oscar O. Salvacion, president, Design Coordinates Inc/Construction Project Managers.
“The judges panel consists of esteemed leaders of their profession and experts in their respective industries. It was a pleasure working with them as we oversaw a significantly changing landscape over three years and the continuous growth of the property market in the Philippines,” Jarabata said.
“For developers to continuously succeed, they have to incorporate smart technology not only because it is what the consumer wants, but it is the right path to progress,” she continued. “When you live in the Philippines where there is an average of 20 typhoons a year, the environment and natural disasters take on a major consideration in any development…. The Philippines Property Awards has provided a respected platform to both major and niche developers to set new benchmarks in development and design, that enhances quality and living spaces, harmonizing with environment and creating value for the consumer.”
Top winners in the Philippines will go on to compete at the regional stage of the Asia Property Awards grand finals on Oct. 21, at the fifth annual South East Asia Property Awards 2015 to be held at the prestigious Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, which takes place immediately after the first-ever Property Report Congress, a high-level forum for the region’s real estate leaders.
In addition to the 25 award categories, the Philippines Real Estate Personality of the Year – the only award not chosen by the judging panel – was given to Ramon Fernando D. Rufino, executive vice president of premium office developer The Net Group. A young and dynamic figure with valuable contributions to the advancement of green building and sustainable architecture, Rufino was selected by the editors of Property Report, the region’s leading luxury real estate publication, for his achievements as chairman of the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), which was recently recognised by the World Green Building Council as an emerging member.
“I hope this award brings added visibility to the efforts of PHILGBC so we can receive even greater support and participation from the real estate industry,” Rufino commented, sharing his vision for the country’s thriving real estate industry. “The awareness and desire for sustainability is already strong, but we really need to improve on the level of commitment and action. There are so many areas to work on but our top priority is for more and more companies and projects to secure green building certification.”

With an opening speech by Noel Carino, president of CREBA (Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc.), the annual event was hosted by David Celdran and presented by Property Report magazine, and was co-sponsored by gold sponsors Kohler and Uratex Premium Mattresses, silver sponsor TEKA, supporting association CREBA, and Sanpellegrino, the Official Supplier of the Asia Property Awards 2015.

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