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

Realty price increases ease in Q4 2018 — BSP

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housing condo

PROPERTY prices increased slightly in the last three months of 2018, marking the smallest increment in over a year.

The latest residential real estate price index (RREPI) of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that home prices edged up just 0.5% in the fourth quarter, coming from the 4.4% pace recorded in July-September and the 5.7% climb seen a year ago.

Townhouses and condominium units led price increases during the period, while the price tags for duplex and single-detached homes even slipped compared to the previous year.

The RREPI measures the average change in home prices across building types and locations, allowing the central bank to closely monitor the real estate market and detect potential bubbles.

The BSP currently limits a bank’s real estate exposure to 20% of its total loan portfolio, which includes both residential and commercial properties.

Townhouse rates saw the biggest hike that quarter, increasing by 11.4% versus the 8.1% climb it posted back in October-December 2017. While that marked the fourth straight quarter of double-digit increases in townhouse prices, it was the slowest in a year.

Condominium prices inched up by a mere 0.6% nationwide, the slowest since at least 2016.
On the other hand, duplex units saw prices slashed by 3.7%, while single detached or attached homes also saw prices drop 1.9%.

By location, home prices in Metro Manila grew by 1.6%, versus a 0.8% decline in housing costs in the provinces. Duplex prices in Metro Manila plunged sharply to just a third of their value compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 while condominium rates were flat. Townhouses offset this drop with a 19.4% rise in prices, together with a four percent price increase for single homes.

Outside the capital, duplex prices surged by 23% year-on-year, although this accounted for a small share of the total. Townhouse prices rose by seven percent, condominiums up by 6.1%, while the cost for single homes — the top choice in the provinces — dropped by 2.7%.

“[T]he decline in prices of single detached houses outweighed the increase in prices of duplexes, townhouses, and condominium units,” the BSP said.

For the entire 2018, the cost to acquire homes rose by an average of 2.9% in the Philippines, easing from the previous year’s 3.6% climb.

About 75% of the home loans were used to acquire new properties, half of which were for condominium units, 39.8% for single detached houses and roughly a tenth for townhouses. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez

Bria Homes ramps up expansion

Bria Homes interior

MASS HOUSING developer Bria Homes is ramping up its expansion throughout the country this year.

A subsidiary of Golden Bria Holdings, Inc., Bria Homes has a portfolio of 50 developments in 40 towns and cities, covering over 700 hectares of land.

In Luzon, Bria has projects in the provinces of Pangasinan (Urdaneta), Tarlac (Paniqui), Pampanga (Magalang and San Fernando), Bataan (Mariveles and Hermosa), Cavite (General Trias, Trece Martires, and Indang), Batangas (Balayan and Lipa), Bulacan (Plaridel, Santa Maria, San Jose Del Monte, and Norzagaray), Rizal (Teresa, Binangonan, and Baras), Laguna (Calauan, Calamba, Sta. Cruz, San Pablo, Alaminos, and Bay), and Camarines Sur (Pili and Iriga).

In Visayas and Mindanao, Bria is present in Negros Oriental (Dumaguete), Samar (Calbayog), Leyte (Ormoc), Misamis Oriental (Cagayan de Oro, Balingasag, and Gingoog), Bukidnon (Manolo Fortich, Valencia), Davao del Norte (Tagum, Panabo, and Carmen), Davao del Sur (Davao City and Digos), North Cotabato (Kidapawan), and South Cotabato (General Santos City).

“Due to very high demand for our projects, we are looking to expand further and remain committed to our long-term mission of addressing the country’s housing problem and helping thousands of Filipino families achieve the dream home that they deserve,” Rizalito “Red” J. Rosales, president and CEO of Bria Homes, said in a statement.

Bria offers house models such as the Elena, a 22 square meter (sq.m.) unit on a 36 sq.m. lot; Bettina, a 44 sq.m. unit on a 36 sq.m. lot; and Alecza, a 36 sq.m. unit on a 81 sq.m. lot.

PHirst Park Homes sees strong demand for affordable housing

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PHirst Park Homes
PHirst Park Homes San Pablo will offer 1,640 units on an 18.5-hectare property in San Pablo, Laguna. -- COMPANY HANDOUT
By Vincent Mariel P. Galang Reporter

PHIRST PARK Homes, Inc. continues to see robust demand for affordable housing projects, as it recently launched a new community in San Pablo, Laguna.

“The study says right now (demand is) about six million and it’s going to grow. With the pace we’re going now, it’s going to grow to 12 million by 2030,” Ricky M. Celis, president and chief executive officer of PHirst Park Homes, told reporters, citing a study by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

The joint venture company of Century Properties Group, Inc. (CPG) and Mitsubishi Corp. launched its third affordable housing community — PHirst Park Homes San Pablo which will have 1,640 units on an 18.5-hectare property.

The first two PHirst Park Homes are located in Tanza, Cavite, and Lipa City, Batangas.

The affordable housing brand generally caters to families with monthly household income of between P40,000 to P100,000. Generally, homeowners are a mix of the locals and families of overseas Filipino worker (OFW).

Mr. Celis said these groups are greatly underserved which is why the company wants to focus on them.

Unit prices range from P1.3-P1.9 million for a 40-square meter (sq.m.) two-storey unit to P2.7-P3.3 million for a 54 sq.m. two-storey single detached unit.

The houses can be expanded depending on the total lot area.

For PHirst Park Homes San Pablo, the community promotes health and fitness through facilities such as monkey bars, cross trainers, domical bars, foot reflexology area, and pull up bars.

There will also be a clubhouse, swimming pool, water play area, playground, outdoor cinema, and a basketball court. There will also be a shuttle that will allow homeowners to go around the community.

PHirst Park Homes San Pablo is located along Maharlika Highway, Brgy. San Ignacio, and can be accessed through South Luzon Expressway via Santo Tomas Exit. It is also just a few minutes away from SM City San Pablo.

PHirst Park Homes is aiming to launch 15 communities with about 33,000 housing units within five years.

To achieve this, Mr. Celis said the company is set to launch this year two more communities in Laguna and Bulacan, respectively,

He said two to three more communities will also be introduced in 2020.

“The 15 were actually chosen based on the criteria… where do we want to establish projects is where demand is, where people can afford, and where there are opportunities including transport, either existing or there is a planned infrastructure,” Mr. Celis noted.

These infrastructure projects include the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 7 which will connect Metro Manila and Bulacan, as well as the Bulacan International Airport, Philippine National Railway North 2, and the Cavite Laguna Expressway.

Although there are developers are ramping up their projects in the provinces, Mr. Celis said the challenge now is to ensure their projects will stand out.

“It’s a question of how do you stand out… The arena right now is very simple. There is big demand and it’s a question of how do you stand out and stand out on a sustained basis,” he noted.

SMC starts construction of SLEx extension to Quezon

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THE tollways unit of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is starting the construction of the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4 (SLEx TR-4) to help ease traffic in the south of Metro Manila.

In a statement on Monday, the company said South Luzon Tollway Corp. (SLTC) will break ground today on the 66.74-kilometer toll road, which is expected to cut travel time to and from provinces in the south and the metro.

“Once we finish this tollway, the peace and order situation in Quezon and Bicol will improve. Local tourism will improve. New businesses will emerge. Progress will be brought to the level of the small towns and barangays,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in the statement.

The four-lane highway will start in Sto. Tomas, Batangas and end in Brgy. Mayao, Quezon. It is designed to reduce travel time between the two points to 45 minutes from the usual three hours once it opens in 1.5 years.

Mr. Ang said he expects to inaugurate the project in 36 months.

The SLEx TR-4 project costs P13.1 billion, based on a brief on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) website. It involves six sections, namely the 11.32-kilometer portion from Sto. Tomas to Makban, Laguna; 12.75 kilometers to San Pablo, Laguna; 7.5 kilometers to Tiaong, Quezon; 15 kilometers to Candelaria, Quezon; 10.21 kilometers to Tayabas Quezon; and 9.96 kilometers to Brgy. Mayao, Quezon.

“We believe that the TR-4 will further unlock the economic potential and promote tourism in Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Bicol provinces. With the growing population of Metro Manila, more and more people and businesses will move to these provinces due to these areas’ proximity,” Mr. Ang added. — Denise A. Valdez

Bourse to make sure REIT funds will not be invested abroad

housing fair

THE PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE, Inc. (PSE) is moving to tighten rules for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), as it wants to ensure that funds invested in such instruments will not be used for projects abroad.

In a memorandum posted on its Web site last Friday, the PSE proposed to amend Section 4E of the Listing Rules for REITS released in 2010, which outlined the general criteria of companies to qualify for listing.

The amendment states that “a REIT shall not invest in real estate located outside the Philippines without special authority from the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

The corporate regulator earlier identified reinvestment of such funds in the country as a key concern for REIT guidelines that has been raised by the Department of Finance and Bureau of Internal Revenue.

In addition to being reinvested in the Philippines, proceeds from share offerings of REITs must be spent within five years, according to Section 8 of the proposed amendments, titled “Reinvestments.”

The previous listing rules did not impose such limits on the use of proceeds.

The exchange, however, may grant a longer period of investment depending on the nature and magnitude of the project involved.

The PSE also proposed to add Section 6.3, under which REITs will have to disclose via the PSE Electronic Disclosure Generation Technology (EDGE) an annual report on how the proceeds of a secondary share offering have been used.

“The annual report shall be submitted within 30 days following the end of the REIT’s fiscal year and shall be certified by the company’s chief financial officer or treasurer and external auditor. The annual reports shall be regularly submitted until the proceeds have been fully utilized.”

On Continuing Listing Requirements under Section 7 of the proposed listing rules, the PSE wants to remove the statement that the minimum public ownership (MPO) of the exchange shall not apply to REITs. Instead, REITS must comply with the MPO rule indicated under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9856, otherwise known as the REIT Act of 2009. Section 8.1 of the IRR states that a REIT must have a public ownership of at least one-third of its outstanding capital stock, owned by at least 1,000 public shareholders, with each owning a minimum of 50 shares. Should REITs fall below the MPO requirement, they will be subjected to a trading suspension of up to six months. In that time they must work on meeting the requirement.

REITs that fail to comply with the REIT law, its IRR and other guidelines set by the PSE will be subjected to the same penalties under PSE rules, including delisting.

The PSE further added a section on relisting prohibition which states that a REIT that has been involuntarily delisted “cannot apply for relisting within a period of five years from the time it was delisted.”

Directors and officers of the delisted firm are also disqualified from becoming directors and officers in other REITs for the same period.

The PSE is accepting comments for the proposed guidelines until March 31. — Arra B. Francia

Online Application for Certifications of Board Rating and Passing

Online Application for Certifications of Board Rating and Passing
The Professional Regulation Commission announces that starting on March 18, 2019, its Online Services will accept application for Certifications of Board Rating and Passing.

Payments will be accepted through the following options:
  1. LANDBANK Link BizPortal (ePayment Portal) via:
    • LANDBANK ATM Cards
    • Bancnet Member-Bank's ATM / Debit
    • Globe GCash
  2. Over-the-counter at any UCPB branch (Validation within 2-3 working days)
  4. PRC Cashiers (At the chosen appointment place and appointment date ONLY)

Positive property outlook drives RLC share price higher

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Robinsons Mall Ormoc

By Christine Joyce S. Castañeda Senior Researcher

FOREIGNERS LOADED on Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) shares, making it one of the most actively traded stocks in the local bourse last week.

Data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) showed the property developer trading P492.13 million worth of 20.56 million shares from March 18-22.

Shares closed at P24.65 apiece on Friday, up P0.20 or 0.82% from the previous day and 2.71% week-on-week from the P24 finish on March 15. For the year, the stock gained 16.82%.

“Investors digest the good corporate earnings released as positive,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Client Engagement Officer and Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan said in an e-mail.

Mr. Tan added that foreign investors are starting to come back not just for RLC, but for the whole property sector as well. “Dovish sentiments coming from BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) also increased the appetite for property stocks…,” he said.

In a separate e-mail, Cristopher Adrian T. San Pedro, certified securities representative at Unicapital Securities, Inc., ascribed the stock’s performance to the net foreign buying last week, driven by the dovish statement by the BSP on the possible reserve requirement cut for banks in the next four quarters that would “help the property sector to have low cost funding and would also boost consumer demand given additional liquidity of P90-100 billion in the market.”

Earlier this month, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno hinted at the possibility of slashing the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by one percentage point per quarter for the next four quarters. If implemented, the cuts would leave the RRR at 14% by early 2020 from the current 18%.

Meanwhile, RLC said in a statement last March 14 that its net income reached P8.23 billion in 2018, higher by around 40% from the P5.9 billion in 2017. Consolidated revenues also increased by 31% to P29.44 billion. The malls division accounted for the bulk of RLC’s revenues at P11.94 billion, up 11% year on year. This was driven by the higher rental income and the opening of four malls last year, namely Robinsons Place Ormoc, Robinsons Place Pavia, Robinsons Place Tuguegarao, and Robinsons Place Valencia in Bukidnon.

The property developer now has a total of 51 malls covering a total leasable space of 1.5 million square meters.

The company’s residential segment and office division also saw their revenues growing by 33% and 26%, respectively to P8.69 billion and P4.11 billion.

Meanwhile, stock market data showed that on the days leading to RLC’s report on earnings for 2018, net foreign buying from March 11 to 14 stood at P4.01 million. A day after the release of the company’s earnings, net foreign buying on March 15 had reached P45.61 million.

Foreigners continued to buy RLC shares last week with net foreign buying amounting P22.65 million although this was lower than the previous week’s P49.62 million.

For this year, Unicapital’s Mr. San Pedro said the company could rake in P9 billion in profits, driven by the local and international residential segment sales, the continued growth in mall revenues, and the increase in demand for its office division brought by the growing information technology and business process management sector and the influx of foreign workers.

For his part, Philstocks’ Mr. Tan expects RLC to book a P7.4-billion net income this year, fueled by growth of the residential and office leasing segments.

Mr. Tan placed the stock’s support at P23 to P23.50 and resistance at P24.70 to P25.

“The stock remains bullish and I expect it to consolidate between P23.00 support and P25.00 resistance with the possibility of testing P25.50 and P26.00 if it stays above P23.50 in the short term,” Unicapital’s Mr. San Pedro said.

SEC drafts rules on perpetual corporate existence

SEC logo
By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking comments from the investing public for its proposed guidelines on the perpetual existence of corporations.

The country’s corporate regulator on Friday posted the draft guidelines on a firm’s corporate term, as amended in Section 11 of the Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines.

The Revised Corporation Code, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last Feb. 20, states that firms may now exist forever, as opposed to the previous 50-year limit which can be renewed thereafter.

SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said the grant of a perpetual corporate term will make the country more conducive for business.

“Perpetual existence does not only mean less paperwork. It also preserves legitimate and productive corporations that support our economy’s growth and fosters a sense of longevity that encourages corporations to implement long-term and sustainable projects and investments,” Mr. Aquino said in a statement.

However, firms that choose to retain its specific corporate term as stated in its articles of incorporation may do so.

The draft guidelines state that a company must secure approval during its stockholders’ annual or special meeting on whether they want to retain their specific corporate term.

The company must then send a notice to the SEC of its decision, signed by at least a majority of the members of the board of directors or trustees, and attested by the corporate secretary.

“Such decision must receive affirmative votes from stockholders representing a majority of the corporation’s outstanding capital stock or a majority of the members, in case of a non-stock corporation,” the company said.

The notice must be sent to the SEC Company Registration and Monitoring Department within two years from Feb. 23.

Companies that wish to have perpetual existence no longer have to send such notices to the commission.

The SEC is inviting the investing public to submit comments until April 5.

The Revised Corporation Code now allows one-person corporations (OPC), the use of remote communication in stockholder and board meetings, and the implementation of an electronic filing and monitoring system to improve the ease of doing business in the country, among others.

The previous corporation code under Batas Pambansa Blg. 68 required at least five stockholders to form a company. The SEC is also in the process of soliciting comments for its draft guidelines on OPCs. The proposed draft states that an OPC may only be formed by a natural person of legal age, a trust, or an estate.

For the electronic filing and monitoring system, the SEC is already operating a fully automated and online company registration system for pre-processing of corporations and partnerships and amendments of the articles of incorporation.

Tourism boom drives investments in Philippine hospitality sector

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Hilton Manila Madison
The Hilton Manila is one of the newest hotels in Metro Manila. -- HILTON MANILA
By Arra B. Francia Reporter

THE booming tourism industry in the Philippines is prompting more investments in the hospitality sector, with almost 9,000 rooms in hotels and serviced apartments seen to be completed until 2021.

This is according to real estate consultancy firm JLL Philippines, which noted that homegrown hotel developments such as Seda Hotels by the Ayala group and Hotel 101 by Hotel of Asia, Inc. drove the hotel industry last year.

Most of the hotels to completed in the next three years are located in Parañaque City, including Okada Manila (Phase 2), The Westin Hotel Manila Bayshore, Seda Bay Area, Kingsford Hotel, and Hotel Okura.

There are 2,100 rooms scheduled to be completed in Makati City, namely Aruga by Rockwell (Phase 3), Seda Circuit Makati, Seda Gateway Makati, Mandarin Oriental Manila, Somerset Valero, Somerset Salcedo, and Seda Ayala North Exchange.

A total of 1,600 are set to be finished in Taguig City: Seda Hotel BGC (expansion), Red Planet The Fort, Hotel 101 Fort, Dusit D2 The Fort, and Seda Arca South.

Meanwhile, Pasay City will see the opening of 1,200 rooms within the period, consisting of Ascott-DD Meridian Park, Kabayan Hotel, Hilton Manila City, Hotel Okura Manila, Ritz-Carlton, and Red Planet Entertainment City.

Quezon City will also complete about 1,000 rooms by then, namely Red Planet Quezon Avenue, Red Planet Quezon North Avenue, Canvas Hotel Activa, and Movenpick Hotel & Residences.

JLL Philippines said hotels in the Bay Area are expected to command the highest rates due to the presence of resort-casino complexes, which continue to attract tourists from South Korea and Mainland China. Central business districts are also seen to have high room rates.
The development of more hotels in the country comes alongside the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure, such as the proposed rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the expansion of Clark International Airport, as well as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 expansion.

The National Economic and Development Authority is also assessing the proposed New Manila International Airport in Bulakan, Bulacan.

“Apart from infrastructure, another major tourism endeavour is the continuous rehabilitation of Boracay and Manila Bay led by various national agencies working together to make sure that environmental compliance in tourism destinations all over the Philippines is maintained and monitored,” according to JLL Philippines.

Higher hospitality investments in the Philippines is in line with the growth in hotel transaction volumes in the region, with an estimated growth of 15% to $9.5 billion this year.

“Building on 2018, investment momentum is expected to accelerate as investors look to sell assets and ride the anticipated tourist boom. JLL expects that the most notable buyers in 2019 will be Pan-Asian private equity funds that raised capital last year but have yet to deploy it,” JLL Philippines said.

CALAEx Laguna Blvd-Mamplasan section to open by December

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CALAEx map
THE LAGUNA Boulevard to Mamplasan section of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAEx) can be opened by December, according to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark A. Villar.

“The original target is February, but we’re pushing for December,” Mr. Villar told reporters yesterday during a site inspection of the road project under a public-private partnership scheme.

Luigi L. Bautista, president of MPCALA Holdings, Inc., the private concessionaire for the project for a period of 35 years, also said that the original date for completion of that CALAEx section was February, but the government wants to expedite the construction.

The P35.43-billion project involves the construction of a 44.6-kilometer four-lane toll road between the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx)-Mamplasan interchange and the Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx).

The entire project is targeted for completion by 2020, but finished sections would be opened as they are accomplished.

The contractor is DMCI Construction.

Mr. Bautista said they will break ground on the Cavite segment in April. The company signed a contract with Leighton, a unit of Australian company CIMIC Group Ltd. for this.

MPCALA Holdings is part of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo

Megaworld increases capex for Maple Grove township in Cavite

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MEGAWORLD is building a P1.5-billion lifestyle mall within Maple Grove in General Trias, Cavite this year. — COMPANY HANDOUT
By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

TYCOON Andrew L. Tan’s Megaworld Corp. is hiking the capital spending for its 140-hectare Cavite township to P15 billion, as the company pursues more vertical projects to take advantage of strong demand in the area.

The listed property developer launched Maple Grove in General Trias, Cavite in 2017, initially allotting P10 billion for its development in the next 10 years.

“We earlier intended to have more horizontal projects in nature but we started to see demand to go vertical…so the reason why we have a heightened capex because we’re now rethinking our strategy. We are actually going for more vertical developments,” Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Andrew L. Tan said in a press brieifing in Pasay City on Wednesday.

Mr. Tan noted that they were able to sell out 363 commercial lots inside the Maple Grove Commercial District worth about P9 billion within six months after its launch in 2017. The lots range from 360 square meters (sq.m.) to 1,008 sq.m. in size.

Megaworld Vice-President for Sales & Marketing Mary Rachelle I. Peñaflorida said buyers include business owners who plan to build their own office buildings, hotels, or other commercial establishments.

“We also have a lot of Chinese investors and a group from Binondo as well, schools, office spaces. Like some companies that want to have their station in Calabarzon area. There’s also interest in malls, hospitals, furniture. There’s a company that wants to build a showroom for automobiles,” Ms. Peñaflorida said in the same briefing.

Mr. Tan said they will soon launch a new phase that covers commercial lots for sale, given continued strong demand for the product.

Aside from commercial lots, Megaworld also launched the 17-storey One Corporate Place which offers 93 office units for sale.

Meanwhile, Ms. Peñaflorida said that there has also been strong demand for residential projects coming from locals in Cavite, Metro Manila, and other areas from the south.

The company has so far launched Maple Grove’s first residential condominium called The Verdin, which offers 140 units and stands 10 storeys tall.

Mr. Tan said they will launch more residential and office projects depending on demand.

The first project to rise in the area will be a P1.5-billion lifestyle mall spanning 24,000 square meters across two floors. The mall will feature food and beverage outlets, four cinemas, an indoor events area, and a supermarket.

“We will complete the construction of the mall within two years alongside the land development, as we expect the Maple Grove community to grow fast in the next five years,” Mr. Tan said.

Maple Grove will also house a two-hectare tree park called the Rainwater Park, its own transport hub, chapel, a bike lane, and other recreational facilities. It will also highlight sustainable features by having a landscape drip irrigation system, pocket gardens, and vertical gardens in several buildings.

Shares in Megaworld dropped 0.54% or three centavos to close at P5.57 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday.

8990 to acquire majority stake in Cebu developer

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MASS HOUSING developer 8990 Holdings, Inc. said it has signed a deal to acquire a 72.83% stake in Genvi Development Corp., the company behind the integrated community Monterrazas de Cebu in Cebu City.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, the listed firm said its subsidiary 8990 Housing Development Corp. (8990 HDC) inked a subscription agreement for 2,913,128 common shares out of the existing but unissued capital of Genvi at P100 each or a total of P219.31 million.

Once the deal is completed, 8990 HDC will own around 72.83% of Genvi’s total issued and outstanding capital stock. The rest will remain with Genvi’s current shareholders.

“The subscription transaction is intended to be the first phase of the Genvi acquisition. 8990 HDC hopes to consolidate its ownership of Genvi by acquiring the remaining 27.17% of the resulting issued and outstanding capital stock of Genvi following completion of continuing discussions with the current shareholders of Genvi and confirmation of due diligence findings,” the company said.

8990 Holdings said the additional acquisition will be done through a separate deal between 8990 HDC and Genvi shareholders for around P800 million.

“The parties expect to complete such share purchase transactions sometime in the second quarter of the year. After the completion of the Genvi acquisition, 8990 HDC is expected to own 100% of the total issued and outstanding capital stock of Genvi,” the mass housing developer said.

Genvi is the developer of Monterrazas de Cebu, a 200-hectare integrated community with residential, commercial and institutional areas. The first phase of the project includes high-end residential project The Peaks.

“With the acquisition of Genvi, the development by the 8990 Group of upscale subdivisions and high-end residential communities will definitely continue. Furthermore, this firms up the intention of 8990 Holdings to expand into other real estate segments that have proven to have strong demand in the past years,” the company said.

Since its establishment, 8990 Holdings has specialized in housing projects for the affordable market. Its largest project to date, Urban Deca Homes Tondo, offers houses priced from P1.4 million to P2 million.

DMCI to launch 10 projects

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DMCI HOMES said Fairway Terraces, its residential condominium development in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, welcomed its first batch of residents in early February. — DMCI HOMES
DMCI HOMES is unveiling 10 new projects worth P104 billion this year, including developments in Davao City and Cebu.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, DMCI Holdings, Inc. said its property subsidiary is allocating P17.9 billion in capital expenditures (capex) to fund the new project launches. This is 23% higher than the P14.5 billion the company spent in 2018.

The capex will come from a mix of internally generated funds and bank borrowings.

One of the projects is Kalea Heights in Cebu, which DMCI Homes said is a new market for the company.

“We believe that the DMCI Homes brand can do well in the competitive Cebu market. There’s wider acceptance of condominium living in the area and our projects offer great value for money,” DMCI Homes President Alfredo R. Austria was quoted as saying.

For Quezon City, DMCI Homes will launch The Cresmont and Cameron Residences, while in Las Piñas City, Parama Residences and Sonora Residences will be introduced.

The company is also unveiling Sovanna Towers and Allegra Garden Place in Pasig City, The Camden Place in Manila, and Sage Residences in Mandaluyong City.

Outside Metro Manila, DMCI Homes said it will launch Belleza Towers in Davao City.

Earlier this month, DMCI Homes Project Development Manager April B. Bernal said the company is targeting to hit P38 billion in reservation sales for 2019.

Last year, the Consunji-led developer launched projects worth P28 billion.

DMCI Homes reported its net income rose 9% to P3.9 billion in 2018, due to a one-time gain from the sale of land in Quezon City worth P715 million. Without this, its core profit fell by 11% due to the higher cost of raw materials, as well as the adoption of a new accounting standard that changed the recording of broker’s commissions.

Since 1999, the company has been developing homes and resort-themed projects in the Philippines. It has launched 73 projects to date. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang

Amaia Land launches Imus town house project

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Amaia Series Vermosa

AMAIA LAND Corp. said it recently launched its first town house project in Imus, Cavite.

In a statement, the company said Amaia Series Vermosa is a 6.9-hectare development along Patindig Araw road in the vicinity of Ayala Land, Inc.’s 700-hectare master planned development Vermosa Estate.

“Located near Ayala Land’s fourth largest estate project, Amaia Series Vermosa brings Amaia’s trademark of superior quality, affordable homes to Caviteños,” Kristel T. Manalo, project development head for South Luzon of Amaia Land said in the statement.

There are two town house types available, both with three bedrooms, toilet and bath on the second floor and available provisions of toilet and bath on the ground floor, a kitchen, and a dining and living area. All units will have car ports.

Amaia Series Vermosa can be accessed from Makati City, Manila, Muntinlupa City, and Tagaytay City through roads such as Daang Hari, South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) through Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway, Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx), and the soon-to-be-completed Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAx). — Vincent Mariel P. Galang

DMCI’s Ivory Wood development completed

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DMCI Homes Ivory Wood

THE property unit of DMCI Holdings, Inc. said it has completed all seven buildings of the Ivory Wood development within the 150-hectare Acacia Estates township in Taguig City.

In a statement, DMCI Homes said construction of Abaca, the seventh building at Ivory Wood, was finished ahead of its November 2019 target. Turnover of units started this month.

The Ivory Wood development includes Anahaw, which was turned over to homeowners in January 2018. Turnover of Palmira was in April 2018; Lauan in July 2018; Kamia in October 2018; Flores in November 2018; and Adelfa in February 2019.

The seven buildings, which feature a Filipino-Spanish design, have a combined 965 units. Each building has six floors, plus one to two basement parking floors. Units range from two-bedroom or three-bedrooms.

Launched in 2015, Ivory Wood mainly targets young families and professionals by providing them a home near work. It also targets overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and investors who are looking for space to live in or a space to rent out or sell the unit to profit.

“With the completion of the 3.3-hectare development, residents can now enjoy a chic and classic metropolitan retreat with Ivory Wood’s wide array of resort-inspired amenities that include lush gardens, a grand clubhouse, picnic area, children’s playground, kiddie pool, lap pool, fitness gym, audio-visual room, jogging path and a basketball court,” the company said in a statement.

Acacia Estates Township is located near business districts namely Makati City and Bonifacio Global City.

DMCI Homes is the property unit of diversified engineering and construction conglomerate DMCI Holdings, Inc., which also has interests in general construction, coal and nickel mining, power generation, water concession, and manufacturing. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang

How banks can speed up processing of home loans

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By Vincent Mariel P. Galang Reporter

GRANTING home loans can be made easier, faster and more secure through digitization.

Praveen Kumar, general manager of ASG Technologies, said getting a loan in the Philippines would take a maximum of 30 days before the proceeds are disbursed, versus the regional average of seven to 20 days.

“Imagine that you are collecting documents, putting it in the system, putting it through individual paperwork, getting it signed. We noticed many banks in the Philippines, actually take 20 to 30 days to disburse a loan because of this process where they are actually physically sending documents, collecting it, etc.,” he told BusinessWorld.

Florida-based ASG has been operating in the Philippines for about 13 years by providing information management and information technology (IT) system management solutions.

In the Philippines, ASG counts seven of the 10 top banks as its clients. This is because of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) push for digitization, requiring all banks to submit their roadmap for digitization by April.

Mr. Kumar said the delays in loan processing are costing not just the bank, but also the customer.

“If I can disperse a loan quicker it gives more revenue to the bank, it also helps you buy the house quicker. It also helps the seller make money quicker, and all of this is going to help the economy go faster and bigger. This whole process of digitization will help the economy as much as it helps the bank,” he said.

Companies in the Philippines continue to lag in terms of digitization.

“The maturity levels of certain companies in the Philippines they are a little behind. However, the pace that they are transforming is very quick so they will actually catch up,” Mr. Kumar said.

“Secondly, it’s never wrong to be behind… at least we believe that when you’re behind you learn from the mistakes that others have done… Sometimes, it’s a bonus to be a little behind because you skip a complete generation of stuff which did not add value,” he added.
ASG has introduced the content services platform Mobius that does not only help streamline and speed up the process, but also add more security to personal information.

Through Mobius, documents are scanned and are stored on a platform which can be accessed by only those who are permitted to access it. Also, passing the document from one to another will not require repetitive scanning of a single document, which eats up internal space. Every modification done on a document will also be noted, allowing for transparency.

“Within the region… we have actually cut short this entire process to seven days,” Mr. Kumar said.

“Not only is the solution making sure that there is no tampering of data… but it also ensures privacy maintained within the system so that not everybody has access to everything that is stored in the bank,” he added.

DoubleDragon issued pre-selling license for Davao hotel

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DOUBLEDRAGON Properties Corp. said on Friday that its hotel subsidiary has obtained a pre-selling license for a project in Ecoland, Matina, Davao City.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, the company said its unit Hotel of Asia Inc.’s Hotel101-Davao will have 519 rooms, making it the biggest hotel in Mindanao.

It occupies 5,300 square meter site along Eco West Drive near SM City Davao.

Hotel101-Davao will have a convention center, business meeting facilities, infinity pool, fitness gym, an all-day dining restaurant and a commercial strip. It is now under construction and is set to be completed by the end of 2020.

“We envision Hotel101 to become the largest and most recognized hotel chain in the Philippines in service and value, while likewise significantly contributing to the recurring income of DoubleDragon, and at the same time providing the market with an investment backed by a condominium title,” DoubleDragon Chairman Edgar J. Sia II said in a statement.

He said the project is a prototype and has been well-received by the market.

He added that the company is ready to roll out the concept “in a big way across various strategic locations in prime tourist destinations and in major cities.”

This year, DoubleDragon is set to launch and start pre-selling four Hotel101s in Davao, Boracay, Bohol and Palawan. The unit inventory is valued at P12.21 billion, which the company targets to fully sell in the next two years.

Hotel101 is the flagship hotel brand of the listed company. It will make up majority of the 5,000 hotel rooms in its target portfolio by 2020.

Hotel101-Davao is the third such project to be launched by the company.

On Friday, DoubleDragon Properties fell 1.88% to close at P20.85. — Victor V. Saulon

SEC sets rules for forming one-person corporations

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THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released on Friday draft guidelines listing documentary requirements for putting up a one-person corporation (OPC) and providing how ordinary stock corporations can be converted into OPCs.

“The provision for a one person corporation should encourage the formation of more businesses in the country by making it easier for entrepreneurs to start a limited liability company,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said in a press release.

He said the guidelines would benefit an economy where micro, small and medium enterprises comprise more than 99% of business establishments and generate around 63% of jobs.

The SEC also requested interested parties to submit their comments on the draft Guidelines on the Establishment of a One Person Corporation (OPC) and Guidelines on the Conversion of an Ordinary Stock Corporations into a One Person Corporation (OPC).

The concept of a corporation with a single stockholder was introduced by Republic Act No. 11232, otherwise known as the Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines, which took effect on Feb. 23.

Section 10 of the revised code paves the way for the creation of an OPC by removing the minimum number of incorporators that may organize a corporation. It also defined an OPC in Chapter III.

The draft guidelines reiterate that only a natural person, trust or estate may form an OPC. But it clarifies the incorporator should be a natural person of legal age.

The SEC said the “trust” does not refer to a trust entity but a subject being managed by a trustee. If the single stockholder is a trustee, administrator, executor, guardian, conservator, custodian or other person exercising fiduciary duties, proof of authority to act on behalf of the trust or estate must be submitted at the time of incorporation.

The draft guidelines also clarifies that non-bank financial institutions may not incorporate as OPC aside from banks, quasi-banks, pre-need, trust and insurance companies, public and publicly listed companies, and non-chartered government-owned and/or -controlled corporations.

A foreign natural person may put up an OPC, subject to the applicable constitutional and statutory restrictions on foreign participation in certain investment areas or activities.

To incorporate, an OPC needs to submit only its Articles of Incorporation, which sets forth among others a primary purpose, principal office address, term of existence, names and details of the single stockholder, the nominee and alternate nominee, and the authorized, subscribed and paid-up capital.

When the single stockholder assumes the position of the treasurer, an OPC must post a surety bond, computed based on its authorized capital stock and subject to renewal every two years, or as may be required, upon review of its annual financial statements.
At the minimum, an OPC with authorized capital stock of up to P250,000 will have to give a bond of P250,000. The bond shall be equal to the authorized capital stock when the latter breaches P5 million.
On the conversion to an OPC, only a domestic stock corporation may do so and the single stockholder may apply after acquiring all the outstanding capital stock of the corporation.

The process is the same as amending Articles of Incorporation to include the suffix “OPC” in the corporation’s name and remove any suffix indicating an ordinary stock corporation such as “corporation” and “incorporation.”

The corporation must also amend its Articles of Incorporation to reduce the number of directors, name a nominee and alternate nominee, and amend or remove provisions distinctive to ordinary stock corporations, among others.

The SEC will require a secretary’s certificate that the single stockholder acquired all outstanding shares in the corporation and has decided to convert the corporation to OPC, and for that purpose, has decided to amend the incorporation papers, repeal the by-laws of the corporation and appoint a nominee and alternate nominee for the OPC.

The secretary’s certificate should also state that all taxes and obligations in favor of the government has been settled, and that the corporation or any of its stockholder, director, or officer is not involved in any intra-corporate dispute.

The commission will also require proof acquisition of all the outstanding shares, affidavit of acceptance by the nominee and alternate nominee, name reservation, monitoring clearance of the ordinary stock corporation, and undertaking to change corporate name by the single stockholder.

The conversion of an ordinary stock corporation into an OPC takes effect upon approval of the Amended Articles of Incorporation through the issuance of a Certificate of Filing of Conversion to One Person Corporation.

Upon approval of the conversion, the OPC will retain its SEC company registration number. It will also maintain legal responsibility for the ordinary stock corporation’s outstanding liabilities and obligations as of the date of approval of the conversion. — V. V. Saulon

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