7 Metro Manila areas offer next wave of property development
By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star)
Updated January 1, 2016 - 12:00amhttp://www.philstar.com/business/2016/01/01/1538194/7-metro-manila-areas-offer-next-wave-property-development
MANILA, Philippines - Aside from the Makati business district and Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila will be heading into 2016 with seven more investment-worthy areas to further beef up the country’s real estate sector, local portal MyProperty.ph said.
In its latest report, MyProperty identified seven neighborhoods in Metro Manila which are just as promising in terms of offering real estate opportunities as the Makati business district and BGC.
These are Alabang in Muntinlupa, Bay City in Pasay, BF Homes in Parañaque, Kapitolyo in Pasig, New Manila in Quezon City, Poblacion in Makati and Sikatuna Village in Quezon City.
The property portal said Alabang is an ideal place for young professionals being close to offices located at Madrigal Business Park and Filinvest City, while up-and-coming townships such as Alabang West and South Park District would establish the area as a legitimate real estate hotspot.
Bay City is also expected to remain busy next year with SM Mall of Asia and continuous development of the Entertainment City which houses the City of Dreams Manila, Solaire Resort and Casino, and two more integrated resorts to open until 2018.
BF Homes and Sikatuna Village, meanwhile, had grown from being a largely residential area to thriving gastronomic hubs with different restaurants lined up along Aguirre Ave. and Maginhawa St., respectively.
Another investment-worthy area in Quezon City is New Manila which is perfect for families for its proximity to schools such as St. Joseph’s College, St. Paul University, and Xavier School, and shopping centers like Robinsons Magnolia and Greenhills Shopping Center.
The proximity of Kapitolyo to Ortigas Center, meanwhile, makes the area a magnet for both young professionals and starter families, MyProperty said.
After the Makati Business District, the property portal said Poblacion is the city’s most significant neighborhood, housing several commercial centers, various businesses, and government offices.
“The Philippine economy’s continued rise is apparent in the real estate front, notably as evidenced by the condo projects, commercial centers, and office buildings that are being built one after the other in the Metro Manila area,” MyProperty said.
“While the business center of Makati and the Bonifacio Global City will constantly remain hot commodities for both investors and end-users, there are a few areas within the metro that are looking just as promising,” it added.
MyProperty early last year was acquired by global property portal Lamudi, making the latter the biggest online property portal in the Philippines to date.
Zamboecozone OKs projects worth P9.7B
Philippine Daily Inquirer
02:14 AM January 4th, 2016http://business.inquirer.net/204923/zamboecozone-oks-projects-worth-p9-7b
THE VALUE of the investment commitments approved by the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority in 2015 surged to P9.7 billion from only P9.8 million a year ago due largely to a proposed 300-megawatt solar farm.
In an interview, Alfonso Basilio A. Marquez, head of corporate relations at the Zamboecozone, said the biggest investment pledge for 2015 was that of Ecoglobal Inc., a monocystalline solar power firm that had committed to invest P9.2 billion in the planned solar facility.
Zamboanga Coffee Co. is meanwhile pouring out some P420 million for a seed production center, nurseries, coffee mills, and plantations, while Phil Union Canning Co. (PUCCI), which is engaged in the manufacturing, processing, buying, selling and dealing in pasteurized crab meat, frozen crab meat and canned seafood products, is expected to invest P35.9 million.
Other approved investments were those of Seaoil Philippines; Development Bank of the Philippines; AHS Agri Aqua Ventures; Aces Technical Services Group; RPH Enterprises; Zamboanga Hemp Agro-Resources; and Ecosystem Technologies Inc.
“We are targeting 20 additional locators (at the Zamboecozone) for 2016. The agriculture sector will still be the (main) driver of growth for Zamboeocozone for the next few years,” Marquez said.
According to Marquez, the Zamboecozone offers opportunities for investors to set up their respective processing plants for Halal chicken, tea, fish, coffee, cassava, mango, and coconut water; plantations for coffee, cacao, rubber, abaca, and tomato; and production facilities for tomato paste and abaca.
Other locators that are being eyed were operators of fishponds, poultry and livestock, and piggery; companies wanting to set up warehousing and cold storage facilities; fish quality control laboratory; and business process and outsourcing (BPO), among others.
The Zamboecozone is also being eyed as a Halal hub, with the government already allocating some 100 hectares for the establishment of the halal processing zone.
“One of our missions is to bring the Halal Certifiers and establish a one-stop office inside the zone. We are also in close coordination with the Department of Science and Technology for the establishment of Halal Laboratory inside the zone. We also conducted a study visit to various Halal Parks in Malaysia,” Marquez added. Amy R. Remo
Gaisano property unit invests in Cebu waterfront project
By: Irene R. Sino Cruz
12:07 AM January 3rd, 2016http://business.inquirer.net/204906/gaisano-property-unit-invests-in-cebu-waterfront-project
CEBU CITY—An idle 20-hectare waterfront property at the reclamation area in Mandaue City will soon be transformed into a mixed use community aimed at becoming a lifestyle destination.
Mandani Bay will be a mostly residential project but with commercial and office components.
Project director Theodore Gilbert Ang said that on the property will rise 25 towers with podiums, a marina and a 450-meter long by 50-meter wide Green Strip, a park and playground area what will also serve as an activity area for special events like sports and concerts.
The towers will be built on top of the podiums but these will be set back so as to have a clear view of the skyline.
The presence of offices, around 10 percent of total buildings space, will support the commercial locators and make their businesses viable, Ang said.
Robert Wong, executive director of Hongkong Land, explained that the project was named Mandani Bay after Mandaue’s former name.
“[The name] is fitting for our project because it links Mandaue’s heritage with its bright future,” he said.
The Mandani Bay project will be implemented by HT Land, a joint venture between Hong Kong Land and Taft Properties.
“Hongkong Land and Taft Properties intend to transform this part of Mandaue into a modern, yet culturally sensitive lifestyle destination,” Wong said.
The Mandani Bay is the first real estate development in Cebu of Hongkong Land, a $30-billion business that was established in 1889.
“Hongkong Land has strong confidence in the future of Cebu and the Philippines and we believe this project will contribute positively to the city,” Wong said.
The company, a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, holds 40 percent of Northpine Land Inc., which has ongoing horizontal developments.
These include Greenwoods Village and Kohana Grove in Cavite, Forest Ridge in Antipolo City and Southampton in Laguna. Its partners include Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. and San Miguel Properties.
It also owns 40 percent of the Roxas Triangle Towers in Makati, in partnership with Ayala Land and the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
Jack Gaisano, chairman of Taft Properties, pointed at the unique design features, its strategic location and extensive water frontage as the key attractions of the project.
“The project will also be built around several distinctive characteristics aimed at creating an attractive community in line with international standards,” Gaisano said in a statement.
Taft Properties forms part of the Vicsal Development Corp., along with the Metro Gaisano group, Wealth Bank, Vicsal Investments and AB Capital.
The project, which will be implemented in eight phases, will have a total of 25 towers.
The first phase will include the construction of two tower buildings, a show gallery, a commercial strip, some office spaces and a park and playground, he said.
The two towers would cost around P4.5-billion and would have 27 and 25 floors, with a total of 1,200 residential condominium units. The construction of the show gallery, located at the property, is ongoing and will be completed by January 2016.
The commercial strip will be composed of 15-20 stand-alone structures of one or two stories. However, Ang said they could not give any budget for the commercial strip, which was still on the planning stage. After eight years, the company will tear down the commercial strip structures as soon as the podium would have enough retail locators to sustain the community, he said.
The first phase is expected to be completed in three and a half years while the target date of completion for the entire project is between 10 to 15 years, Ang said. The 450-meter-long Green Strip will be implemented per phase.
The commercial strip will be completed towards the end of the third quarter or early fourth quarter.
Ang said the plan was to begin the second phase of development after two years.
Xurpas eyes more acquisitions, regional expansion
By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star)
Updated January 4, 2016 - 12:00amhttp://www.philstar.com/business/2016/01/04/1538900/xurpas-eyes-more-acquisitions-regional-expansion
MANILA, Philippines - Xurpas Inc. is targeting to conquer Southeast Asia through more acquisitions possibly this year as it seeks to expand in the region, its top official said.
“Our goal really is to create, at minimum, a regional footprint,” said Xurpas chairman and CEO Nico Nolledo.
Nolledo said the company is eyeing to expand in Malaysia, Bangladesh and Indonesia and eventually to the rest of the region. “The objective is to be in as many markets in Southeast Asia as we can,” he said.
The Philippines, he added, is just one of the countries that Xurpas wants to operate in.
Nolledo said there are more than 600 telcos in the world. A big part of them are operating in emerging markets and some of them are in Southeast Asia.
“There aren’t too many players, it’s easier for us to build our presence that’s why we are in a rush. We don’t want to be a laggard where the competition will be very stiff already by the time we expand,” Nolledo said. “For you to become global, you need to fly,” he added.
Less than six months after its successful initial public offering in December 2014, Xurpas has acquired a number of companies.
These include a $500,000 convertible note investment in Einsights Pte, which comes with an option to receive interest income or convert the note into equity at a discount; a $76,136 investment in Xeleb Inc. which expands Xurpas’ product portfolio through celebrity branded games, content and services and a $1.4 million investment in Matchme Pte. Ltd, which enhances the company’s mobile game development capacities with MatchMe’s real-time, multiplayer online games tournament platform.
With its aggressive expansion mode, Xurpas is looking to tap the market again to raise funds, possibly through a follow-on offering.
“There’s nothing that we’re really planning for. If ever we raise capital, it will be because there is a very promising investment or acquisition,” Nolledo said.
Metro Retail starts expansion
By: Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
Philippine Daily Inquirer
02:00 AM January 2nd, 2016http://business.inquirer.net/204886/metro-retail-starts-expansion
Newly listed Visayan retailing giant Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) is riding on the buoyant consumer spending in the country by expanding its delivery fleet and distribution infrastructure.
“We aim to be a leader in retail supply chain management and meet our customers’ demand for world-class services,” MRSGI chair and chief executive officer Frank Gaisano said in a recent statement.
Gaisano recently led the turnover of 37 new delivery trucks from Isuzu Philippines Corp. and 30 new delivery trucks from Hino Philippines to MRSGI’s logistics facility in Silangan, Laguna.
In line with MRSGI’s objective to improve logistic capabilities, the company teamed up with Isuzu Philippines for the acquisition of 13 units of Isuzu FVM 10-wheeler trucks with aluminum wing van, 12 units of NKR71 with refrigerated van body and 12 units of NKR71 with aluminum body.
The company also teamed up with Hino Philippines for the acquisition of 16 units of SH1E tractor head and 14 units of WU342L 6-wheeler truck with aluminum van body.
The new fleet will be deployed to MRSGI’s 46-store network that serves over 250,000 customers daily, the company said.
To ensure timely delivery of goods and improve overall cost efficiency, MRSGI plans to equip all its in-house delivery trucks with tracking devices that will enable real-time monitoring from the company’s control center. “Employing the latest technology is a key innovation that will drive our business forward,” said Gaisano, highlighting the company’s commitment to continuously upgrade its infrastructure.
Alongside its investments in technology and equipment, MRSGI also plans to hire 130 personnel to join its team of engineers, mechanics, customer service representatives, traffic controllers, and cost and transport specialists who support the company’s growing logistics and supply chain network.
MRSGI has also committed to train its drivers on safety, driving efficiency, and customer service delivery in line with its thrust to provide friendly and responsive service to its customers. “We have a comprehensive approach to improving service delivery,” said Gaisano, who explained that “good customer service does not stop with store associates, but is reflected in every aspect of the company’s operations, including supply chain management and back-end services.”
Armed with fresh capital for expansion, MRSGI—which listed back in November—planned to open 50 to 70 new stores to double its nationwide retailing footprint in the next five years. The group currently has around 400,000 square meters of gross floor area across its 46 stores, making it the largest retailer in Visayas and the fourth largest nationwide.
Metro Pacific adds Manila Doctors to its growing hospital network
Philippine Daily Inquirer
01:46 AM December 30th, 2015http://business.inquirer.net/204796/metro-pacific-adds-manila-doctors-to-its-growing-hospital-network
The Metro Pacific group has sealed a deal to buy into the 300-bed Manila Doctors Hospital in Ermita, Manila, the 10th hospital in its growing healthcare portfolio.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) said its hospital unit had completed the acquisition of a 20-percent stake in Manila Medical Services Inc. (MMSI), owner of Manila Doctors Hospital, for P368 million.
Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. bought a total 388,932 common shares of stock, the disclosure read. The stake was purchased from Metrobank Foundation Inc., the controlling shareholder of MMSI.
Manila Doctors Hospital is currently a 300-bed tertiary hospital located in the city of Manila with annual revenues of about P2 billion. The hospital is constructing a new 18-story building that will house new doctors’ clinics, patient rooms, outpatient diagnostic services and additional parking facilities. The new tower is targeted for completion at end-2016, expanding the hospital’s capacity to around 500 beds.
“While we will try our best to contribute whatever we can to MMSI and Manila Doctors, we also look forward to learning from this esteemed medical institution,” Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings president and chief executive officer Augusto Palisoc Jr. said.
Palisoc is one of two directors from Metro Pacific who will be appointed to the MMSI board. The other representative is Jose Ma. Lim, president and chief executive officer of MPIC.
Metro Pacific also recently signed an investment agreement to acquire a 51-percent stake in Sacred Heart Hospital of Malolos (SHHM) in Bulacan. Including SHHM, all 11 hospitals under its network have a capacity of 2,700 beds.
Other hospitals under the Metro Pacific group include five in Metro Manila: Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Asian Hospital and De Los Santos Medical Center. Four others are in the provinces: Davao Doctors Hospital, Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod, Central Luzon Doctors Hospital in Tarlac and West Metro Medical Center in Zamboanga. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
PTT expansion shifts to rollout of small stations
By Danessa O. Rivera (The Philippine Star)
Updated January 1, 2016 - 12:00amhttp://www.philstar.com/business/2016/01/01/1538193/ptt-expansion-shifts-rollout-small-stations
MANILA, Philippines - PTT Philippines Corp., the local unit of Thailand’s largest petroleum company, will push through with the rollout of smaller stations as part of its aggressive expansion in the country.
Announced in May, the original plan was to introduce a couple of compact stations in Luzon to penetrate smaller communities.
However, plans for the compact stations were revised and were green-lit for rollout this year, PTT marketing director Thitiroj Rergsumran said.
The revision mainly involved the costing of the stations.
“When we tested the market, we found something to correct. We sent back the comments back to PTT Bangkok and made the correction. We just got approval earlier this month so we can kick off next year,” Rergsumran said.
The mini stations will range between 800 to 1,000 square meters to meet the head office’s standards for fire safety and fuel tanks, PTT Philippines president and CEO Sukanya Seriyothin noted.
This compares with the 1,200 to 1,800 sqm. land area of a regular station. The company also has a 2,000 sqm. property in Pampanga, its biggest station.
Seriyothin noted a regular station will take three months to build while a compact station can be constructed in only 15 to 20 days.
Putting up compact stations will depend on the location, like cities with small roads and communities.
“Later on, we will have in some areas compact stations. But we will still go with the big station (for our expansion),” Seriyothin said.
For 2016, PTT Philippines will open 15 new stations across the country, which does not include the compact stations.
Rergsumran noted investment for the compact stations will be through dealership.
“We will go to dealer-owned stations to help the dealer save on costs, and then operate the station eventually,” he said.