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Ayala-led CHI intensifies efforts against climate change

Monday July 15, 2019

Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI), a subsidiary of Ayala Land, intensifies its efforts to help environmental protection by enhancing the carbon forest in the upland barangays of Cebu City. With the growing threat of climate change as now experienced through extreme weather conditions, scarcity of potable water, and poor food production, among many effects, it is imperative that steps be taken to address this global concern. As a property developer, CHI strives to minimize its impacts on the environment by managing resource use and emissions, solid waste and wastewater management, and integrating green spaces within its developments. One of CHI’s most significant environmental initiatives is the management of the 65-hectare Ayala Land Carbon Forest and Biodiversity Reserve, which is part of Central Cebu Protected Landscape. This property is one of Ayala Land’s five participating carbon forest sites in the country, with a total of 450 hectares.  This project is in line with Ayala Land’s aggressive target to offset the carbon emissions of its commercial properties by 2022. Since 1998, this area in upland Cebu City has been preserved as a forest initially through the Ayala Foundation, Inc. and CHI and Ayala Land’s tree planting activities. CHI has made an inventory of over 3,000 mature trees of 67 different species, and more than 8,000 young trees in the carbon forest. Another 23,212 wildlings have been staked for brushing and ring weeding. “As a developer, we see the importance of investing time and resources to help conserve and protect the environment – especially of the communities where we operate,” Jun Bisnar, president of CHI and CEO of Ayala Land Vismin said. Among the activities the company has conducted in partnership with Soil and Water Conservation Foundation (SWCF) are assisted natural regeneration (ANR), enrichment planting, grass growth suppression, planting of bamboo as bio fence and soil erosion control, and community awareness training on carbon forest management. “Part of the carbon sink area focus will be to bring many other native species that can be found so eventually a large arboretum can be developed both for observation of specimen trees as well as potential seed sources in the future,” explained William Granert, executive director of SWCF. Since 2018, 4,998 new trees of 45 different species have been planted so far by CHI and Ayala employees and other civic and private volunteers. The 65-hectare area today absorbs an equivalent of 16,763 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The continuous tree-planting program seeks to address the shortage of water in Cebu by encouraging rainfall retention and absorption for acquifers underneath the ground. “Covering the property with forest will assist in the generation of water for the Kotkot River and will improve the local biodiversity while helping to neutralize the carbon footprint of Ayala Land through carbon sequestration,” Granert added. The Ayala Land Carbon Forest and Biodiversity Reserve is open to institutional partnerships for environmental education. It is the closest place to see the ANR and rainforestation technologies as well as observe Dipterocarp trees (commonly called Lawaan species). A watershed tour stop at the Ayala Land Carbon Forest and Biodiversity Reserve will further allow visitors to learn more about carbon sinks and how they can help address climate change at the local level. Part of the property outside of the carbon forest also serves as a stop for those traversing the Transcentral Highway. Called Upland Greens, fresh produce and local delicacies are sold here by locals. CHI, being a subsidiary of Ayala Land, has been measuring its resource use and greenhouse gas emissions, among other environmental, social and governance metrics.  This project will serve as a contribution to parent company’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2022. “The carbon sink reserve should serve as a model to other private land owners on how to restore selected parts of their lands to strengthen the balance between forest and non-forest use,” Granert said. As Cebu’s largest full-line property developer, believes that there should be a fundamental shift in business towards more sustainable practices. Having subscribed to the Global Reporting Initiative for the last seven years, measuring, managing and reporting topics that are material to the economic, environmental and social aspects of its operations, the company believes that this shift is not only doable – it presents a strong business case as well. CHI at 30: Inspire. Innovate. Integrate. Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI), an Ayala Land subsidiary, celebrates thirty years of inspiring, innovating and integrating with the communities where it operates. CHI is the developer of Cebu Business Park, Cebu I.T. Park, and Ayala Center Cebu. The company is also currently developing two new estates – Gatewalk Central in Mandaue City and Seagrove in Lapu-Lapu City.

Mall, tower to open this year

Tuesday April 16, 2019

CENTRAL Bloc, the new mixed-use development within Cebu IT Park, is on track to open this year, an official of listed company Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) said. CHI president Aniceto Bisnar Jr. said they are scheduled to open the mall and the first of two office towers of Central Bloc by the fourth quarter of 2019 while another 214-room Seda Hotel will open in early 2020. The Central Bloc development, according to Bisnar, will have 45,000 square meters (sq.m) of retail gross leasable area (GLA) and an office GLA of 72,000 sq.m. Meanwhile, land development in Seagrove in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City is also on schedule, where the country’s first Holiday Inn Resorts will start operating by 2023. According to Bisnar, the retail boardwalk is currently under construction. He said once this 13-hectare estate is fully operational, it is projected to create 13,000 new jobs that will contribute significantly to Lapu-Lapu City’s growth. Bisnar said they have completed the land development of the 17.5 hectare Gatewalk Central project in Mandaue City, where another regional Ayala Mall is set to open by 2021. “As of 2018, we had over 257,000 sq.m of GLA, with another 285,000 sq.m now in construction,” said the CHI official. Once developments open in Central Bloc this year, Seagrove in 2020 and Gatewalk Central in 2021, CHI’s leasing portfolio will double to almost 530,000 sq.m. “These developments, we hope, will demonstrate our commitment to help spread growth to more parts of Metro Cebu, and make a better quality of life available to our fellow citizens,” Bisnar said. CHI is allotting P4.2 billion in capital expenditures this year to finance existing projects. This figure, according to Bisnar, is the same as last year. The Ayala-led company is also growing its footprint in the condominium space in Cebu. CHI launched the fourth tower of the Solinea development in Cebu Business Park and the South Tower of Amaia Steps in Mandaue City last year. It also launched The Flats, a dormitory space located in both Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park. Bisnar said in a few years, these will provide 852 rooms where workers in both estates can live more comfortably and within walking distance of their workplaces. CHI chairperson Anna Ma. Margarita Dy said that while the company is going strong in expanding its leasing investments, they will continue to cement their position in all the businesses they are involved with. CHI celebrated its 30th year in the business last year. Right after the annual stockholders’ meeting, the company also launched on Monday, April 15, a book that chronicles CHI’s journey in Cebu. “The book we are launching is both a record and a reckoning—it embodies a sincere effort to understand what we did right and what we could have done better. It also presents the challenge of understanding what we can still do better in our endeavors, both present and future,” said Bisnar. “To say that the last 30 years have been dramatic for the property sector is an understatement. These years, after all, included a global real estate boom that started at the dawn of a new century. But these years also saw the collapse of real estate values in many countries a mere decade ago. How Cebu Holdings responded to these developments is reflected in this book as well, as a way of showing how changes in the global and national economies transform the life of a city,” he added. (SUN STAR CEBU)

Cebu Holdings posts record net income

Monday April 15, 2019

Cebu Holdings Inc. registered a net income of P857 million, company president Aniceto Bisnar Jr. said during the stockholders’ meeting held on Monday, April 15. “This is 14 percent higher than our income from the previous year and is the highest it has ever been in our company history,” Bisnar said. He added that Cebu Holdings revenues reached P3.7 billion in 2018, 20 percent higher than the P3.1 billion revenues in 2017. The company’s total assets also increased to P26.3 billion, which is 18 percent higher than that of 2017. According to Bisnar, leasing income remains ‘the most robust source of revenues for CHI. “In 2018, the leasing activity contributed 59 percent or P2.2 billion to Cebu Holdings’ total revenue”, he reported. Despite the Metro Gaisano fire in January 2018, Bisnar noted that foot traffic in Ayala Center Cebu remained ‘robust,’ with a daily average of 97,000 persons who visited the mall last year. The company’s office leasing business also performed well, he said. “All four eBloc towers in Cebu I.T. Park, and Ayala Center Cebu Tower and Tech Tower in Cebu Business Park are fully leased out,” Bisnar said. On the other hand, the commercial lots in Seagrove, residential lots in Amara and the residential condominiums in Cebu Business Park contributed 22 percent or P800.9 million to the company’s 2018 total income. (INQUIRER)  

Leasing business remains robust for Ayala Center

Monday April 15, 2019

Despite the fire that hit the Metro Department Store and Supermarket in early 2018, the leasing business remained robust for Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI). CHI president Aniceto Bisnar Jr. said the leasing business of the company in 2018 provided 59 percent or P2.2 billion of the company’s total revenue. “Our mall business continued to be the major contributor of our leasing revenue, which also continued to show steady growth, reflecting the upbeat trend in retail, which was boosted by the continued upswing of tourist arrivals and spending,” said Ma. Luisa Chiong, the company’s chief finance officer. Foot traffic in Ayala Center Cebu, according to Bisnar remained high. He said that on average, around 97,000 persons visited the Ayala Center Cebu every day last year. Ayala Center Cebu’s revenue in 2018 stood at P1.494 billion in 2018, from P1.495 billion in 2017. According to Bisnar, the mall’s leasing performance last year was hardly affected, as it was offset by the high sales generated by other store tenants. “Sales of some restaurants were affected, but sales of some shops went up. The department store demand went to other stores,” said Bisnar, in an interview at the sidelines of CHI’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Monday, April 15.. He identified Rustan’s as one of those anchor tenants that was able to rake in a high sales performance during the incident. Bisnar said it captured the shoppers who were looking for groceries and other items that are bought on a regular basis. A fire hit the Metro department store on Jan. 5, 2018. It paralyzed Ayala Center Cebu’s operations for 12 days. Bisnar said they had to provide temporary spaces for Metro Gaisano to sell its supermarket and department store items. Three months after the incident, the Metro Supermarket found a temporary space inside the mall. In December of the same year, the supermarket re-opened its doors to shoppers. According to Bisnar, the Metro Retail Sales Group Inc. is now working to re-erect its shopping building. “As much as possible, they’d like to complete (the rebuilding) of the department store by next year. They have started construction and are doing it during the times when the supermarket is closed because they are (constructing) on top,” said Bisnar. Ayala Center Cebu expanded its roster of shops and restaurants with new additions such as Tavolata and Sole Academy. The mall is also home to the largest The Athlete’s Foot store in Southeast Asia after its expansion last year. The mall also welcomed the Japanese brand, Uniqlo, which is the biggest store in the Visayas. At present, 52 percent of the mall’s merchant mix is composed of Philippine brands, while 31 percent are foreign brands and 18 percent are local homegrown brands. Office leasing also remained high. Bisnar said all four eBloc towers in Cebu IT Park, and the Ayala Center Cebu Tower and Tech Tower in Cebu Business Park are fully leased out. CHI said total gross leasable office space reached 128,119 square meters, making CHI dominate the Cebu market at 14 percent market share. The sale of commercial lots in Seagrove, residential lots in Amara, and residential condominiums in the Cebu Business Park contributed 22 percent or P800.9 million of their total income in 2018, Bisnar said. CHI ended 2018 with a record net income of P857 million. “This is 14 percent higher than our income from the previous year and is the highest it has ever been in our company’s history,” Bisnar said. CHI’s revenues for 2018 stood at P3.7 billion, 20 percent from P3.1 billion revenues in 2017. Its total assets grew to P26.3 billion, up by 18 percent more than in 2017. CHI now owns five estates—Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park in Cebu City, Seagrove in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City, Gatewalk Central in Mandaue City and the upcoming South Road Properties project. (SUN STAR CEBU)

CHI marks 25th year in the PSE

Wednesday February 27, 2019

Ayala-led Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI) commemorated its silver year in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) last February 26. The property firm debuted on the stock market on February 14, 1994. The recognition is also in time with the company’s 30th anniversary of incorporation this year. CHI is a full-line real estate company engaged in sustainable property development, marketing and management. It is the developer of Cebu’s premier investment hubs – the Cebu Business Park and Cebu I.T. Park. “We started operations in Cebu three decades ago with a vision to maximize the potential of Cebu. We believed that there was an opportunity to bring in large-scale developments, attract more investors, and with it, higher value jobs and services,” CHI president Jun Bisnar said in his message. “Today, our pioneer developments — Cebu Business Park and Cebu I.T. Park – have evolved into successful integrated business districts that transformed Cebu’s skyline and provided much needed business platforms for 1,300 businesses/entrepreneurs and employment opportunities to over 94,000 workers,” he added. In his welcome remarks during the bell ringing event, PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Monzon said, "The company’s productive history easily mirrors the progress of Cebu City. The tourism and economic growth experienced by the city created demand for residential, office, and commercial developments. This demand was readily met by CHI with projects such as the Cebu Business Park, Cebu I.T. Park, Ayala Center Cebu City, City Sports Club Cebu, just to name a few." Among CHI’s current projects is Central Bloc – a stacked 2.2 hectare development that will consist of office, retail, and hotel components, all in the center of Cebu IT Park. With the regional mall scheduled to open later this year, the development is envisioned to create an even better work and lifestyle experience for the city’s young business professionals. To contribute to spreading development outside the city center, CHI is also currently constructing two new estates — Gatewalk Central in Mandaue City, and Seagrove in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan. With the current projects in the pipeline, CHI is expected to double its leasing portfolio to over 500,000 square meters of gross leasable area in the next three years. “Our standing in the stock exchange drives us not only to expand our portfolio for our stockholders, but also to operate along best practices of good governance and sustainability. Thus, we are greatly honored that the PSE has recognized CHI’s performance with this silver year milestone,” Bisnar said.

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