NEWS

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Cebu Holdings on the lookout for new ventures

Wednesday April 27, 2016

Cebu City—Ayala-led Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI) intends to continue on its high growth path until 2020, by further diversifying its existing business estates while pursuing expansion plans and looking out for new properties and ventures. In a recent report to stockholders, CHI president Aniceto V. Bisnar Jr. said the company ended 2015 with a 56-percent increase in net income to P827 million, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent in the last five years. Its subsidiary Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC) posted an all-time high net income of P497 million and a five-year compound annual growth rate of 27 percent. For the next five years, Bisnar said the company had earmarked more than P13 billion for identified projects in Metro Cebu and committed to follow an investment plan aligned with the growth targets of parent firm Ayala Land Inc. The amount includes P5.8 billion that has been set aside for capital expenditures this year, more than double the P2.7 billion spent last year. The bulk will go into the development of more retail and office spaces to “increase [our] recurring income portfolio to enable the company to withstand changing market conditions.” “This does not include yet the future projects that we may come into within that five-year period,” Bisnar told reporters after the stockholders’ meeting. The company is always on the lookout for new properties and possible ventures, including those in partnership with other companies, added CHI chief finance officer Enrique B. Manuel Jr. Bisnar said the Philippine economy was also seen to continue its high-growth trajectory. But he said it was important that whoever wins in the May 9 presidential elections would “continue supporting development of the country, especially in the countryside.” “We plan to continue our investments in regional development to help achieve inclusive growth,” he said. Expansion plans include three new mixed-use developments within Metro Cebu as well as more residential units and new retail and office spaces to boost leasing income. CHI will launch this year a 17-hectare city center project in partnership with subsidiary CPVDC and AboitizLand, Inc. The company is also completing the masterplan for a 13-hectare property on Mactan Island, which is envisioned to be a resort development that will further boost Cebu’s tourism industry. This would be undertaken in partnership with the Gaisano-owned Taft Property Ventures and Development Corp. Bisnar said CHI ws also completing, together with parent Ayala Land, Inc. as well as SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the masterplan for a 26-hectare lot at the South Road Properties (SRP) in southern Cebu City that they won in a bidding in June last year. Bisnar, who is also CPVDC president, said the Mandaue project was a major milestone for CPVDC as it was the company’s first venture outside Cebu City. “More than ever, the time is ripe for us to recalibrate our strategies for greater growth, increase our portfolio, and realize much higher values from our initial investments,” Bisnar said during the separate CPVDC stockholders’ meeting. The Mandaue project is envisioned to host another regional mall and residential condominium units, among others. At the SRP, three of the 26 hectares will be set aside for an arena that will be constructed by SM. The balance of 23 hectares will be split evenly between SM and the Ayala-CHI Group. “This is our first venture in the southern part of Cebu City, as we strive to expand urban development to new areas in the province. We are currently in the stage of jointly masterplanning this development,” Bisnar told stockholders. Chief finance officer Manuel later told reporters that about P1 billion had been set aside for the land development of the property from 2016 to 2018, with CHI and Ayala Land each allotting P500 million. Meanwhile, CHI will continue the buildup at Cebu Business Park, a 50-hectare former golf course that CHI transformed into Cebu’s financial and business district, and Cebu IT Park, a 27-hectare cyberpark developed by CPVDC. It now hosts about 70 percent of Cebu’s information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) locators. CHI ended 2015 with an all-time-high revenue of P3.7 billion, 63 percent higher than in 2014, while CPVDC more than doubled its revenues to P1.3 billion. Revenues were largely derived from commercial lot and residential condominium sales as well as retail and office leasing income. (INQUIRER)  

3-day bonsai exhibit

Wednesday April 27, 2016

The dramatic appearance of the tree, which is traditionally styled to mimic nature’s beauty, makes a bonsai a fascinating piece of art. Bonsai is a Japanese art form where plants are grown in containers to create miniature trees. The art form began centuries ago and has since gained the interest of enthusiasts as a means of self-expression. On April 29 to May 1, Ayala Center Cebu, in partnership with the Cebu Bonsai Society, brings a bonsai exhibit and workshop at the Activity Center. Complete with a diverse display of majestic bonsai trees and natural stones, the three-day event will start with an opening ceremony at 4 p.m. on Friday. From April 30 to May 1, whole-day workshops to be facilitated by award-winning bonsai artist Romy Dino will cover all the basics in maintaining the tree-from the selection of a good plant, to its repotting and proper maintenance. Established as a club in 1977, the Cebu Bonsai Society is the oldest bonsai club in the Philippines. Ayala Center Cebu marks this first partnership with the organization through this exhibit. For more information, contact the Ayala Concierge hotline at 231-5342 to 44 local 324 or 266-2535. (SUN.STAR CEBU)  

ACC revenue growth up 17 percent in 2015

Monday April 25, 2016

Amid the tight competition in the shopping mall business in Cebu, Ayala Center Cebu still eked out a 17 percent revenue growth from P1 billion in 2014 to P1.2  billion last year. This is a clear manifestation of Cebu's brisk retail landscape, as Ayala Center continues to be the premier shopping mall facility in Cebu. "Despite increased competition, average daily foot traffic increased by 12 percent to 121,000 people per day largely due to the opening of major lifestyle brands such as H&M, Pull and Bear, and [expanded] Rustan’s," reported Cebu Holdings Inc., president Aniceto V. Bisnar Jr., in his report to stakeholders. The destination mall is currently 96 percent leased out with 94 percent occupancy. Aside from the opening of the bigger Rustan’s Department Store, H&M, Pull and Bear, other lifestyle brands that opened last year include, Bershka, Pacsports, and the re-opening of a larger Marks & Spencer outlet. The company further reported that the Cinema 5 incident, has not affect the mall's performance. In fact, it employed much pro-active approach in its security and safety department. On June 15, 2015, the acoustic board ceiling of Cinema 5 collapsed during a private screening event. The joint investigation indicated a loose sprinkler pipe joint which caused the discharge of a significant amount of water, resulting in the collapse of the ceiling board. The mall management, working with its consultants and contractors embarked on a complete renovation of the cinema, "to ensure the safety of our customers and prevent recurrence of the incident."(FREEMAN)  

Malls’ poll precincts to serve P13T voters

Friday April 22, 2016

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday announced that there are about 13,215 voters who will benefit from the special polling precincts that they will set up in malls during the May 9 elections. Comelec 7 Director Jose Nick Mendros said that the polling places will be at the malls of Ayala Business Park, Robinson’s Galeria, Gaisano in Talisay City, Gaisano in Mandaue City and City Mall in Consolacion. Those who can vote in these special polling places are voters who are registered in the precincts nearest to the malls. Mendros said that the voters are safer inside the malls because of the presence of security personnel and closed-circuit television cameras. Speaking during the Kapihan sa PIA (Philippine Information Agency), Mendros said on reports gathered on the filed there are 22 barangays in the Provinces of Cebu and Bohol that have no power connections, which may affect the elections on May 9. Of the 22 barangays, eight barangays are in Cebu, particularly in Daanbantayan and Bantayan, and 14 in the towns of President Garcia, Ubay and Tubigon in Bohol. Mendros, on the other hand, said that the May 9 elections is the concern of all Filipinos and all government agencies and not only of the poll body. Mendros said that this is the reason why the Comelec en banc passed Resolution 10067, which amended Resolution 10023, to involve of various government agencies in the conduct of elections. The agencies specified in Resolution 10067 are the Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, Department of National Defense, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies. The Comelec ordered these agencies to assist, and to deputize certain departments under the executive branch, government-owned and controlled corporation in securing the national transmission infrastructure and facilities to ensure reliability of power in connection with the May 9 national and local elections. The resolution, which was promulgated last March 1, 2016, was signed by Chairman Andres Bautista and Commissioners Christian Robert Lim, Al Parreno, Luie Tito Guia, Rowena Guanzon and Sheriff Abas. In deputizing these agencies, the Comelec ordered them to provide sufficient personnel to secure the nationwide transmission lines, substations and other power facilities. The agencies are also ordered to provide information to cause the prosecution of any person or offender for any election-related offense especially those who disrupt or obstruct the election process. (SUN.STAR CEBU)  

Even with polls, CHI stays optimistic

Wednesday April 20, 2016

Property developer Cebu Holdings, Inc. and its parent company Ayala Land Inc. is bullish on the country's economy "regardless of who wins the presidency." CHI president Aniceto V. Bisnar said the property conglomerate "will continue with its investments regardless of who wins the presidency." "We're confident our economy will grow on a higher track and can be insulated from politics," Bisnar told reporters at the end of the stockholders' meeting Monday at the City Sports Club-Cebu. CHI reported a 63 percent increase in revenues in 2015 or P3.7 billion from P2.3 billion in 2014. It remains bullish of the country's economy and the region as it plans to invest P25 billion in the next five years starting in 2015. Bisnar said revenues generated from the business process outsourcing (BPO) and remittances from the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will continue to be prime movers of the economy. "The Philippines is really on a high growth projection and we intend to continue with our planned expenditures that will align with our 2020 growth projection," he said. The Ayala-CHI official also said it is important that whoever is elected "will be able to continue to support development of the country and continue investing in regional economic development." He added that economic growth should be inclusive and cted as an example its thrust in investing, not just in Cebu City, but even its outlying areas. CHI has ventured in investing outside Cebu City like the 17-hectare city center project in Subangdaku, Mandaue City; the 13-hectare property masterplan with the Aboitiz Group in Mactan Island; and the comprehensive development plan at the South Road Properties in partnership with SM Prime Holdings. Bisnar also cited Ayala-CHI's real property development that caters to various market segments "from high to low end" providing more choices. (VLA/Sunnex)  

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