November 25, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

ALI to develop estates in Cavite, Davao

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) is unveiling three estates this year to support the property giant’s growth momentum, company executives said on Wednesday.


Anna Ma. Margarita B. Dy, head of ALI’s strategic landbank management group, said in a briefing on Wednesday the real estate arm of the Ayala group is launching the 250-hectare (ha) Evo City in Kawit, Cavite; 25-ha Azuela Cove in Davao, and a 35-ha estate along the C-5 corridor in Quezon City and Pasig this year. The total capital expenditure budget for these projects has yet to be finalized.

Evo City will allow Ayala Land to take advantage of the upcoming infrastructure projects in the area such as the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, Cavitex C-5 South Link, and the Light Rail Transit 1 extension project.

Azuela Cove, a joint venture between the Alcantara Group, is touted as Davao’s prime waterside lifestyle, business and residential district, while the project in C-5 will be developed in partnership with LT Group, Inc.

“With each estate, we open opportunities for growth and a better quality of life,” ALI Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said during the company’s stockholders’ meeting in Makati City on Wednesday.

Ayala Land has an expansive footprint, with 20 estates, a land bank of 9,852 hectares and presence in 55 growth centers across the country.

This year, ALI is jacking up launches to P117 billion, including P100 billion worth of residential projects, underscoring its optimism on the real estate market’s prospects. The firm rolled out P87 billion worth of developments in 2015.

“As the property market continues to maintain a generally robust outlook, with stable interest rates, steady flow of OFW remittances, a thriving BPO sector, and a growing tourism sector, we look forward to introducing new projects in 2017 to support our growth targets and sustain our contributions to the local economy,” ALI President and CEO Bernard Vincent O. Dy said, noting that the company is on track to reach its long-term growth target.

Under its 2020 Vision, Ayala Land is targeting a 20% annual growth rate to hit a net income of P40 billion.

For its international business, Ayala Land is scouting for investment opportunities in Indonesia and is open to raising its 32.95% stake in Malaysian firm MCT Bhd. “at some future time,” Ms. Dy said.

The company likewise met with “a few” Chinese firms interested in developing large-scale, mixed-use communities, Mr. Dy said, but preliminary talks have not progressed.

“One challenge for investors coming in is to assemble necessary amount of land if you’re doing something with scale,” he said.

NEW CFO
Meanwhile, ALI Chief Finance Officer Jaime E. Ysmael is stepping down from his position to take on a full-time role as chairman and president of property developer Ortigas and Co., where the listed real estate giant has a 21% interest. ALI Treasurer Augusto D. Bengzon will assume the role of CFO for the listed company.

Mr. Ysmael will lead the development of Ortigas’ key assets in Metro Manila, namely the Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, the 10-ha Capitol Commons in Pasig City, the 18.5-ha Frontera Verde in Pasig City and the 12-ha Circulo Verde.

“We will fund internally to the extent that we can. If and when necessary, we can go to our shareholders,” Mr. Ysmael said.

Ayala Land and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. decided to jointly manage and develop the Ortigas family’s property company in November 2014 after a legal row that lasted two years.

Shares in Ayala Land fell 30 centavos or 0.85% to close at P35 apiece, mirroring the 0.87% decline in the bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi).