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Sunday, August 31, 2014

SMDC turns over 2,500 units at Makati, Mandaluyong high-rise projects

Henry Sy-led SM Development Corp (SMDC) has delivered more than 2,500 units in two condominium projects in Makati and Mandaluyong.

In a statement, the residential arm of Henry Sy-led SM Prime Holdings Inc said it has turned over 1,077 units at Tower C, Jazz Residences in Makati; and 1,460 units at Tower 3 of Light Residences in Mandaluyong.

“We are pleased to welcome the new residents of Jazz Residences, and Light Residences. We remain committed to bring conveniences and synergies from our retail, banking and property businesses at their doorstep,” SMDC president Jeffrey Lim said.

Jazz Residences is a four-tower vertical village in Bel-Air Makati. It has its own mall offering commercial and food establishments, and an SM Hypermarket.

Located at the corner of EDSA and Madison Street, Light Residences is a three-tower residential project linked to the EDSA Boni MRT station.

Slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2014, Light Residences will also offer a mall at the first and second floors of the podium, featuring dining and entertainment areas. It will have three cinemas and a wide array of restaurants to choose from as well as a Savemore Market.

SMDC is slated to launch six towers consisting of 11,000 units by yearend, fuelling its sustained recovery.

The rebound of the residential business and the strength of mall operations drove SM Prime's profit, rising 12 percent year-on-year to P9.80 billion in the first half of the year.

- Interaksyon

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

PAL postpones stockholders meeting amid ownership dispute

The operator of Philippine Airlines (PAL) has postponed its shareholders' meeting, as the flag carrier's two key owners have yet to complete talks on how they will resolve ownership issues.

In a disclose to the Philippine Stock Exchange, PAL Holdings said its board approved last August 14 the postponement of its stockholders' meeting "in light of the ongoing discussions between the San Miguel Corp. Group and the Lucio Tan Group with respect to their indirect equity stakes in PAL Holdings, Inc, Philippine Airlines, Inc. and Air Philippines Corporation."

Under its the by-laws, the meeting should be held on the last working day of September.

Recently, San Miguel admitted that it was in discussions for either divesting from PAL or buying out Tan's group.

To recall, SMC, through wholly owned subsidiary San Miguel Equity Investments Inc, earlier entered into investment agreements with Trustmark Holdings Corp and Zuma Holdings and Management Corp, giving the food-and-beverage conglomerate a 49 percent stake in PAL and Air Philippines Express for $500 million.

The remaining 51 percent of PAL remains with Tan.

PAL Holdings reported a profit of P1.49 billion in the April to June period, reversing the P1.08 billion loss in the same three months of last year.

Second-quarter revenue shot up by 47.4 percent to P27.30 billion this year from P18.52 billion last year. Earlier, PAL president Ramon Ang said that the flag carrier likely turned in a profit starting April.

PAL carried 4.5 million passengers in the first six months of this year.

- Interaksyon

San Miguel, LT Group join 12 others in contest for Laguna Lakeshore PPP project

 The list of bidders for the Aquino administration's biggest public-private partnership (PPP) project to date is growing longer, with San Miguel Corp and the Lucio Tan Group tossing their hats in the ring.

PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao said 14 companies have purchased bid documents for the P122.8 billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP). The 14 firms are as follows:
Muhibbah Engineering Corp
GT Capital Holdings Inc
Ayala Land Inc
Egis Projects SA
Megaworld Corp
Metro Pacific Investments Corp
Minerales Industrias Corp
JV Power and Wealth Corp
LT Group, Inc
Laguna Lakeshore Consortium (Wenceslao Group)
Filinvest land
Macquarie Capital Securities
San Miguel Corp

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board recently cleared the LLEDP for bidding. The project aims to provide a high-standard highway that will speed up traffic between the southern part of Metro Manila and Laguna, as well as a dike that would mitigate flooding in the western coastal communities along Laguna Lake.

It also aims to create productive land and create opportunities for developing a new business and residential area on reclaimed land, to enhance regional and urban development. The project has the following components:

- Construction of a 47-kilometer flood control dike from Taguig to Los Banos, on top of which will be a 6-lane expressway, on an off-shore alignment 500 meters away from the western shoreline of Laguna Lake, including interchanges, bridges, floodgates, and pumps; and

- Reclamation of 700 hectares west of and abutting the expressway-dike, separated from the shoreline by a 100-150 meter channel in Taguig and Muntinlupa.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it would resort to a two-stage, two-envelope system for the open solicitation of bids under the Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT) Law.

According to this process, bidders are first pre-qualified based on minimum legal, technical and financial requirements set by the DPWH. Those bidders that prequalify would be permitted to submit their bids for the project.

The LLEDP is the fourth PPP project of the DPWH after the P34.5 billion Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX), the bidding for which Team Orion topped. Team Orion is a joint venture between the Ayala Group's AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp and Aboitiz Land Inc.

Other DPWH projects under PPP that had been awarded include the P15.5-billion NAIA Expressway and the P1.96-billion Daang Hari-SLEX Link.

- Interaksyon

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Jollibee says all Metro Manila branches to open on Sunday: #ChickenSadNoMore?

Jollibee Foods Corp. on Friday said all Metro Manila branches will be open by Sunday, as operations are returning to normal after a systems upgrade compelled at least 72 branches of the fastfood giant to close down while others continued to operate on limited menu.
The fastfood chain will have bestsellers Chickenjoy, JollySpaghetti and Yumburger back in stock and on the menu, but some outlets will still be offering a limited menu, the company said in a statement.
The JFC Group which owns Jollibee disclosed that it recently upgraded its computer systems last August 1, but was bogged down in the process by technical difficulties. As a result, there was a slowdown in deliveries of products from the Jollibee commissary to its outlets.
Jollibee vice president for Metro North Operations Jojo Subido said contingency measures were immediately implemented to resolve the problem. 
“Our team has been working round the clock to catch up and put to speed our commissary’s delivery schedule to enable all our stores to open by this weekend,” Subido said.
Jollibee has sufficient food supplies and raw materials in its centralized commissary in Laguna, contrary to previous reports of a possible shortage in the company's chicken supply.
Subido said the fastfood chain does not import chicken and other meat products from China, allaying fears that its problem was somehow tied to the recent food safety scare in China that impacted on the operations of Mcdonald's and KFC.
“Our chicken requirements are currently sourced from our accredited suppliers such as San Miguel Foods Corporation, Foster Foods Inc., and GAMA Foods Corporation which have all passed our strict quality standards,” Subido noted.
Social networking sites recently went abuzz after various Jollibee restaurants in Metro Manila were closed due to the lack of popular menu offerings, particularly ChickenJoy.

About 6 percent of Jollibee's nationwide sales were not served in the first week in August. Still, same store sales in the same period grew by 4 percent year-on-year.
In the first six months of 2014, revenues were up 14.8 percent to P43.702 billion from P38.068 billion in the same comparable period last year while system wide sales – which reflects sales from both company-owned and franchised restaurants – increased by 14.3 percent to P57.054 billion from P49.903 billion.
As of end-June, Jollibee was operating 2,244 stores in the Philippines and 589 stores overseas.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Metro Pacific to expand Makati Med

In a briefing on Tuesday, MPIC hospital group president and chief executive Augie Palisoc Jr. said Makati Medical Center has leased eight storeys of the NAC Centre, a building located across the hospital where it has transferred its administrative and management offices.

The move will free up space in the two main towers of Makati Medical Center, allowing the hospital to add about 50 beds and create more room for medical services, Palisoc added.

"Makati Med is starting to fill up... They have to really look at a more permanent option to expand," MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said, adding that the company is looking at acquiring a property near the vicinity to accommodate the expansion of the hospital.

The aggregate core net income off the hospital group rose 15 percent to P458 million in the first half on higher patient revenues, gains from completed capital expenditure programs and savings from synergy projects.

Also boosting earnings were the contributions of De Los Santos Medical Center (DLSMC), Central Luzon Doctors' Hospital (CLDH) and MegaClinic, which were invested in during the second half of 2013.

MPIC operates the largest private hospital group in the country, comprising eight full-service hospitals with approximately 2,150 beds.

These are the Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Asian Hospital & Medical Center and DLSMC in Metro Manila; CLDH in Tarlac; Riverside Medical Center in the Visays; and Davao Doctors Hospital in Mindanao.

MPIC also owns MegaClinic, its first mall-based diagnostic and ambulatory care center located in SM Megamall.

- Interaksyon

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Despite higher revenue, Purefoods' 1H net income drops

San Miguel Corp's food subsidiary reported lower earnings in the first six months of the year despite registering higher volumes and selling prices.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, San Miguel Pure Foods Co Inc. said it earned P1.7 billion in the January to June period, down 5.56 percent from the P1.8 billion reported in the same period last year.

Purefoods did not cite the reason for the lower net income since it has yet to submit its second quarter report to the PSE.

Operating income jumped 12 percent to P2.7 billion in the first half of the year from P2.4 billion a year ago on the strength of its poultry, meats, flour and dairy businesses, riding on better volumes, higher selling prices and improved efficiencies in hog-raising.

Consolidated revenues rose 4 percent to P49.2 billion in the six-month period from P47.08 billion in 2013.

Revenues from its feeds, poultry, meats and flour businesses climbed 7 percent on higher volumes due to strong retail outlet sales and increased demand for customized flour, premixes and specialty flours.

Meanwhile, its branded and higher value-added businesses expanded by 1 percent year-on-year in the first semester of 2014.

- Interaksyon

Monday, August 4, 2014

PH stock market touches 7,000-mark, as investors look forward to 2Q corporate results

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) flirted with the 7,000 level on Monday, as investors looked ahead to corporate earnings, encouraged by a resilient local market despite a string of overseas concerns.

At the Philippine Stock Exchange, the bellwether PSEi peaked at 7,005.71 before trimming its gain to settle at 6,998.37, higher by 104.14 points or 1.51 percent from last Friday's close.

All counters finished in the green, gaining at least 0.81 percent. The mining and oil sector jumped 2.37 percent and the property sub-index rallied to 2.16 percent to pace the market's gains.

Advancers dominated decliners, 122 to 55, while 46 issues were unchanged. Value turnover improved to P10.52 billion from P7.15 billion last Friday, as 2.305 billion shares changed hands.

Most actively traded stocks were PLDT, SM Investments, Alliance Global, Ayala Land and Bloomberry. Top gainers were Jolliville, iRipple and Manila Mining B, while the biggest losers were Primex, Seafront Resources and Atok-Big Wedge.

"As we consolidated in recent weeks, the Philippine market held resilient above 6,800 amid an eventful world stage which caused international market weakness. Investors were cautious coming into last week's rate hike and that helped most of the market price in the impending development,” said Gab Aguila, equity analyst at DA Market Securities Inc.

“Now, on the base of a resilient [support level] with the rate hike accounted for and with earnings releases so far positive, the market has regained its confidence," Aguila added.

Local share prices overcame the P1.85-billion net selling position of foreign funds against a backdrop of mixed Asian markets on geopolitical risks in Israel and Ukraine as well as soft economic data from the world's two largest economies.

"This is one of our better trading days so there's room for profit taking, but if you're a foreign fund, the Philippines is still more attractive compared to other markets," said Luis Limlingan, head of business development at Regina Capital Development Corp.

The US economy added 209,000 jobs last month, below expectations of 233,000, while the unemployment rate picked up to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent. Data over the weekend showed growth in China's services sector slowed to a six-month low in July.

Financial troubles in Portugal and Argentina and worries on how quickly the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates dragged US stocks last Friday, sending the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its worst weekly loss in more than two years last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 69.93 points, 0.43 percent, to close at 16,493.37, while the S&P 500 dipped 5.52 points, or 0.29 percent, to finish at 1,925.15.

- Interaksyon