The Government Service Insurance System is pushing ahead with the sale this month of six properties in Manila, Mandaluyong and Quezon City, but is holding on to real estate assets in Makati, Pasig and Taguig.
Robert G. Vergara, GSIS president and general manager, told reporters the six assets would be sold outright because it was “at the moment the only mode we have of realizing value for these properties.”
“I like the idea of getting paid cash for our assets and just invest the cash in something else,” Vergara said.
Among the six slated for auction, the biggest, in terms of value, is the so-called jai-alai property.
At 6,470 square meters and located in the “highly viable commercial area along Taft Avenue in Ermita, Manila,” the jai-alai property has a price tag of at least P455.4 million.
Also to be auctioned off is the 821-sq m LAO property in Manila along Mabini, near the United States Embassy. This has a tag price of at least P62.4 million.
The others are what the GSIS calls CUL Transit properties A and B—both along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and measuring 1,024 sq m and 1,052 sq m, respectively.
For these, minimum bids are set at P30.7 million and P31.6 million, respectively.
Also to be sold are what the GSIS calls Polymedic Apartments 1 and 2, respectively, along Edsa and Cordillera Street in Mandaluyong City.
Each has a two-story residential building and the lots measure 495 sq m and 300 sq m, respectively. The pension fund wants to sell them for at least P24.8 million and P7.8 million.
Submission of bids was set for Feb. 28. Vergara said proceeds from the sale would go to the general pool of funds for investment, of which the GSIS has P685 billion as of end-2012.
“We would address the issue of how to invest that (proceeds) in the context of market conditions and based on the results of a study we will make on how do we deploy the surplus cash that we’re still generating,” he said.
“If these sales will fail, I think we can pursue the redevelopment of our properties because we have cash,” he added.
The GSIS chief said that aside from outright sale, the agency was also looking at the possibility of engaging with property developers on joint venture arrangements on the redevelopment of some of the properties.
“That’s appealing because of the recurring income stream that we’ll be able to generate if we develop these properties as rental properties,” he explained.
Vergara reiterated that the GSIS was at the moment holding on to big-ticket properties in Makati, Pasig and Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, with hopes that prices would further go up.