Phinma group beefing up investments in core businessesBy Bruce Rodriguez, Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Phinma group plans to scale up investments in power generation, education, housing and hospitality industries in the next few years to take advantage of opportunities offered by local demographics and favorable environment.
Top Phinma officials said in a briefing after the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Monday that the group would participate in P33 billion worth of power projects.
Within the next three years, the group also expects to spend about P5.7 billion to develop new housing projects; P300 million to P350 million to expand its no-frills hotel chain under the Microtel brand; and grow the roofing/steel business despite competition from cheap imports.
Also, the group is in talks to acquire five educational institutions within the P80 million to P120 million valuation range per school.
Within the next five years, power will likely be the single largest investment of Phinma, said TranAsia Oil & Energy Development Corp. president Francisco Viray.
On oil and gas exploration, Viray said the group was bidding for a service contract in an area in southwest Palawan which, he said, was far from the area affected by a territorial dispute with China.
TranAsia is expected to contribute at least P5 billion in equity to participate in the P33 billion worth of power projects lined up for the next five years.
These projects are expected to boost the firm’s generating capacity to as much 687 megawatts (MW). These are:
•The second phase of the ongoing 135-megawatt coal-fired power project in Batangas which is a partnership with the Ayala Group’s AC Energy Holdings.
•Second phase of the 20-MW Maibarara geothermal facility on Mt. Makiling.
•A proposed 135-megawatt coal project in North Mindanao.
“There’s a need for power that will supply the current shortages, as well as the future growth of demand in Mindanao,” Viray said.
In education, Phinma Education Network chief Chito Salazar said the group was in talks with five institutions for potential acquisition. In terms of capacity, the goal is to grow the business by 12 percent from a 28,000-student population at present. The group also plans to establish Maritime education institutions by buying new schools in Pangasinan, Cagayan de Oro and Cabanatuan, adding to the existing roster of four campuses.
For housing, about 2,250 units are expected to be completed this year or about double the 1,100 units done last year, said Willy Uy, president of Phinma Properties. There are four to five projects planned for completion this year excluding the socialized projects with local government units. Underway are the ASiA Enclaves Alabang in Pasig and another one close the Sucat area.
The 5.7-billion investment will translate to a production of about 6,562 new residential units for the next three years.
For the Microtel business, two full franchise hotels are set to be completed this year.
Demetrio Lucila, chief finance officer of Microtel Inns and Suites Pilipinas Inc., said these two properties were in Libis, Quezon City, and General Santos City and would have 84 and 66 rooms, respectively. These were developed by other groups but managed by Microtel.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=59629