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Gatchalian, Ayalas in talks on Cavite housing venture

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GATCHALIAN-LED Philippine Estates Corp. (PHES) is pursuing plans for a residential development in Cavite in partnership with the Ayala group, one of the country’s top property developers.

In a disclosure, PHES on Friday said its board approved the creation of a joint venture with Amaia Land Corp., the Ayala group’s mid- to low-cost housing unit.

“The board of directors … authorized the development through joint venture of the company’s real estate property located in Cavite into a residential and/or subdivision project,” the company said. The firm’s president, Elvira Tan, was also authorized to negotiate and finalize the terms of the joint venture and sign and execute the corresponding agreement with Amaia Land, PHES told the local bourse.

Other details of the potential deal were not disclosed.

PHES of the Gatchalian group developed Pearl of the Orient Tower in Manila, MetroTech Industrial Park and Pacific Grand Residences, both in Valenzuela City, and Pacific Grand Villas and Pacific Grand Townhomes in Cebu.

The Ayala group earlier won the contract to undertake the  P2-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway link project, the first public-private partnership (PPP) project to be successfully bid out by the Aquino administration. The contract was awarded in December 2011, but work has yet to start due to unresolved issues.

Amaia’s parent Ayala Land Inc. and PHES were earlier reported to be in talks on a similar property development in Valenzuela City to unlock the area’s perceived potential for growth.

Valenzuela is an industrial city and serves as the northern gateway to Metro Manila, having two major highways traversing through it—the MacArthur Highway and the North Luzon Expressway.

In 2011, the World Bank and its investment arm, International Finance Corp., ranked Valenzuela City among the “Most Business Friendly” cities in the Philippines. It was 4th highest in the “ease of starting a business” and first in the “ease of registering property” category.

PHES shares shed 2.5 percent to close at 78 centavos on Friday despite the main index closing at a fresh record high.


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