GSIS to sell Port Area property
The state-run pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is selling a prime property within the Port Area in Manila for a minimum of P20 billion in what will be its biggest asset sale to date.
According to the GSIS, the largest of its idle assets up for disposition was composed of two lots with land areas of 672,645 square meters and 109,212 sqm.
These lots were nearby the Manila North Harbor’s Pier Two as well as Negros Navigation’s ferry terminal in Tondo, Manila, according to the GSIS.
“Although it tops our big-ticket assets, we are selling the Port Area property as it does not contribute to our operations except for valuation gains. And we expect to fetch a good price as it is situated in the Manila Bay area where properties have enjoyed 10-15 percent appraisal gains over the last five years,” GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint O. Aranas said.
Aranas expressed confidence that the auction will be a success, noting that “the Port of Manila Bay serves as the largest and the premier international shipping gateway to the country, which spells economic growth.”
The last time that the GSIS was able to successfully sell properties was in 2014, during which two prime lots in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) were bid out.
The GSIS sold to Goldenwill Inc. the 1,600-square meter Fort Bonifacio “7-3” lot located at 25th Street corner 6th Avenue for P732 million, 41-percent higher than the minimum bid price of P520 million or P325,000 per square meter.
Also sold by the GSIS was the adjacent “7-4” lot, for which Focus Palantir Inc. had submitted a top offer of P800 million or P500,000 per square meter for the also 1,600-square meter property located at the corner of 25th Street and 7th Avenue.
Aranas earlier told the Inquirer that the GSIS was looking at short-term leases for most of its assets, including the Coconut Palace, to take advantage of higher property valuation in the future.
According to Aranas, up to three interested parties had expressed interest in the prime Coconut Palace property, although the pension fund’s board has yet to discuss a timetable for its disposition.
Last year, the GSIS invited local and foreign real estate developers, institutional developers as well as hotel industry players to bid for 25-year lease as well as development of the three-hectare Coconut Palace located within the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex in Pasay City near Manila Bay.
The Coconut Palace used to host the Office of the Vice President, but Vice President Leni Robredo had instead opted to hold office in the Quezon City property previously dubbed as the “Boracay Mansion,” which former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada supposedly owned.
For most other assets, the GSIS was instead looking at short-term leases, as such were “more practical,” according to Aranas.
The GSIS nonetheless will likely keep a prime property in BGC “because the revaluation increment is very high already,” Aranas had said.
The pension fund still has an 8,000-square meter property in BGC, but officials had said that they plan to “sit on it for a while” as land rates continue to shoot up in the fast-rising business and commercial hub. /je
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