San Miguel taps 2 foreign financial advisers for Bulacan airport project
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) announced that it had tapped foreign financial advisers for its planned P735-billion offer to build a new international airport in Bulakan, Bulacan province.
SMC said in a statement that it hired Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) as
cofinancial advisers for the airport project dubbed the New Manila International Airport.
The proposal is being positioned as an alternative to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which suffers from worsening congestion and where long-term expansion options are limited.
The announcement comes as SMC starts discussions with the government to clarify remaining issues before a concession agreement is finalized and approved.
These are requirements before a Swiss challenge process, a type of bidding that allows rival groups to submit offers, can proceed.
SMC, whose airport proposal calls for the construction of a new air gateway with four to six parallel runways and a capacity of up to 100 million passengers annually, said its partnership with the financial institutions “is seen as a key step forward to making the New Manila International Airport a reality.”
“They are both leading advisers in the infrastructure and airports sector and will be able to bring their expertise and experience to assist SMC throughout the process, with the ultimate goal of the successful delivery and closing of this landmark project for the Philippines,” it added.
The development appears designed to help ease concerns over SMC’s ability to implement the massive project. This is also in light of the government’s policy that no guarantees or subsidies will be extended to the private sector for unsolicited offers. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS
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