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Megaworld earmarks P300B for land banking, projects

/ 05:05 AM June 22, 2019

Tycoon Andrew Tan-led property developer Megaworld Corp. has budgeted P300 billion in new capital outlays to scale up its nationwide township and lifestyle developments beginning next year until 2024.

The new capital expenditure program will fuel the company’s five-year pipeline of residential, office, commercial retail and hotel developments, alongside possible land acquisition opportunities.

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Megaworld will allocate 65 percent of the budget for residential developments and investment properties while the remaining 35 percent will be set aside for land acquisition and land banking.

“Megaworld has secured significant coverage of raw land in areas where we want to be in. Our focus now is on developing the land in order to sustain and further propel our strong earnings moving forward,” Megaworld chief strategy officer Kevin Tan told the press after the company’s stockholders meeting on Friday.

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For its previous five-year plan, Megaworld has allocated P285 billion for capital spending, most of which were utilized for property and township developments.

Tan said Megaworld was likewise moving to incorporate digital technology, enhance green spaces and infuse cultural offerings in its communities.

The group earlier spent P80 million for the Chinatown Museum in Manila and P120 million for Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art. “I think that would probably be the budget for the next two or three as well,” he said.

The P300-billion spending for the next five years reflects Megaworld’s bullish outlook on the Philippine economy. It will develop two to three new townships every year, most of which are likely to be situated outside Metro Manila.

Tan said Megaworld was also looking to open one major mall and two to three community malls per year. A major mall will have around 50,000 square meters of leasable space while community malls will have around 10,000 sqm.

On the hospitality space, the plan is to build 12,000 hotel rooms by 2020.

Megaworld also expects to see sustained demand for office space, particularly from business process outsourcing firms. About 14 percent of its portfolio is currently on lease to online gaming firms. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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