BIZ BUZZ: Crisis averted . . . for now | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Crisis averted . . . for now

/ 02:08 AM November 09, 2022

The recent shock announcement—albeit an unofficial one—that newly appointed Manila International Airport Authority general manager Cesar Chiong would be replaced has been rescinded by Malacañang, according to Biz Buzz sources.

That’s a positive development for Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, who plucked the executive out of his high paying job in San Miguel Corp. to run and reform the country’s premier aviation gateway. That means that, despite the pushback from entrenched interests, Chiong will be able to continue with his planned reforms and improvements.


This resolution happened after Bautista went to President Marcos to clear up the issue that had shocked many who felt the rug was being pulled from under the Transportation chief’s feet with the planned replacement.

Biz Buzz also hears that, as a win-win solution, Jose Arturo Tugade, who was supposedly set to replace Chiong, would be named to another yet undisclosed post within the Transportation department.


For now, it’s an all’s-well-that-ends-well situation for everyone at the department. But for how long? Abangan!

—Daxim L. Lucas

Supersized REIT

The biggest real estate investment trust (REIT) is coming to town, hopefully by 2023. We’re talking, of course, about property giant’s SM Prime Holdings’ much-awaited foray, which could be the first REIT to breach $1 billion in terms of offering size. This is more than double the size of the biggest local REIT initial public offering to date.

The equity deal is yet to be finalized—anyway, who’s in a hurry to come to market with this kind of market?—but based on indications given to investors during recent nondeal road shows, at least a dozen to as many as 15 shopping malls (out of SM Prime’s 80 in the Philippines) will be included in the REIT, whose total valuation will be between $3 billion and $4 billion.

This REIT is largely a macroeconomic reopening play, an affirmation that the stringent lockdowns are behind us.

The large offering size means that it will be pitched largely to international investors. We heard that the SM group is in discussions with Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and UBS to prepare for the massive REIT offering.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

SPNEC now SP New Energy Corp.

It’s goodbye to Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp. (SPNEC), but hello to SP New Energy Corp.

The ambitious renewable energy company founded by Leandro Leviste saw it fit to change the name to reflect the expansion of its portfolio. The new name has been reflected on the systems of the Philippine Stock Exchange starting Nov. 8.


The company said the change in name “reflects the company’s expansion from a single project in Nueva Ecija, to a portfolio of projects, in support of its goal of completing the development of 10 gigawatts of power by 2025.”

Recently, SPNEC incorporated Terra Nueva, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary to hold developments funded by its recent stock rights offer (SRO). SPNEC’s SRO prospectus noted that proceeds would be used for project development, including the acquisition of land in Nueva Ecija and Bulacan.

As provided in its prospectus, SPNEC would maximize the use of the land and this could involve being utilized by projects that SPNEC would own shares in as part of its asset-for-share swap.

One of these projects is Terra Solar Philippines Inc., a joint venture project of Solar Philippines that signed a power supply agreement with Meralco last month where Terra Solar would supply 850 megawatts of power for around 12 hours per day from planned solar and battery projects.

“We have been working to use the SRO proceeds to create value from the development of our projects. We plan to give an update on the progress as we reach the two-month mark since our SRO,” Leviste said.

—Tina Arceo-Dumlao INQ
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TAGS: Biz Buzz, Manila International Airport Authority, REIT
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