Cash-rich SM group eyes more China deals, still keen on Ortigas
MANILA, Philippines - With its cash pile of about P40 billion (est. US$1-billion), the holding firm of the country's richest family is keen on investment opportunities, including 5 land deals in China and the interrupted venture with the owner of one of the biggest landbanks in the metro.
On Monday, July 16, key officials of SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), the holding firm of retail tycoon Henry Sy, cited the newly raised P15 billion from the issuance of 7- to 10-year fixed rate bonds that was added to the group's war chest.
“We’re very liquid. We have P40 billion plus in cash. Aside from that, we still have an untapped credit line,” SMIC chief finance officer Jose T. Sio told reporters.
The group conducts fund-raising activities to take advantage of the country's bright economic prospects following the country's credit rating upgrades, as well as refinance existing obligations and fund new investments.
Sio said the group's units, SM Prime and SM Development Corp, are in talks with counterparts in China for the purchase of various tracts of land.
“The property we’re acquiring should be good for the next 3 to 4 years,” SMIC chief finance officer Jose T. Sio told reporters, complementing SM Prime chief financial officer Jeffrey Lim's earlier announcement that they are looking at China to support aggressive expansion in the world’s second biggest economy.
China is the group’s second biggest market next to the Philippines.
Sio also reiterated the Sy groups continuing interest to acquire a significant stake in the private holding firm of the Ortigas family that owns the 16-hectare Greenhills shopping complex.
A deal with OCLP Holdings was put on hold after a member of the Ortigas family entered into an P11-billion strategic alliance with property giant Ayala Land Inc., putting on hold the SM group's plans to capture the lion’s share of the retail market in the fast-growing Ortigas-Pasig-Mandaluyong area. - Rappler.com
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