Primary Homes raffles off house and lot to brokers

CEBU, Philippines – Primary Homes, Inc. (PHI) is known in Cebu as a reliable developer of residentialprojects, but to its accredited brokers and agents it is also the most generous developer.

During its annual Grand Partner’s Night, PHI raffled off a house and lot to one lucky and deserving broker or agent. From 2008 to 2011, PHI has already given away 4 houses from its own developments to Jo Jamero of LINC Realty (2008), Joann Perez-Mosote of Polaris Realty & Development (2009), Gilda Villaceran of Land Asia Realty (2010), and Germaine Ouano of Asset Investments (2011).

Jamero and Ouano were quite surprised when it was announced that they had won the grand prize since both of them never believed in luck and raffles. Ouano really felt that luck was on her side that night since she has never won anything in her life until the 2011 Partner’s Night, while Jamero was quite out of it that the emcee had to call his name thrice to get him up the stage.

On the other hand, both Perez-Mosote and Villaceran were very grateful to God for such a blessing. Perez-Mosote, who had already won minor prizes from PHI in the years before, was still quite stunned that she literally fell to the floor when her name was called. Villaceran said that she felt good to be recognized for her hard work and considers the house and lot as the best recognition.

Aside from PHI’s generosity, all four of them truly believe in the quality and reliability of a Primary Homes development. They all emphasized on the importance of selling real estate from a trusted and reliable developer. Jamero believes that “you should benchmark yourself (in this industry) and what you sell is a reflection of who you are.” He also adds that a reliable developer is good business since it makes you want to sell the product.

Villaceran and Ouano both agree that a reliable developer delivers on the promise and it won’t be a problem promising the best investment to your client. “You won’t be embarrassed to present PHI developments to your clients because you’re sure of its quality,” Ouano added.

Perez-Mosote considers PHI as the best developer because it recognizes their efforts and is quite generous to their sales partners.

Primary Homes will continue to take care of their accredited brokers and agents who the company considers as their partners and the driving force of the company’s sales. As long as these brokers and agents perform their best, PHI will continue to offer generous incentives to those who deserve it. The next Grand Partner’s Night will be held on November 2012. (FREEMAN)

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Vista Land is the Philippines’ largest homebuilder

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Manuel B. Villar-led Vista Land & Lifescapes is the Philippines’ largest homebuilder, this was confirmed by a market report prepared by Colliers International Philippines Inc.

“Based on a market scan of various vertical and horizontal residential projects in the Philippines developed by 14 major players in the real estate industry, Vista Land has captured 22 percent of the over 80,000 units of reservation sales in 2011 with the middle-income as their primary market,” Colliers said in a report dated March 2012.

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According to the said report, “The advantage of Vista Land is that they have a good track record in developing livable communities in the country even before the other players came in.”

Vista Land has condominium and subdivision projects in over 50 cities and municipalities. With this wide coverage, the company is the largest homebuilder in the country.

Company president and chief executive officer Manuel Paolo Villar stated that the company expects continued strong performance in 2012. “We are projecting around 20 percent revenue and earnings growth for 2012 which should result in another record year for our company,” Villar said.

“Demand for housing in the Philippines continues to be very strong so we are expecting robust growth in reservation sales given our planned project launches countrywide,” he added. Vista Land’s planned capital expenditure outlay is projected to exceed P15 billion for 2012.

Vista Land is the holding company of five business units, namely, Brittany, Crown Asia, Camella Homes, Communities Philippines and Vista Residences.

The company generated P13.5 billion in revenues and P3.5 billion in net income in 2011. Its consolidated assets totalled P67.6 billion compared to P60.5 billion in 2010. The company has also recently successfully raised P4.5 billion pesos through the issuance of unsecured domestic corporate notes.

Vista Land is recognized for its themed and masterplanned communities that offer quality housing across all market segments.

Its stock (ticker:VLL), which is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, has increased about 50 percent since the beginning of the year.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 11, 2012

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Aboitiz sets expansion plans

By Katlene O. Cacho
Monday, May 21, 2012

AMID economic challenges in the international and domestic fronts that caused a decline in revenues in 2011, Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) will embark on various expansion programs to facilitate growth in all of its businesses this year.

During the stockholders’ meeting yesterday at the Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu, AEV president and chief executive officer Erramon Aboitiz said growth of the company will come from new greenfield and brownfield projects of its core business, AboitizPower (AP), as well as strong expansion from its banking business. Greenfield projects involve building new facilities while brownfield projects are those that need rehabilitation of existing facilities.

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Aboitiz said the company will pour in P170 billion in investments in the next three to five years for their power generation business. Some P35 billion worth of projects are set aside for Mindanao.

Power capacity

According to Aboitiz, the company is looking at putting up 354 megawatts (MW) in new power capacity by 2015 to help address the critical power shortage in the region. The new capacity will come from a 300 MW clean coal facility of Therma South and 54 MW from run-of-river hydro plants of Hedcor.

AP will also add 1,000 MW of capacity to the Luzon grid with the company’s partnership with the Meralco group, Taiwan Cogeneration Corp. and Team Energy Philippines Corp.
The company has yet to disclose additional capacity in the Visayas grid, saying the
region has a fair amount of capacity for the next four to five years.

Aboitiz added AEV will continue to participate in the bidding for the remaining assets of the National Power Corp. when that resumes this year.

“We are interested in bidding for hydro assets,” Aboitiz said during the press conference. “We will also keep a watchful eye for acquisition opportunities in both the generation and distribution sectors,” he said.

AEV’s consolidated revenue was close to P72 billion last year, a slight decline from 2010’s P75 billion in revenues.

AEV is the publicly-listed holding company of the Aboitiz Group. Its consolidated net income in 2011 was at P21.2 billion compared to P21.9 billion in 2010.

AboitizPower’s net income stood at P16.5 billion, while Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and City Savings Bank (CitySavings) posted P3.4 billion and Pilmico Foods Corp. at P1.2 billion.

According to the company, lower net generation, soft spot market prices and increased coal costs brought on lower margins of their power generation business. Its food business was likewise affected by the increased input costs last year.

However, Aboitiz said, the slight decline was offset by the strong growth of its banking business. Aboitiz said UnionBank will continue to strengthen its customer franchise through enhanced retail focus and stronger sales management approach. The bank will also pursue investments in technology and rationalize branch network expansion in strategic areas to maximize growth channels for deposits and loan accounts. UnionBank currently has 190 branches.

Meanwhile, CitySavings will expand this year as it intends to become the preferred lending institution of the public school teachers across the country. According to Aboitiz, CitySavings will open six more branches in Luzon this year, in addition to its existing 34 branches.

Investments

“We are looking at P10 million to P15 million investments per branch,” Aboitiz said, adding that they will open five to six branches every year.

For its food business, Aboitiz said Pilmico is already planning for a third feedmill in support of the growth of the feeds business. The company will also increase the percentage of owned farms to grow the sow and swine inventory.

“We are looking at an investment of P4 billion to P5 billion in the next few years to grow the food business unit of the company,” he said.

AEV reported a net income of P5.9 billion in the first quarter this year, 27 percent higher over the same period last year. The power business contributed P4.3 billion, the banking group at P1.3 billion while the food group contributed P219 million.

The company meanwhile expressed interest to participate in the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) programs. “We haven’t made a decision yet but we will look into it. We are interested in infrastructure projects such as airport and water-projects,” Aboitiz said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 22, 2012.

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Ayala group to build P4B project

By Katlene O. Cacho

Sunday, May 20, 2012

AYALA Land Inc. (ALI) and affiliate Cebu Property Ventures Development Corp. (CPVDC) have earmarked P4 billion for the five-tower condominium development spread in the next four to five years at the Cebu IT Park.

A top official said the expansion of the Avida brand in Cebu was buoyed by the success of its first condominium project, Avida Towers Cebu, which has 1,045 units and was launched in 2010.

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“We had brisk sales for Avida Towers Cebu, prompting us to boost expansion with this new project, Avida Towers Riala,” said Avida Land Corp. president Christopher Maglanoc in a press briefing last Friday.

Biggest

Officials said Avida Riala, which sits on a 21,000-square meter property, will be the biggest residential development yet at the Cebu IT Park. It is located right across eBlock Tower 1, which is the home building of the American firm JPMorgan & Chase Co.
The five-tower condominium development will have a total of 3,300 units.

According to Maglanoc, the shift to a bigger residential community is due to the increasing demand for condominium properties in the area, which has a rapidly growing outsourcing sector.

Last Friday, Avida formally launched the first tower of Avida Riala, which has 621 units and 27 residential floors.

Maglanoc said the estimated project cost of Tower 1 is P800 million. It is targeted to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

Seventy percent of Tower 1 are studio units at 23 sq. m; 20 percent are one-bedroom
units at 41 sq. m and the remaining ones are two bedroom units at 57 sq. m, with prices ranging from P1.8 million to P5.5 million.

Avida Riala project is a mixed-used development that is done in partnership with the landowners, VH Properties.

On top of the residential amenities, the company will also add shopping and dining outlets to the property and a 5,000-square meter amenity area that includes a grand lawn, lounge pool, shooting court and jogging trail.

Live, work, play

Maglanoc is confident Avida Riala would also get a similar reception as that of Avida Towers Cebu. He said Cebu has evolved into a cosmopolitan city.

“The acceptance (of the Cebu market) is already there. Given this, national players like ALI are coming here to offer condo products that are affordable to the middle-income market,” he said.

Maglanoc identified tourism, business process outsourcing and overseas remittances as key drivers that propelled the strong growth of the real estate sector, in addition to the low interest rates offered by banks.

According to CPVDC, the establishment of Avida Riala is part of its live, work and play concept. The project will complement eBloc 2 and 3 and other office buildings for the work component built within the Cebu IT Park.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 21, 2012.

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Cebuana brings bar business back home

By Katlene O. Cacho

Saturday, May 19, 2012

AUSTRALIA-based Cebuana entrepreneur Nadith Veloso hopes to build three more coffee shop outlets in Cebu in three years’ time. She also intends to open another outlet in Sydney.

Veloso recently opened her first coffee shop outlet, Brewmance Café Bar, in the Skyrise 1 at Cebu IT Park. This shop offers coffee, burgers, tea, continental meals at prices that Veloso describes as “competitive”.

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Brewmance was Veloso’s first business in the Philippines. She also manages two other outlets located in Brisbane and Melbourne. She spent P2 million for the establishment of Brewmance here.

“What really prompted me to expand the business here is my family. I have been staying in Australia for 28 years and what I think is a good payback to my country and to my family is this business,” Veloso said, adding that she will have her family manage the business.

Opportunities around BPO sector

Brewmance currently has 20 employees.

When asked how she would position her coffee shop given the presence of other coffee shop players in Cebu, Veloso said: “This will be exciting considering that we will be offering something new and fresh for Cebu.”

Apart from the usual coffee shop ambiance, Veloso also thought of converting the place into a hangout during the night with its acoustic band.

This way, she said, the shop would cater to those customers who just want to relax and unwind after the workday. Veloso also pointed out that the shop’s location is a big advantage, considering the number of BPO locators at the IT Park.

Retail businesses, such as food, coffee, and clothing among others, are likely to remain strong with the growth of the BPO industry in the country.

Real estate advisor CB Richard Ellis Philippines (CBRE) said that retail firms should take the BPO boom in Cebu as a “cue to expand their businesses and partake of the growth opportunity.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 19, 2012.

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Tech investments sought

By Katlene O. Cacho

Saturday, May 19, 2012

THE Philippines needs to invest heavily on developing technology, following the models of such countries as India, Korea, Japan and the United States, among others, a prominent engineer and entrepreneur said.

Philippine Development Corp. (PhilDev) Chairman Diosdado Banatao, in a recent interview, pointed out that India, instead of being hobbled by its large population, used its human capital to build a strong capability in software development.

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Cebu, he said, ought to push for more training so it could build a “technology-based ecosystem” that can create new applications or solutions to solve problems.

This way, he said, the country can slowly transform from a buyer into a major player in the global market.

“We are limited in our own markets. But, we have the ability to be part of the global market because we have way more people than Japan and Korea,” said Banatao, the managing partner of Tallwood Ventures.

He pointed out that what made countries like Korea, Japan, US, Germany and France succeed is that they have built a strong capability and produced technologies that were embedded into their products.

“Imagine that 90 percent of the value goes back to the product creator, and if this is ploughed back to its local economy through investments on research and development to create more products, this alone will have a huge impact on the lives of the people as well as the economy in general,” Banatao explained.

High risk, high reward

Eric Manlunas, co-founder and managing partner of Siemer Ventures, advised companies to invest on early-stage firms given the high liquidity in the market today.

“We need to promote angel investing here, for our start-ups to take off,” he said.

Banatao added investors should start looking at technology development as an investment, aside from pouring all their money into real estate and shopping among others, to build a community of venture capitalists (VCs).

However, he admitted that some investors in the Philippines fear the fact that success rate among VC-supported ventures is low.

“This involves huge risks, but high returns. But VCs should be there to lead and mentor start-ups,” said Banatao.

Aside from the lack of financial capital to build a community of VCs, the other challenges include a shortage of experienced technology entrepreneurs and managers, of scientists and engineers, and insufficient access to a global network of experts.

PhilDev trustee Winston Damarillo said everyone needs to participate—industry players, academe and government—to address all these concerns, considering that the Philippines is among the Next 11 emerging markets.

“We need everyone’s involvement so we can turn the brilliant ideas of our people into money-earning products and services, which could further economic growth,” said Damarillo, also the founder Developers Connect (DevCon) Philippines and software companies Morphlabs and Exist.

The next 11 markets are Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Korea, the Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 19, 2012.

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Real estate investor, author to hold seminar in Cebu City

By Katlene O. Cacho

A REAL estate investor and mentor of real estate entrepreneurs in the United States and Philippines is coming to Cebu this month to share his expertise to Cebuanos on how to earn big in the real estate industry.

Trace Trajano, the author of the book “Think Quick Rich,” will hold a seminar on his real estate techniques and strategies in Cebu on Jan. 29 to 30 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

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In the book “Think Quick Rich,” Trajano shares his expertise in the “no money down, quick return” real estate businesses to help achieve financial success.

According to him, the book is “a think rich Pinoy” guide on how to become a Pinoy real estate millionaire.

Trajano, who is a real estate investor with main operations in the US and real estate franchises here in the Philippines, has acquired over $13 million worth of properties in the past six years. He mentors students in the Philippines, United States, Canada, Singapore and Australia.

Among the items Trajano wrote in his book and which he will discuss in the seminar are the techniques on starting out in the real estate business with nothing; wholesaling in real estate and the retailing formula.

The real estate industry is one of the top growth drivers in the country today.

President Benigno Aquino III said during the Philippine Real Estate Festival last year that the real estate industry is one of the sunshine industries for the national economy.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 11, 2011.

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