SM Prime allots $200 M for China expansion

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 23 2014 07:31 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2014 06:30 PM

MANILA - SM Prime Holdings Inc., the integrated property firm of Henry Sy, is spending around $200 million for its shopping mall expansion in mainland China.

The umbrella property firm, one of the largest in Southeast Asia, will draw down until late this year the bulk of the proceeds of a $300-million syndicated loan, an executive said.

“We have drawn portions already, between $50 million to $100 million,” said SM Prime executive vice president and chief finance officer Jeffrey C. Lim.

“We have the entire year to draw on the facility,” Lim said. SM Prime, which is primarily into residential development and mall operations, secured $300 million through a syndicated loan facility last month.

“The budget we have is for the Philippines and China. The one for China, we will be using the dollar proceeds,” Lim said.

Specifically, SM Prime is spending for the construction of SM Tianjin, which will be the company’s largest shopping center when it opens in 2015 with a total gross floor area of 540,000 square meters.

Lim said the Philippines’ largest mall developer and operator with 49 shopping centers recently bought a property in Yangzhou City for a shopping mall that will open in 2016.

SM Prime is also acquiring three more properties in mainland China to take advantage of increasing consumer spending in the world’s second largest economy.

For its local expansion program, SM Prime is selling P25 billion seven- and 10-year bonds, marking its debut in the local bond market. The bond issuance will be completed next month, Lim said.

SM Prime is doubling its income and revenues in the next five years as it grows its office, mall, leisure, hotel and residential portfolio by two-fold in the same period. It allotted P400 billion in the medium term to support its expansion in the Philippines, in China and in Southeast Asia.