GT Capital eyes P122.8-B Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 11 2014 07:43 AM | Updated as of Aug 11 2014 03:43 PM

MANILA - Conglomerate GT Capital Holdings Inc. of tycoon George S.K. Ty is debuting in the public-private partnership (PPP) scene with its plan to join the bidding for the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike project.

The largest infrastructure project under the Aquino administration complements the real estate and reclamation experience of the conglomerate, company executive said.

“The newly-announced one, the road and dike in Laguna Lake, is interesting,” said GT Capital president Carmelo Maria Luza Bautista.

“Of course you partner it out with strategic partners. No single conglomerate can do that on its own but it’s interesting because our synergies are there for us,” Bautista said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways targets to bid out the Laguna Lakeshore project as early as December. Construction is expected to start in April, allowing the project to be operational in 2022.

“There is real estate component and there would be a reclamation component so that would be an interesting opportunity for us,” Bautista said.

GT Capital is the developer of a reclaimed portion of Manila Bay near Roxas Boulevard. It is also into property development through Federal Land Inc.

Given the scale of the Laguna Lakeshore project, GT Capital is open to securing partners, Bautista said.

While conglomerates San Miguel Corp., Metro Pacific Investments Corp., SM Group and Ayala Corp. have been active in PPP auctions, GT Capital focused on consolidating and growing its consumer-focused businesses.

GT Capital is into banking (Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.), property (Federal Land), power generation (Global Business Power Corp.), automotive assembly and imports (Toyota Motor Philippines), life insurance (Philippine AXA Life Insurance), non-life insurance (Charter Ping An Corp.) and automotive distribution (Toyota Manila Bay Corp. and Toyota Cubao Inc.).

GT Capital allotted P50 billion for its capital expenditures this year, mostly to fund property and power projects.

“For the last two years of the Aquino administration, there will be a heightened pace of infrastructure project [rollout],” Roberto Juanchito Dispo, president of Metrobank Group’s investment bank First Metro Investment Corp., said in an interview.

“More regional and global players are coming into the country to take advantage of the infrastructure opportunities,” Dispo said, adding that local firms are partnering with foreign companies that have an expertise in infrastructure projects.