Empire East allots up to P8B for five-year capex


Posted at Jun 10 2008 04:22 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2008 12:22 AM

Publicly-listed property firm Empire East Land Holdings Inc. said Tuesday it would spend P6 billion to P8 billion for the construction of new residential projects in the next five years.

Empire East president Anthony Charlemagne Yu told reporters that the amount would be sourced mostly from internally generated funds. "The capex would be spread evenly over the period."

In January, Empire East raised P2.6 billion from a one-for-three stock rights offering, of which P1 billion was earmarked for the initial construction of two of its projects this year.

The company is building the nine-tower Pioneer Woodlands condominium complex in Mandaluyong City and another six-cluster condominium in
Quezon City called the Little Baguio Terraces.

The rest of the rights offer proceeds, the company said, would be spent to acquire strategic properties in Metro Manila and the Calabarzon area for land banking, and to retire certain loans.

"We are continually looking for property either for acquisition or joint venture," Yu said.

He noted that the company is now negotiating with some landowners in the Calabarzon area and would launch a project there within 12 months.

"The project would be similar to our Laguna Bel Air in Sta. Rosa. It would be a horizontal development offering houses and lots."

Empire East, which is 46-percent controlled by property giant Megaworld Corp. of taipan Andrew Tan, remains upbeat on its growth prospects despite rising interest rates.

"Our internal targets haven't changed. Interest rates appear to be going up but really, they are still much lower than what we were used to," said Yu.

"Our financing schemes remain the same. We are still charging 18 percent. Our outlook remains very positive because our buyers only pay P8,000 to P12,000 in monthly amortizations and that kind of nominal value is very easy for local and overseas buyers."