SM Group eyes SEA ex­pan­sion

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - By IRIS GON­ZA­LES

The SM Group is look­ing to ex­pand its mall and bank­ing busi­nesses in the South­east Asian re­gion on the back of the steady growth of the world’s third largest eco­nomic bloc.

SM In­vest­ments Corp. (SMIC) vice chair­man Tere­sity Sy-Co­son said the com­pany has plans to ex­pand in the re­gion and is al­ready look­ing for coun­tries where it can build malls.

This would be the first time that SM would be ex­pand­ing in the re­gion.

“We’re still look­ing. For the bank, it will be Sin­ga­pore. For SM, it would be other ar­eas,” Sy-Co­son said on the side­lines of the ASEAN Business & In­vest­ment Sum­mit.

Coun­tries that are ideal for ex­pan­sion are those that are still de­vel­op­ing, she said.

“In a de­vel­oped coun­try, I think things are al­ready well de­vel­oped. They don’t need SM. We go with the coun­try that is de­vel­op­ing. We’re still look­ing. It’s so early,” she said.

The SM Group is look­ing to do this within the next five years.

“Five years down the road, it can hap­pen or it could not hap­pen,” Sy-Co­son said.

At present, the SM Group, through its prop­erty and mall arm, SM Prime Hold­ings has seven malls in China and con­tin­ues to be on the look­out for cities and prov­inces for ex­pan­sion.

“We’re still ex­pand­ing (in China),” she said.

SM Prime cur­rently has 63 malls in the Philip­pines with a gross floor area of al­most 7.8 mil­lion square me­ters. In­clud­ing the seven malls in China, SM Prime has a to­tal GFA of 9.1 mil­lion sqm.

In the nine months to Septem­ber, the Sy-owned prop­erty com­pany posted a 15 per­cent growth in net in­come.

In the third quar­ter alone, SM Prime re­ported a 16 per­cent growth in net in­come to P5.66 bil­lion.

Dur­ing the nine-month pe­riod, SM Prime grew its con­sol­i­dated rev­enues 12 per­cent to P64.69 bil­lion ago on higher rental rev­enues from ex­pan­sion of malls, im­prove­ment in same mall sales and higher con­tri­bu­tions from res­i­den­tial sales.

Mall rev­enues rose 10 per­cent to P38.58 bil­lion or about 60 per­cent of the to­tal rev­enues.

SM Prime will open two additional malls be­fore the end of the year – SM Cen­ter Le­mery in Batan­gas and SM Cen­ter Pulilan in Bu­la­can – which will bring the num­ber of its pro­vin­cial malls to 44 from 38 last year.

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