Ayala Land says REIT could raise $400-M

Posted at 05/11/11 2:41 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ayala Land Inc. could raise up to $400 million from its planned real estate investment trust (REIT) once the government approved the investment vehicles, its chief financial officer said.

Ayala Land, a unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp., appointed UBS and JP Morgan as early as last year as joint advisors and global coordinators for its REIT offering.

"We're on a push-button mode. (The offer) could be between $300 million and $400 million," Jaime Ysmael said on Wednesday, after the company released its first quarter results.

"We have assembled the execution team. (The launch) depends whether the government addresses the concerns," he told a news briefing.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has sought changes to the REIT law before he approves it, saying he wanted at least 51% of REITs to be sold initially to the public, higher than the planned minimum of a one-third stake.

Purisima wanted to ensure a majority of shares were sold to the public to prevent property firms from using REITs just for tax advantages.

Q1 profit up over 30%

Meanwhile, Ayala Land reported that its first quarter net profit rose 36% to P1.62 billion from P1.2 billion last year on the back of strong residential sales and leasing income.

Consolidated revenues of the company climbed 15% to P10.6 billion from P9.22 billion in 2010. Bulk of the revenues came from real estate and hotel operations at P9.99 billion, a year-on-year growth of 14%.

Ayala Land said it enjoyed higher margins with "strong control of project costs and direct operating expenses." - With a report from Reuters