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Ayala Land secures OK for P21-billion bonds

Posted on July 15, 2013 11:13:11 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the plan of Ayala Land, Inc. to raise P21 billion in fresh funds via issuance of corporate notes, an official of the regulator said yesterday.

“Ayala Land’s bond issuance was approved by the commission today,” SEC Secretary Gerard M. Lukban said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The company told the Philippine Stock Exchange last month that its board had approved the bond issue.

The bonds will have tenors of seven, 10, and 20 or 25 years. Coupon rates were not immediately available.

Net proceeds “will be used for general corporate purposes,” the company had said.

Speaking to reporters in Makati City on Thursday last week, Ayala Land Chief Financial Officer Jaime E. Ysmael said the company planned to issue the bonds this month.

“Hopefully by the end of the month; we are just waiting for the SEC approval of the registration statement,” Mr. Ysmael had said.

“It is intended to partly finance our capex (capital expenditure) program for this year,” he explained, adding that Ayala Land is also “looking at bilateral loans at the subsidiary level that will effectively complete our requirements for this year.”

The company has earmarked P65.5 billion for capex this year -- P46 billion for project completion and roughly P20 billion for land banking -- for 69 property projects worth a total of some P129 billion.

The bond issue will mark another fund-raising effort of the property arm of conglomerate Ayala Corp. Ayala Land just last March raised about P12.2 billion from a share placement.

Ayala Land will join the ranks of other firms that have tapped the bond market this year, including GT Capital Holdings, Inc. which raised P10 billion in February, and San Miguel Corp. which raised $800 million after selling offshore bonds in April.

Early this month, SEC also gave Globe Telecom, Inc. -- another unit of Ayala Corp. -- the green light to sell P7 billion worth of seven-year, fixed rate bonds that will mature in 2020 and 10-year, fixed rate bonds due in 2023.

Ayala Land’s net income grew by 20.83% to P3.19 billion in the first quarter from P2.64 billion in the same period last year as revenues climbed 39.35% to P18.52 billion from P13.29 billion.

Shares of Ayala Land ended yesterday’s trading at P30.40 apiece, unchanged from their finish on Friday last week. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon         
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