Ongpin-led Alphaland spending P1.2B on tourism ventures

01/24/2011 | By: Neil Jerome C. Morales, BusinessWorld Online

ONGPIN-LED property developer Alphaland Corp. plans to spend as much as P1.2 billion to build new projects and expand existing ones this year.

This year’s capital spending will bring the listed company closer to its goal of being a niche player in private and membership-based tourism projects, its top executive said last week. “We have Balesin. We are spending about P800 million this year for it,” Alphaland President Mario A. Oreta told reporters.

The Alphaland Balesin Island Club, which will have residential units and leisure facilities for members, will be built inside a 424-hectare island-resort fronting Quezon’s Lamon Bay that is 33 kilometers off the eastern coast of Luzon.

“[For Boracay], we are spending P300 million to P400 million this year,” Mr. Oreta said.

Early in December, Alphaland signed a deal with Akean Resorts Corp. to develop the listed company’s first leisure and tourism project in the country.

The 500-hectare Alphaland Boracay Gateway resort is adjacent to the Caticlan airport, which is the main gateway to the world-famous white sand beaches of Boracay Island.

It will be a fully integrated leisure township development with hotels and water sport and other recreational facilities, as well as an exclusive polo and country club.

Total spending for Alphaland Boracay Gateway will reach more than P1 billion, Mr. Oreta said.

To bankroll project development, Alphaland will use internally generated cash and tap banks.

“Right now, we are borrowing P2.4 billion again for the project financing,” Mr. Oreta said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Oreta said the company recently finished excavation works for the Alphaland Makati Place, which will allow the completion of a podium in 2012.

Last year, Alphaland started the construction of the P4-billion, three-tower Alphaland Makati Place. The one-hectare lot will have a sports club, a mall, and condominium units. The project is in partnership with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.

Alphaland is owned by RVO Capital Ventures Corp., a company controlled by former trade minister Roberto V. Ongpin. It joined the local stock exchange in 2009 after taking over Macondray Plastics, Inc. under a backdoor listing scheme.

The property company is also into office, condominium, and commercial space development.

In October 2009, Alphaland opened its first project, the Alphaland Southgate Tower in Makati, which has a 40,000-square-meter office and a commercial center.

Shares in Alphaland — which recorded a P34.38-million net loss in the nine months that ended in September last year from a profit of P30.08 million in the previous year due to a surge in operating expenses — were unchanged at P60.50 apiece on Friday.

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