Alliance Global to buy back P5-B worth of shares

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ANDREW TAN-led conglomerate Alliance Global Group, Inc. (AGI) said on Tuesday it would buy back up to P5 billion worth of shares over the next two years as its shares are “grossly undervalued.”

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“We are undertaking this corporate action because we believe that our shares are grossly undervalued,” Alliance President Kingson Sian told the Philippine Stock Exchange.

“Our group has been consistently profitable, with attractive growth prospects, and enjoys brand equity and therefore views this exercise as a means to enhance shareholder value over time,” he added.

For the first half of the year, AGI’s net income grew 39 percent from a year ago to P10.1 billion driven by its property and fast food businesses.

Property unit Megaworld Corp. is targeting to bring up its rental income to P20 billion by 2020, when its combined office and commercial gross leasable area would have almost doubled to 2 million square meters (sqm) from the current 1.1 million sqm.

Megaworld is also looking to step up its residential project launches throughout the country, and is set to launch more projects with a combined value of P12 billion, part of the P30 billion capital spending allotted for 2017.

Golden Arches Development Corp., which holds the exclusive franchise of the McDonald’s brand in the Philippines, is set to open 40 to 50 new stores next year as part of its ongoing expansion.

“Forty to 50 [stores]depending on the availability of good locations, good partners in case of a franchise situation,” Sian told reporters following the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday.

AGI’s resort and hotel business, Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., which holds the operations of Resorts World Manila, is ramping up construction of the third phase to be able to hit its target to open in the first quarter of 2018.

“We have three floors. It will be, perhaps when fully built, we will have [a total of]650 tables and 4,000 machines,” Sian said.

He said AGI remains positive on the operations of Resorts World. “As you can see, traffic is coming back,” he said.

He said current traffic is estimated to be at 26,000 for September alone. However, this is still lower than the average 28,000 estimated traffic.

It can be recalled that in June this year, a gunman barged into Resorts World, setting tables and gaming machines ablaze. The incident killed dozens of people due to smoke inhalation.

Meanwhile, AGI said its brandy business, Emperador, Inc., continues to benefit from its recent international forays. Emperador Inc. owns Spanish brandy and sherry brands led by Fundador and Scotch whisky brands led by The Dalmore and Jura.

In the first three months of the year, Emperador completed the acquisition of Bodegas Las Copas SL from Pernod Ricard of the Domecq and Pedro Domecq brands, which includes the brandy, spirit and wine business linked to those brands around the world. It also owns Emperador Distillers Inc., Scotch whisky maker Whyte and Mackay Group, and Bodegas Fundador in Spain.

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