• GT Capital going into BPO, malls, townships

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    GT Capital Holdings Inc. is going full throttle into property development to grow its business in line with and beyond the present scope of its exposures in banking, automotive, and life insurance.

    Moving forward, the company has set “a strategic direction” focus on real estate, infrastructure, and synergies with its banking and automotive businesses, Carmelo Maria Luza Bautista, GT Capital president, recently said.

    On real estate, Bautista said the group eyeing the Next Wave Cities for the horizontal, integrated master planned communities or townships, malls and offices space.

    Property-arm Federal Land Inc. has jump-started the move by starting to build two malls and a handful of office towers. These projects are expected to be completed by next year.

    Anna Bess G. Pingol, Federal Land senior vice president and CFO, told reporters over the weekend the malls are the Blue Wave in the 36-hectare master planned Metro Park on Roxas Boulevard and the Big Apple Mall in the Bonifacio Global City’s (BGC) Veritown Fort.

    The Blue Wave mall will have “close to 50,000 square meters” of mall space and is expected to cost “about P3 billion.” Phase 1 of the development will cover about 27,000 sqm of mall space and will be completed by mid-2016, while Phase 2 will involve an integrated seven-story office tower atop the mall and will be delivered by the second to third quarter of 2016.

    The Big Apple Mall is a luxury lifestyle place in the New York-inspired mixed-use community of Veritown Fort. Pingol said it is near the two projects the firm is now working on the Grand Hyatt Residences and Grand Hyatt hotel.

    The hotel will consist of an office tower the Metrobank Center occupying the first 30 stories, with the hotel sitting on top of the office units and covering the 31st to 56th floors. The company is sinking in P15 billion to P17 billion to develop the hotel and the residential building, both of which are set for delivery by mid-2016.

    Apart from real estate, Bautista said the group is also looking at joining infrastructure development under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme with prospective partners.

    The GT Capital president noted there will be synergies in the its automotive, insurance, car financing, bank assurance and cross selling businesses to create more activity within the group that will result in cost efficiencies and further growth.

    “With the three concentric circles, we’re trying to have synergies, expand inherently and enter into new sectors with partners,” Bautista said.

    “We’re strong 40 percent growth [in net income]by first half of the year. The outlook remains strong because the underlying macro variables are still strong. I don’t think there will be a slowdown in auto sales. Power is constant, property sales [are]continuing. I think we should be at pace, definitely a double-digit growth. I don’t see anything in the horizon that will slow us down,” he added.

    Apart from Metrobank, Federal Land, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp., and AXA Life Insurance, GT Capital is into power generation via Global Business Power Corp., automotive leasing and financing through Toyota Financial Services Philippines Corp., and non-life insurance with Charter Ping An.

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