HK fund eyeing IRC’s Binangonan property

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A HONG KONG-BASED fund is looking to invest in a project of listed property developer IRC Properties Inc., an IRC official said.

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In a recent interview, IRC Properties chairman Esteban Pena Sy told The Manila Times that a Hong Kong fund has expressed interest in investing in a project at IRC’s 2,200-hectare property in Binangonan, Rizal.

“Actually, there’s a Hong Kong fund that’s interested to bring in some money,” Pena Sy said.

Pena Sy did not disclose the name of the Hong Kong company and said both parties are still in the negotiation stage.

“We’re still negotiating and they’re still studying the possibility. They want to know more about the Philippines’ policy on low-cost housing schemes, etc.,” Pena Sy said.

A Taiwanese investor has also expressed interest in investing in the IRC property, he said.

“Only recently, there was a Taiwan investor who tried to take a look, to inspect our property in Binangonan, and also to see our projects. And now we are in negotiation,” the chairman said.

IRC is hoping the Taiwanese investor would buy some of the company’s unissued shares.
“We think they can also take some if not all of the 172.8 million shares,” Pena Sy said.

Last February, IRC Properties announced plans of raising P241.92 million from the sale of 172.8 million at P1.40 each by private placement.

The company was also able to raise P280 million earlier this year, as Sigma Epsilon Fund Limited–a company registered in the Cayman Islands– subscribed to 200 million common shares of IRC at P1.40 each.

“We hope that they [Taiwanese investor] will be interested in the Philippines because the Taiwan government is encouraging their nationals to go south,” Pena Sy said.

Local developers are interested to do business with IRC in terms of property acquisition, he said.

“There are quite a lot of people interested in our property, but there are much more complications because some of them want to just buy land,” Pena Sy said. “Of course we leave everything open, but right now, there’s nothing concrete yet.”

He said IRC’s land bank is attracting interest because it is large.

IRC said it recently sold a six-hectare piece of land from its Binangonan property to Ayala Land Inc. subsidiary Amaia Land Corp. for around P30 million.

IRC Properties currently has three subdivision projects in the Binangonan property—the 7-hectare Sunshine Fiesta Subdivision, the 8-hectare Fiesta Casitas and the 4-hectare Casas Aurora.

It plans to launch a fourth subdivision project in the area called Casas Bauhinta, which will occupy approximately 5 hectares of land.

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