MPIC eyes Indonesian tollway, water projects

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PANGILINAN-LED Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is keen on expanding not just its tollway projects but also its water business in the Asean region.

“Growing in Asean is the particular aspiration for toll roads. At the same time, we are also interested in some water projects, particularly in Indonesia,” David Nicol, MPIC chief finance officer, said at a media briefing in Makati City on Wednesday.

MPIC Chief Executive Officer Jose Lim said the group has identified several tollway concessions in Indonesia which are “unbuilt around 80 percent.”

“We are looking at some projects other than what we’ve announced so far. It’s regional. There are a lot of opportunities there than here,” he added.

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MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said water coverage in Metro Manila was “better” than that of Jakarta. “So there’s really a push to get the same coverage … investments in their water system, so if there’s anything we can do to [help]them,” he said.

Pangilinan added that Indonesia has a huge potential for more tollways as it is “bigger country, has more people and cars.”

The business tycoon said the group expects to close a deal for a toll road project either in Indonesia or Malaysia before the end of this year.

Meanwhile, MPIC said core net income in the first three quarters of 2017 jumped 22 percent to P11.3 billion following the growth of its power segment.

“Our earnings growth reflects our increased investment in the power sector together with strong volume growth at our tollroads and hospitals businesses,” Lim said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

MPIC said its power business contributed P7.6 billion in the period, boosted by investments in Meralco and Global Power, where they recorded a core net income of P15.4 billion and P2.1 billion, respectively.

For its tollroad unit, MPIC said core net income of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. jumped 28 percent to P3 billion from P2.4 billion a year earlier.

The water segment’s contribution to core net income reached P2.8 billion, most of it attributable to Maynilad. Maynilad’s core net income hit P5.6 billion, MPIC said.

Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc.’s core net income increased 13 percent to P1.5 billion.

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