Primex prepays P1.8-B Metrobank, BDO loans

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LISTED property developer Primex Corporation said it has prepaid its loan obligations worth P1.8 billion with two major banks ahead of schedule given its strong financial position and ahead of an expected increase in interest rates.

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In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Primex, along with subsidiary Primex Realty Corporation and affiliate Primex Land Inc., said it settled all of its bank obligations with Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. and BDO Unibank Inc.

Primex Corporation entered a P300 million five-year term loan facility with Metrobank in 2015 to fund its expansion plans. The loan was set to mature on April 2020.

Subsidiary Primex Realty, owner and developer of a 31-storey residential tower in Salcedo Village Makati, also prepaid both its term loan with Metrobank amounting to P700 million and its P500-million loan with BDO.

“The Metrobank loan that matured last July 6, 2016 was fully paid 3 months ahead of time, while the BDO loan that will mature in 2020 was fully settled before the year 2016 ended,” Primex said.

Affiliate Primex Land has also paid all of its bank obligations worth P300 million, five months ahead of schedule, according to the company.

Primex noted that the early settlement of the bank loans is expected to bolster the company’s financial standing in the domestic lending market.

Primex Chairman Ernesto Ang said the company’s debt-to equity levels should now be among the healthiest and lowest among the most valuable 20 listed property developers in the country as it has paid all of its bank loans.

“Eliminating our already low debt levels help make Primex a fundamentally stronger company especially at a time when the market is expecting a rise in interest rates,” Ang said.

He said the company’s profitability, supported by steady and robust cash flows coming from foreign and institutional investors, fueled its ability to prepay its bank obligations.

“Our current financial position even allows us to pay dividends to shareholders which we are planning for 2017, on top of our acquisition and upcoming development projects,” he said.

Primex noted that it is currently formulating a dividend policy in view of the steady improvement in the company’s financial performance and for the benefit of their stockholders who have supported the company.

In October last year, three officers of mass housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc. bought 45 million common shares of Primex amounting to P180 million or at P4 per share, accounting for a 2.8 percent stake in Primex.
The transaction was seen to help make Primex attractive to investors given market confidence in the 8990 Holdings group.

Incorporated in 1986, Primex is a listed real estate firm whose completed projects include two high-end residential projects, namely Goldendale Village in Malabon and The Richdale along Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City, as well as the Goldendale II and Tresor Residences also in Malabon.

Its subsidiary PRC is currently working on a 31-storey residential condominium project The Stratosphere.

with KRISTYN NIKA LAZO

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