SM Group sets record P80B capex for 2014

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With larger capital needed for its consolidated property firm, the entire SM Group is allocating as much as P80 billion in capital spending this year.  As the holding firm for Henry Sy-led companies, SM Investments Corp.’s (SMIC) portfolio cuts across a wide range, from malls to residential developments and to retail, hotels, and banks.  SMIC investor relations chief Cora Guidote said that on the holding company level, the entire SMIC capex is about P80 billion, P70 billion is for SM Prime, retail will have P5 to P6 billion and the rest is for the banks.  This year, the group is allocating a bigger portion of its budget for the bigger SM Prime Holdings, Inc., which is now being prepared to become the parent firm of all of SM Group’s real estate units.  The group is set to complete the roadmap for the consolidation of SM Group’s real estate arms by the end of this month, for presentation to shareholders in April.  Setting aside the possibility of tapping the capital market, the group is looking at “alternative funding options” to provide capital for the enlarged property company. The company is trying to work on a P20-billion retail bond some time toward the second quarter or second half of the year, aside from a possible syndication of US dollar for its    China requirements of up to US$300 million. The group has recently acquired a six- to eight-hectare property in Jiangsu Province in China, where it plans to build a mall set for completion in 2016.

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