Ayala Land prices seven-year bonds at 6.369%

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By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) has priced its P8-billion fixed rate bonds at a coupon rate of 6.369% per annum, a top official said Wednesday.

“We are actually quite pleased with the reception of the market,” ALI Chief Financial Officer Augusto Cesar D. Bengzon said in a press briefing after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Makati Wednesday.

“We have a total of eight investment banks. It was the largest underwriting syndicate, and they were able to secure the pricing at the tightest end of the range,” he added.

ALI engaged BDO Capital & Investment Corp., BPI Capital Corp., China Bank Capital Corp., First Metro Investment Corp., PNB Capital & Investment Corp., SB Capital Investment Corp., East West Banking Corp., and ING Bank N.V., Manila Branch as joint lead underwriters and bookrunners for the offering.

The seven-year bonds will be issued on May 6, after which they will be listed at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.

ALI aims to raise P7.89 billion from the offering to finance several hotel, office, and retail projects.

The issuance represents the first tranche of ALI’s P50-billion debt securities program. The company is scheduled to issue about P15-20 billion from the registration this year.

“We will be tapping the shelf throughout the year. But of course we also have funding coming from our banks so it will be a combination of loans. And we will just tap whatever market is beneficial for the company,” Mr. Bengzon explained.

The fund-raising activity will partially finance ALI’s planned P130-billion capital expenditure (capex) for 2019, as the listed property developer continues to expand its residential, office, mall, and hospitality projects.

ALI President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Vincent O. Dy said 95% of the overall capex will be used for projects in the Philippines.

“We believe that there are still a lot of opportunities in the Philippines. We’re not anticipating large investments overseas at least for 2019,” Mr. Dy said in the same media briefing.

The company is currently developing a mixed-use project on a four-hectare property in Kuala Lumpur’s Klang Valley. It is being undertaken by Malaysian firm MCT Bhd., where ALI has a majority stake.

“After that we have been looking for opportunities in the region. Our approach has really been more focused on finding in specific cities that we feel share a lot of similarities with Metro Manila: high urbanization, population growth, GDP per capita in the ten thousand (dollar) level,” ALI Strategic Landbank Management Group Head Anna Maria Margarita B. Dy said.

ALI’s net income rose by 16% to P29.2 billion, after consolidated revenues also grew by 17% to P166.2 billion.

Shares in ALI gained P1.50 or 3.12% to close at P49.50 each at the stock exchange on Thursday.