Corporate News

Mall of Asia hopes to attract BPOs, shipping companies

Posted on March 22, 2012

SM LAND Commercial Properties Group, the commercial property arm of listed SM Investments Corp., is looking to attract business process outsourcing firms (BPOs) and shipping companies to its newest office development in the Mall of Asia (MoA) complex, a company official said recently.

“Yes, we are already talking to locators for Three E-Com Center. We are looking mostly at BPO companies, and as in our experience in Two E-Com, we also plan to get shipping companies,” David L. Rafael, SM Land senior vice-president, told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview late last week.

However, he declined to identify these companies. “It’s still very preliminary,” he said.

Two E-Com Center, which has a total leasable area of around 60,000 square meters, is the second of four E-Com Centers located in the MoA complex after One E-Com Center that was completed in 2007, earlier reports said.

Three E-Com Center, for its part, will rise 15 stories with a gross leasable area of 79,000 square meters, SM Land earlier said.

Construction is expected to begin in April, with a completion date slated for the last quarter of 2014, the company added.

Moving forward, SM Land wants to exploit Three E-Com Center’s strategic seaside location and similarly target shipping firms as locators.

“The trend we see among these shipping companies is that they want to be located near the port area, but at the same time, they want to move to nicer office buildings. The existing office buildings in the Intramuros and harbor areas are no longer located in ideal environments,” Mr. Rafael explained.

“These companies are looking for quality in their office buildings, and that’s what we want to present to them,” he added.

In addition to shipping firms, Mr. Rafael said SM Land also wants to bring in other shipping-related industries to Three E-Com such as brokers, cargo companies, and freight handlers, among others.

SM Land, known as Shoemart, Inc. until late 2008, is into property management and construction, as well as commercial and office space leasing, and is the main holding company for non-mall, property-related subsidiaries and projects of the SM group.

SM Land is a unit of conglomerate SM Investments, which was first incorporated in 1960 as the holding company of the SM Group with interests in shopping mall development, retail merchandising, financial services, real estate development and tourism, as well as hotels and conventions.

For last year, SM Investments recorded a net income of P21.2 billion, 15% higher than the P18.4 billion it incurred two years ago, due to the strong performance of all its core businesses during the period.

Consolidated revenues, on the other hand, amounted to P200.70 billion, 13% up from P177.2 billion in 2010.

SM Investments shares fell by 1.55% to P635 yesterday from P645 at its previous close. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente