LISTED property developer Megaworld Corp. said it is looking to launch its own real estate investment trust (REIT) by the second half of the year.

“We’re looking to launch our REIT by [the] second half. I can’t say much… but I can tell you it’s going to be big,” Kevin Andrew L. Tan, Megaworld chief strategy officer, said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday.

In a regulatory filing last week, Andrew L. Tan’s property firm said it bumped up its budget for capital expenditures this year to P36 billion from P27.9 billion, the majority of which or around 76% will be used for the construction of real estate projects.

Around 24% will be allocated for investment properties.

“We approach our capex with a little bit of caution still… we do have priorities right now, which is to complete a lot of our development projects and our recurring income projects as well,” Mr. Tan said.

Megaworld did not allocate a budget for land banking activities this year because Mr. Tan said the company is still “comfortable” with its current land bank spanning around 4,500 hectares of undeveloped land.

However, Mr. Tan added that Megaworld will be open to revising the company’s capex and its allocation should it see opportunities this year.

On Tuesday, shares of Megaworld at the local bourse declined by 2.3% or seven centavos to close at P2.98 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte