SM Prime Holdings, Inc. plans to allocate up to P100 billion for its capital expenditure (capex) budget this year, the Sy-led company said.

“I think we’re looking at close to [the P80 billion we had in 2023] or about P100 billion,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim told reporters on the sidelines of The Business Manual CEO Awards in Taguig City late Sunday.

The company is also awaiting “more favorable market conditions” before proceeding with the planned initial public offering (IPO) of its real estate investment trust (REIT), Mr. Lim said.

“We’ll have to study and look at the market, so we just have to wait a bit,” he added.

SM Prime Vice-President for Investor Relations Alexander D. Pomento said in a separate interview that the company could proceed with its IPO as early as the second quarter if market conditions improve.

“It’s really just waiting for the market conditions to improve because we’re talking about a big-size company. Given the liquidity of the market, it’s a big constraint right, but the program’s still there. It’s a question of when, not if,” he said.

In August of last year, SM Prime’s parent company, SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), announced that the planned IPO had been deferred due to market headwinds such as higher interest rates, inflation, and market sentiments. The listing was initially targeted for the second half of last year.

The company’s planned real estate investment trust offering is likely to be valued at around $3.5 billion to $4 billion and will initially consist of 12 to 15 assets, drawn from the 82 malls it currently owns.

SMIC, through SM Prime, is developing a 360-hectare reclamation project in Pasay City directly connected to the Mall of Asia Complex worth around P100 billion.

For the first nine months, SM Prime recorded a 37% increase in its consolidated net income to P30.1 billion from P22 billion a year ago, carried by higher revenues from its mall and residential businesses.

On Monday, SM Prime shares closed unchanged at P33.70 apiece while SMIC stocks fell P3 or 0.32% to P922 each. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave