By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

FILINVEST Land, Inc. (FLI) is ramping up spending to P32 billion this year as it plans to further expand its leasing portfolio.

In a statement distributed during its annual stockholders’ meeting Monday, the Gotianun-led property developer said it has allotted P30-32 billion for its capital expenditures (capex) in 2019. This is about 45% higher than the P22 billion it spent last year.

The listed firm allotted P13 billion for development of properties across its three major hubs in Clark in Pampanga, Alabang, and Cebu. About P7 billion will go to land acquisitions, while the remaining balance will be spent for residential and township developments.

FLI is accelerating investments for its recurring income portfolio in an effort to take advantage of the strong demand for logistics, light manufacturing, technology, and e-commerce firms with inventory management needs.

Part of the company’s strategy is to develop industrial parks, including the first phase of New Clark City which spans 64 hectares. Groundbreaking for the 120-hectare property will start this May, with completion slated for 2020. Locators are also seen to start setting up by then.

“(Inquiries) are quite positive. There are different types of locators like factories and also logistics…some people want to do their own warehousing requirements so that will include cold storage as well,” FLI President and Chief Executive Officer Josephine Gotianun-Yap told reporters after the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting in Alabang on Monday.

Ms. Gotianun-Yap noted that most of the interested locators are Asian firms. Lot sizes can range from one to 10 hectares, depending on the locator’s requirements.

For its office and retail leasing segment, FLI looks to end the year with around 934,000 square meters (sq.m.) under its portfolio, compared to 712,000 sq.m. last year. Office spaces account for around 647,000 sq.m., while the retail unit will have 287,000 sq.m.

The expansion of its office, retail, and logistics businesses will allow the property firm to have 1.645 million sq.m. in gross leasable area by 2023. By 2021, FLI’s leasing business will account for half of its total income, although Ms. Gotianun-Yap said they could hit this target much earlier.

Demand from business process outsourcing (BPO) firms continues to drive their office leasing business, while Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) account for about 20% of their total office space. Ms. Gotianun-Yap, however, noted that they are watching their exposure to POGOs to keep a diversified tenant mix.

“We always believe in market and geographic diversification. Anything that adds to the business is okay, but it’s always good to have a good mix,” Ms. Gotianun-Yap explained.

FLI plans to conduct a bond issuance worth between P5-10 billion this year to finance its capex requirements. The last time FLI offered bonds to the public was in 2017, since the firm opted not to have any issuances last year due to high interest rates.

Shares in FLI jumped by a centavo or 0.66% to close at P1.52 each at the stock exchange on Monday.