ALPHALAND Corp. owner Roberto V. Ongpin is considering a return for the operator of Balesin Island Club to the stock market soon, its incoming president said.
Dennis O. Valdes told reporters last week that the five-year ban for Alphaland to list had been lifted last year, opening the opportunity for the company to return to the equity market as it seeks the expansion of Balesin.
“I think he wants to list again… I think he will re-list Alphaland this year or next,” he said, referring to Mr. Ongpin. “The five-year ban is done. He’s free to re-list. He’s just waiting for the right timing.”
Mr. Valdes is set to begin his role as president of Alphaland on Feb. 1, leaving his post in formerly Ongpin-led company PhilWeb Corp.
In 2014, Alphaland was involuntarily delisted from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) for violating disclosure rules involving the company’s alleged “simulated sale” of shares to increase its public float.
But after more than five years, Mr. Valdes said he thinks “it makes sense for Alphaland to re-list,” as the company is also embarking on the expansion of its flagship Balesin Island Club in Polillo, Quezon.
In an April 2018 note signed by Mr. Ongpin on Alphaland’s website, he said the company had acquired 789 hectares of the Patnanungan Island close to Balesin Island Club, which he wants to turn into an airport to be called the Balesin International Gateway.
The project involves a 2.5-kilometer runway that can handle international flights, an aerodrome, a hotel, a championship golf course and hundreds of villas.
“Balesin Gateway will take us at least five years to complete, but it is an exciting project…,” Mr. Ongpin said in the note. Unlike the 500-hectare Balesin Island Club, Balesin Gateway will not be exclusive to members.
Mr. Valdes estimates the project to cost about P10 billion, which is why he signaled the timeliness of re-listing at the PSE to raise additional funding.
“I think Patnangunan is a huge deal… [I]t’s a huge development in an area of the Philippines that nobody has really invested in. So imagine if you had an airport there, at some point you’re bringing development to such an under-resourced area of the country. There’s got to be a lot of people who would benefit from that,” he said.
Aside from Balesin Island Club, Alphaland also owns Alphaland Makati Place, Alphaland Baguio Mountain Lodges and The Alpha Suites in Makati City. — Denise A. Valdez