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Positive property outlook drives RLC share price higher

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Robinsons Mall Ormoc

By Christine Joyce S. Castañeda
Senior Researcher

FOREIGNERS LOADED on Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) shares, making it one of the most actively traded stocks in the local bourse last week.

Data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) showed the property developer trading P492.13 million worth of 20.56 million shares from March 18-22.

Shares closed at P24.65 apiece on Friday, up P0.20 or 0.82% from the previous day and 2.71% week-on-week from the P24 finish on March 15. For the year, the stock gained 16.82%.

“Investors digest the good corporate earnings released as positive,” Philstocks Financial, Inc. Client Engagement Officer and Research Associate Piper Chaucer E. Tan said in an e-mail.

Mr. Tan added that foreign investors are starting to come back not just for RLC, but for the whole property sector as well. “Dovish sentiments coming from BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) also increased the appetite for property stocks…,” he said.




In a separate e-mail, Cristopher Adrian T. San Pedro, certified securities representative at Unicapital Securities, Inc., ascribed the stock’s performance to the net foreign buying last week, driven by the dovish statement by the BSP on the possible reserve requirement cut for banks in the next four quarters that would “help the property sector to have low cost funding and would also boost consumer demand given additional liquidity of P90-100 billion in the market.”

Earlier this month, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno hinted at the possibility of slashing the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by one percentage point per quarter for the next four quarters. If implemented, the cuts would leave the RRR at 14% by early 2020 from the current 18%.

Meanwhile, RLC said in a statement last March 14 that its net income reached P8.23 billion in 2018, higher by around 40% from the P5.9 billion in 2017. Consolidated revenues also increased by 31% to P29.44 billion. The malls division accounted for the bulk of RLC’s revenues at P11.94 billion, up 11% year on year. This was driven by the higher rental income and the opening of four malls last year, namely Robinsons Place Ormoc, Robinsons Place Pavia, Robinsons Place Tuguegarao, and Robinsons Place Valencia in Bukidnon.

The property developer now has a total of 51 malls covering a total leasable space of 1.5 million square meters.

The company’s residential segment and office division also saw their revenues growing by 33% and 26%, respectively to P8.69 billion and P4.11 billion.

Meanwhile, stock market data showed that on the days leading to RLC’s report on earnings for 2018, net foreign buying from March 11 to 14 stood at P4.01 million. A day after the release of the company’s earnings, net foreign buying on March 15 had reached P45.61 million.

Foreigners continued to buy RLC shares last week with net foreign buying amounting P22.65 million although this was lower than the previous week’s P49.62 million.

For this year, Unicapital’s Mr. San Pedro said the company could rake in P9 billion in profits, driven by the local and international residential segment sales, the continued growth in mall revenues, and the increase in demand for its office division brought by the growing information technology and business process management sector and the influx of foreign workers.

For his part, Philstocks’ Mr. Tan expects RLC to book a P7.4-billion net income this year, fueled by growth of the residential and office leasing segments.

Mr. Tan placed the stock’s support at P23 to P23.50 and resistance at P24.70 to P25.

“The stock remains bullish and I expect it to consolidate between P23.00 support and P25.00 resistance with the possibility of testing P25.50 and P26.00 if it stays above P23.50 in the short term,” Unicapital’s Mr. San Pedro said.