Filinvest Land to transform unit into REIT

Shaun H. Ruff

FILINVEST Land, Inc. is set to transform its subsidiary Cyberzone Properties, Inc. into a real estate investment trust (REIT) company to fully realize the value of its leasing business.

In a statement on Thursday, Filinvest said its board of directors approved the transition of Cyberzone into a REIT company that will be listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange in compliance with the guidelines and requirements governing the asset class.

According to Filinvest, it currently has 43 operating and under construction office buildings that span 824,000 square meters of gross leasable area. A REIT owns and operates income-generating properties, which could offer investors attractive returns.

Josephine Gotianun-Yap, its president and chief executive officer, said a REIT listing would fast-track the growth of its business line and could unlock the value of the company’s office leasing business.

“Filinvest has a growing portfolio of recurring income projects and significant prime office properties in Alabang, Cebu, and Clark to continue to grow this business,” Ms. Gotianun-Yap was quoted as saying.

Filinvest said the property portfolio for the REIT company will include a number of operating office buildings and those leased out to traditional and multinational business processing outsourcing (BPO) firms.

The said office buildings are located in Northgate Cyberzone in Filinvest City, Alabang, and Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu in Cebu City.

“Northgate Cyberzone in Filinvest City is an 18.7 hectare Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) registered business park designed to cater primarily to BPO companies,” the company said.

“It is home to the Philippines’ largest district cooling system to date that helps reduce energy consumption, provides greater efficiency, lowers the initial capital investment, reduces carbon dioxide emissions and enhances real estate value by freeing up building space for other uses,” it added.

Filinvest said Cyberzone’s office rental revenues as of September last year had improved 16% year on year to P2.46 billion, adding that its BPO buildings have remained fully operational despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

For the January-September period, Filinvest Land posted a 40% drop in its attributable net income to P2.73 billion due to lower gross revenues.

The company’s gross revenues during the period fell 32% to P12.54 billion as the pandemic impacted its home sales.

On Thursday, its shares at the stock exchange improved 2.68% or three centavos to close at P1.15 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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