Alex Eala

Metro Pacific to spend around P60 billion in 2017
Metro Pacific to spend around P60 billion in 2017

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rapple

The P60-billion programmed spending does not include acquisitions and new projects that Metro Pacific may acquire through bidding

MANILA, Philippines – Infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) plans to spend around P60 billion in capital expenditures for this year, primarily to support the growth of its core businesses.

MPIC chief finance officer David Nicol said in an interview that about P15 billion will be allotted for its power distribution unit Manila Electric Company (Meralco), while P15 billion will be set aside for its water utility firm Maynilad Water Services Incorporated.

Another P10 billion to P12 billion has been earmarked for its toll road unit Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), and P5 billion to P6 billion for Metro Pacific’s railway business.

According to Nicol, MPIC’s hospital business will get P3 billion to P4 billion, while its newly acquired logistics business is also getting P4 billion.

“If you wrap up everything it headed up to roughly P60 billion,” Nicol said on the sidelines of the MRT-LRT Common Station memorandum of agreement signing in Makati City on Wednesday, January 18.

The P60-billion programmed spending does not include acquisitions and new projects that MPIC may acquire through bidding, he added. (READ: Metro Pacific: Aviation is our ‘next new industry’)

Nicol said Metro Pacific has fully secured financing for 2017’s capital spending program, which will primarily come from borrowings and internally generated cash.

Better than expected

The conglomerate also expects 2016 core net income to be better than the upgraded P11.7 billion it earlier projected.

In the first 9 months of 2016, Metro Pacific booked core net income of P9.3 billion – a 13% increase from P8.2 billion in the same period in 2015, on the back of strong growth in all its operations.

Meanwhile, Nicol said the company’s tollroad unit is now looking at Malaysia for possible expansion.

“I think it is more Malaysia now than Indonesia. There are better opportunities in Malaysia,” Nicol said.

Last November, MPTC president Rodrigo Franco said they are keen on acquiring up to 45% interest in a tollway project in Indonesia worth P5 billion.

The project covers more than 100 kilometers and an Indonesian firm is reportedly planning to sell between 22% and 45% interest in the road project.

MPTC currently operates the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, and Manila-Cavite Expressway. It also has investments in Thailand and Vietnam. –

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