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Sy-led SMIC still in the race for Ortigas’ land deal
The Sy business group remains keen in staying in the race for the remaining large landbanks in Metro Manila

MANILA, Philippines – The Sy business group remains keen in staying in the race for the remaining large landbanks in Metro Manila.

On December 3, Jose Sio, the chief finance officer of Sy-led holding firm SM Investments Corp (SMIC), said, “Our offer is still there,” referring to a deal with the Ortigas group that was scuttled with the entry of the Ayala group.

“We are willing to sit down. Our offer is still effective,” Sio added when reporters at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) anniversary dinner asked him to elaborate. The short interview was aired by ANC.

The Sy group has been in talks with one side of the Ortigas family, which holds large tracks of land and existing commercial properties in various parts of the capital.

The Sy group were then poised to acquire the 34% stake of Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC) in the family’s holding firm, allowing them to overtake the Ayala group, which has the largest property portfolio in Manila. 

In August, Ayala Land entered the picture and announced their board has given the go-signal to proceed with a strategic partnership with another side of the Ortigas family, who appears to be having internal conflicts.

The Ortigases, who own the popular Greenhills shopping mall in San Juan City, the Tiendesitas complex in Pasig City, and other sites in Mandaluyong and Quezon City, have yet to announce who among the two suitors clinched the deal.

The real estate business in the Philippines has been booming, both on the residential and commercial sides, largely fueled by the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and remittances sent home by overseas Filipinos.

The Ayalas, the Sys and other property developers have become more aggressive in buying lands for mixed-use development projects. The Ayalas’ P24-billion bid in the privatization auction of Food Terminal Inc. in Taguig City added over 70-hectares in their portfolio.

The Sys and other property developers have been raising billions of pesos from the capital markets to add to the groups war chest. –

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