MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ largest mall operator is set to expand its presence in China to 5 malls.
On Friday, December 14, SM Prime Holdings Inc. will open SM City Chongqing, a one-building structure with 5 levels located in Yubei District in South China.
“We believe Chongqing is a significant market given the city’s huge population and its attractive growth prospects,” SM Prime President Mr. Hans T. Sy said in a December 13 disclosure to the stock exchange.
The new mall has a gross floor area (GFA) of 149,080 square meters (sqm), of which 85% has already been awarded to various tenants. It is strategically located to serve Chongqing’s 30 million residents, SM said.
The shopping mall’s tenants include Vanguard Supermarket, SM Department Store, Wanda Cinema, Vero Moda, Only, Jack & Jones, Starbucks, Watsons and Kidswant.
Chongqing is a major railway hub and tourist destination. It is the starting point for the Yangtze River cruise, which explores the impressive scenery of China’s famous Three Gorges.
SM Prime’s China portfolio, considered by the group as its source of growth in the coming years, already includes SM City Xiamen, SM City Jinjiang, SM City Chengdu, and SM City Suzhou.
The expansion projects are part of the company’s strategy to list its China assets either in Hong Kong or Singapore by 2015 in a public offering valued at about $500 million, a company official once said.
Robust sales of China- and Philippine-based malls boosted SM Prime’s January-to-September net profits by 15% to P7.4 billion. SM Prime attributed this to “rentals from new Philippine malls opened in 2010 and 2011, same store sales of 8%, and the improved performance of SM’s China malls.”
The opening of SM City Chongqing brings the total SM mall chain in both China and the Philippines to 51 with a combined Gross Floor Area of 6.3 million sqm. – Rappler.com