MANILA, Philippines – The holding firm of mall magnate Henry Sy Sr., the country’s richest man, confirmed it has stakes in a geothermal and tollway units, and is interested in bidding for the NAIA Expressway Project.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday, December 14, SM Investments Corp (SMIC) said it has investments in a unit of Chevron as well as in the Pangilinan-led Manila North Luzon Tollways Corp. (MNTC).
“We confirm that Allfirst Equity Holdings Inc., a private investment company related to the SM Group, invested 60% stake in Philippine Geothermal Production Co. owned by Chevron,” it said.
Chevron Corp. created PGP for the exploration and development of geothermal energy sources in the country.
SMIC will be Chevron’s local partner for the geothermal project, which should be only 40% owned by foreigners, SMIC Chief Finance Officer Jose Sio had explained to reporters.
“We also confirm that Manila North Luzon Tollways Corp., in which the SM Group related companies have equity interest, is bidding for the NAIA Expressway Project,” SMIC added.
The MNTC is the builder and concessionaire of the 84-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), a major tollroad that connects the capital to provinces in the north.
MNTC is a unit of another business group led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan. The Sy and Pangilinan groups will team up to bid for the P15-billion Ninoy Auqino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway project, Sio said.
NAIA Expressway connects the Manila international airports to the Pagcor Entertainment City, an upcoming sprawling casino and entertainment complex.
Sy-led Belle Corp. is among the 4 business groups granted the right to build and develop casino and tourism projects in the Pagcor Entertainment City. Belle will develop the land while its partner, Melco Crown, will develop the retail and operate the casino businesses.
NAIA Expressway is among those in the infrastructure pipeline of the Aquino government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. Half of the project cost will be financed by the casino locators and the rest by the winning PPP bidder.
Sio had said MNTC will be the entity that will bid for the tollroad project.
Previously, SMIC officials said they will only participate in financing infrastructure projects under the PPP scheme through their banking unit, BDO Unibank Inc.
SMIC also disclosed that its board approved during the December 14 special meeting the appropriation of P30 billion “for investment and general corporate purposes.” – Rappler.com
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