San Miguel raises P20 billion for Bulacan airport, MRT7

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) on Thursday, October 29, raised P20 billion from preferred shares for its projects, particularly the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan and the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT7).

Over 266 million preferred shares were sold to retail, institutional, and trading participants of the local bourse, according to SMC.

Shares were sold P75 apiece, with a dividend rate of 4.75% per year.

The preferred share issuance is part of SMC's shelf registration of over 533 million Series 2 preferred shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission to be sold within 3 years.

"There's a lot of optimism riding on a recovery in 2021 and while there is still some reason for caution, investors are confident enough that we can deliver on our commitment to build back better and pursue projects that are crucial to the recovery and future growth of our country," said SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang in a statement.

The two public-private partnership projects are expected to help decongest Metro Manila.

Both chambers of Congress recently passed bills granting SMC a franchise to construct and operate the planned P736-billion New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, despite criticism from environmental groups. SMC earlier said geohazards at the planned airport's location were already factored in for its design.

Spanning 2,500 hectares, the new airport is envisioned as an alternative gateway to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It will have 4 runways, 8 taxiways, and 3 passenger terminals eyed to serve some 100 million passengers annually.

Construction of the MRT7, meanwhile, has been ongoing since 2016 after a 7-year delay. The railway line will run from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan, and is expected to be partially operational from the North Avenue common station to Fairview in 2021. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.

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