WITH a cash payment of P4.04 billion out of a total purchase price of P16.15 billion, Resorts World Manila (RWM), owned by taipan Dr. Andrew L. Tan, is acquiring 95 percent of Resorts World Bayshore City, the third integrated resort complex that is set to rise in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s Entertainment City complex in Parañaque City, as the Philippines aspires to steal business away from regional gambling mecca Macau, which has monthly revenues of over $3 billion.
The deal involves the acquisition of 880 million common shares of Bayshore City and an additional 2.35 billion preferred shares, at P5 per share. This effectively expands the reach of RWM, a joint venture between Alliance Global Inc., Tan’s holding company, and Genting Hong Kong Ltd., whose shares are listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Tan’s Megaworld Corp., the country’s leading real-estate developer, has acquired 0.5 percent of the remaining 5 percent, with the rest owned by Adams Properties (1.25 percent), Star Cruises (1.0 percent) and Asian Travellers (0.63 percent). As of December 31, 2013, RWM holds interest in 15 wholly owned subsidiaries and two affiliates. These companies were established to engage in businesses related to the resort’s main casino business.
Bayshore City will have at least 1,500 rooms that will be managed by international hotel brands. These include the Westin Hotel Manila Bayshore of Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts Pte. Ltd.; the Hotel Okura Manila of the Okura Hotels & Resorts; and the Genting Grand and Crockfords Tower of the Genting group.
The actual construction and development of Bayshore City will start within the year, and is projected to open in 2018. It is expected to become a premier travel destination that shall complete Entertainment City’s master plan.
‘Sari-sari’ stores doomed
THE ubiquitous sari-sari stores in urban centers and suburban areas are expected to be elbowed out by the capital-fueled might of store chains, as the latest entrant, Ayala Land Inc.-owned FamilyMart, aims to roll out 500 branches until 2018. FamilyMart—the fourth store chain to emerge in the National Capital Region, after 7-Eleven, Ministop and SuperValue—has been quietly taking out the sari-sari stores amid the country’s continued consumption-led economic growth.
Now with 65 branches in Mega Manila, FamilyMart aims to have 100 stores before the year ends. The cost of entry for a franchised store under the Ayala brand is much higher compared to the total cost of investment in other store chains. Investments range from P4 million to P8 million, compared with P1 million to P5 million for the others.
Worrisome import figures
THE country’s import figures showed a dismal uptick that, as far as National Economic and Development Authority Deputy Director General Emmanuel F. Esguerra is concerned, is not as impressive as the growth posted last year. For the first seven months of 2014, payments for imports rose by 4.8 percent to $36.9 billion, from $35.2 billion in the same period a year ago.
Esguerra finds this growth disheartening. While the overall performance of merchandise imports is showing signs of a mild recovery from its decline of -0.4 percent in May, on a year-on-year basis, though, it is way below 2013’s 8.9-percent growth.
“Sharp contractions in the imports of materials and accessories for the manufacture of electrical equipment and other raw materials for production, as well as imports of capital goods, need to be monitored periodically, since they provide signals on future demand conditions on both domestic and external fronts,” Esguerra said.
He also weighed in on the port-congestion problem, which, to him, shows the need to expand the ports’ capacity, and to look for alternative sites to take care of increased trade activities.
Petron Gasul retains Kris Aquino as endorser
LIQUEFIED-PETROLEUM-GAS (LPG) seller Petron Gasul has renewed its contract with celebrity endorser Kris Aquino as its brand ambassador. Taking pride in being the country’s No.1 preferred LPG brand, the company is confident that retaining Aquino as its ambassador will continue to reflect the brand’s gold-quality standard.
Seen as a very credible host and endorser with a huge fan base, Aquino has been the face of the brand for three years now.