AYALA LAND expands to Kuala Lumpur

MANILA -- The board of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) has given the go signal to commence with an ambitious residential project in Malaysia, which is reportedly part of the local property giant's aggressive overseas expansion.

ALI President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Vincent Dy said its Board approved the purchase of 9.25-acre property in Klang Valley area in Kuala Lumpur, the firm’s first land acquisition after it increased its equity stake in Malaysian property and construction firm, MCT Bhd, to 66.25 percent in February.

“We will do some mixed-use estates but on the residential side, (we will) primarily focus on middle-income housing developments --vertical and some house and lot horizontal,” he said in a press briefing after the company’s stockholders’ meeting Wednesday.

Mean Dy, head of ALI’s Strategic Landbank Management Group, said they target to break ground on a residential development in Malaysia next year, and aim to complete the project in three years.

“That’s a fast-growing (segment) in Malaysia,” she said. “As this company grows and the balance sheet grows with it, it would be in a better position to be investing in leasing assets also. But right now, I think it’s better equipped to grow (the business) through some of the residential products.”

Meanwhile, ALI's CEO said the company is also expanding across all business segments this year.

He said it targets to open four malls, three office buildings, three Seda hotels and two more estates this year.

“Given the continued economic growth in the country which is 6 percent to 7 percent GDP (gross domestic product) growth per year, we feel very positive that we will be able to continue to introduce new projects in the market that will allow us or bring us closer to achieving our target of PHP40 billion (net income) by 2020. We have been expanding in many areas here in the Philippines across all the different regions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” he added. (PNA)