29 June 2008

SBMA okays P9.3-B new investments in Jan-May 2008

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority approved 85 new projects with investment commitments of $210 million, or about P9.32 billion, from January to May this year.

"If this trend keeps up, we can hope to breach the $1-billion mark this year, just like we did in 2006 and 2007" says Freeport administrator and chief executive Armand Arreza in a statement.

Arreza says about 94 percent of the commitments, or about $199 million, were foreign direct investments. The number of projects approved this year, he added, was higher by 52 percent than the 56 business ventures approved in the same period last year.

"We are now eyeing the continued growth of investments by Korean firms, and adding to that the expected resurgence of big-ticket investments from Taiwan, I'd say that our confidence level remains high that we can again reach the billion level this year," Arreza says.

Data from the SBMA Business Group showed that Korean companies continued to provide the biggest investments in Subic, with shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines pouring in $1.6 billion over the last two years.

Subic Neocove Corp. topped the list of biggest investors in the first five months of the year. Subic Neocove is putting up a resort facility and other tourism-related projects with an initial budget of $175.2 million.

Hanil E&C Subic Inc., which pledged $11 million to develop and construct medium- to high-rise commercial residential buildings, and Hanafil Golf & Tour Inc., with initial commitments of $3 million to redevelop the 18-hole Subic golf course, placed the second and third biggest investments for the period, respectively.

Other big investments were that of Palmgold International Ltd., with committed investments of $1.94 million; Grand Pillar International Development Inc. with $1.9 million; Buma Subic Development & Management Corp. with $1.5 million; World HDGD Federation Philippine Association with $1.22 million; Philkor Utopia Corp. with $1.2 million; Janburlai Corp., M. Waseem International Corp., and Ta Zon (Phils.) Color Paper Corp. all with $800,000; and Kumboindustry Corp. with $725,000.Among the biggest new investors, World HDGD Federation Philippine Association is Filipino-owned. It will construct and develop a training facility, complete with facilities such as gym, sauna, spa and restaurant.Meanwhil e, Ta Zon-Philippines, which will venture in imports and exports, manufacture, assembly and printing of corrugated boxes, cartons and other packaging materials, is a Taiwanese enterprise. (SBMA Corporate Communications)