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PLDT eyes redevelopment of Makati offices

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT Inc. hopes to start the redevelopment of its current head office in Ramon Cojuangco Building and the Makati General Office in Makati City this year with NTT of Japan.

PLDT chairman, president and chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters, a number of parties have expressed interest in the redevelopment of the properties, but the company is leaning towards partner NTT of Japan which has a real estate arm.

“They have global properties, it turns out. They’re quite large. So, we said, we will give priority to NTT. But they need a local partner to develop. So, hopefully, we could do that next year,” he said. 

The NTT Group has been a strategic partner of PLDT since 2000, with NTT DOCOMO and NTT Communications owning approximately 20 percent of PLDT’s outstanding common stock as of end-September of last year.

The Ramon Cojuangco Building, located along Makati Ave. and the Makati General Office in Legazpi Village, cover a combined area of 8,000-square meters. 

For the redevelopment of the properties, Pangilinan said PLDT would set two conditions. 

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First, PLDT would get to keep a certain number of floors.

“We don’t know how many yet. It depends on the redevelopment plan,” he said. 

As for the second condition, he said PLDT would have naming rights to one of the two towers to be redeveloped. 

“So, we will pay for the floors that we will keep. Then the rest can be for the redeveloper or financiers,” he said.

PLDT wants to redevelop the properties in Makati in order to construct and move to a new headquarters. 

Asked about the location for the new headquarters, Pangilinan said the company is sill looking for a lot.

“There seem to be opportunities along the [Manila] bay. I like it there because I am used to Hong Kong,” he said.

He said earlier, however, the company’s preference was to have the new headquarters in the south of Metro Manila.

PLDT is hopeful this year will be a better year in terms of its financial performance, following a challenging 2017 given the weakness in the wireless business. 

For this year, Pangilinan has said PLDT would continue to undertake network improvements for better data coverage and speed.

PLDT has raised the recurring core profit guidance to P22 billion from P21.5 billion for 2017, following positive financial results in the first three quarters.

As of end-September 2017, PLDT’s recurring core income which excludes gains from asset sales, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization adjustments and related tax adjustments, rose five percent year-on-year to reach P17.4 billion.

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