Ayala Corp to hike 2022 capex to P297 billion

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Ayala Corp., the country’s oldest conglomerate, will beef up its capital expenditures this year to P297 billion from P230 billion in 2021, its president and CEO Fernando Zobel said.

“It’s our way of showing our commitment to helping in the recovery,” Zobel said over the weekend.

Bulk of the spending plan will be for Ayala’s flagship units, property giant Ayala Land Inc., telco arm Globe Telecom Inc. and its renewable energy player ACEN.

Ayala Land Inc. will get P92 billion, Globe Telecom Inc. (P87 billion) and ACEN (P61 billion), Zobel said in a separate interview with Bloomberg Television.

He said while 2021 was tough, there are good signs of recovery in the fourth quarter of last year, with remittances up, unemployment down, and foreign inflows and imports increasing.

Zobel said that Philippine economic growth might accelerate to 7.3 percent this year from Ayala’s estimate of 5.1 percent in 2021.

“I feel we’re in all the right business to take advantage of all that,” Zobel said in the Bloomberg TV interview.

Zobel, who took the helm of Ayala as CEO in April last year, also told Bloomberg that Ayala raised $420 million from selling some non-core assets, a figure that could reach $1 billion by 2023.

Proceeds of the sale went to newer businesses and in purchasing more Ayala Corp. and Ayala Land shares, which are undervalued, Zobel said.

Last week, Ayala announced that the company and Mermac Inc., the holding company of the Zobel family, will transfer five of their prime property developments to ALI with the goal of optimizing the values of these assets.

Zobel said ACEN’s portfolio is expected to reach 5,000 megawatts earlier than its 2025 goal from at least 3,000 MW at present.

Ayala grew its net income from January to September 2021 by 70 percent to P19.4 billion as the performance of its business units improved.


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