FILREIT expects office occupancy to improve

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Filinvest REIT Corp. (FILREIT), the real estate investment trust of the Filinvest Group, is optimistic office occupancy will improve this year along with the recovery of the economy and as quarantine restrictions ease.

FILREIT, which made its debut in the stock market last year, is gearing up to add other asset classes into its portfolio, beyond office spaces, its president and CEO Maricel Brion-Lirio said in the virtual annual stockholders meeting held by the company yesterday.

While she did not specifiy what other assets may be added, these could include hotels, malls, and residential assets.

FILREIT is adding new office buildings to its portfolio this year.

Brion-Lirio said FILREIT has been resilient throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as BPO companies remained operational, albeit not 100 percent, even during periods of the tightest lockdowns.

The company welcomed the government’s recent move to transition the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector to on-site office operations effective April 1.

FILREIT said this is expected to boost the office leasing segment as BPOs rebuild their on-site footprint.

The company’s portfolio consists of 17 Grade A office buildings totaling over 300,000 square meters of gross leasable area (GLA). Of these, 16 of the 17 buildings are in Northgate Cyberzone in Filinvest City in Alabang, a PEZA Special Economic Zone and IT park, while another building is located in the gateway of Cebu IT park in Lahug, Cebu City. The assets were valued by an independent appraisal company at P48.5 billion.

It has a tenancy largely composed of global BPO tenants across its over 300,000 sqm of prime leasable spaces.

The company is also part of the MSCI Philippines Small Cap Index.

FILREIT chairperson Josephine Gotianun-Yap said the company had declared cash dividends of P0.116 per share for shareholders on record as of May 6, with payment date on May 27.

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