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PLDT sells Smart unit’s Makati HQ for $128 million

PLDT, Inc. has concluded the sale of the 37-storey Smart Tower in Makati City for $128 million to real estate development company DMC Urban Property Developers, Inc, according to commercial real estate services firm JLL in a statement Friday

In an e-mail, JLL, a unit of US-listed Jones Lang La Salle Inc., said its client, PLDT, will continue to occupy the building, which houses the headquarters of its wireless arm, Smart Communications, Inc., “for the next five years via an accompanying leaseback agreement.”

“The sale price represents the largest commercial real estate transaction completed in the Philippines in 2020,” it added.

The building, along Ayala Avenue, has a gross floor area of 38,000 square meters and 244 parking slots, JLL said.

In the statement, JLL Philippines Country Head Christophe Vicic said: “Investor appetite for grade A assets in the Metro Manila area has remained high throughout an unpredictable year.”

“The sale of the marquee Smart Tower reinforces the long-term confidence in the office market and the ambitions of corporate occupiers to reimagine their real estate holdings,” he added.

PLDT said last year it was planning to raise capital by selling company assets.

The company expects capital expenditure to hit P70 billion this year.

PLDT’s attributable net income in the third quarter rose 95% year-on-year to P7.41 billion, amid the rise in demand for digital or online services due to the pandemic.

PLDT close up 0.38% at P1,335 on Friday.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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