Property giant SM Prime Holdings provided about P23 billion worth of rental concessions last year to help shopping mall tenants across the country stay afloat amid lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are continuously assisting our business partners, most especially our mall tenants, who are badly affected by community quarantines,” SM Prime president Jeffrey Lim reported during the company’s stockholders meeting.

As of end-2020, the country’s largest shopping mall operator had 76 malls in the Philippines with 8.7 million square meters of gross floor area (GFA). It also has shopping malls in China with 1.3 million square meters of GFA.

Apart from rental waivers and discounts as various parts of the country were subjected to different levels of quarantine protocols, SM Prime had provided venues for testing and quarantine while creating more opportunities to local entrepreneurs and farmers to reach out to their customers, Lim reported.

Last year, amid the pandemic, SM Prime opened two malls: SM City Butuan and SM City Mindoro in Zamboanga, adding 80,000 million square meters of GFA.

This 2021, SM Prime plans to jack up its capital outlays to P80 billion, focusing on its shopping mall and residential business segments, while giving due consideration to challenges brought about by the prolonged pandemic. This year’s budget for capital spending is 34-percent larger than the P59.59-billion outlays last year.

SM Prime is scheduled to open three new malls provided that quarantine measures are eased and “with utmost concern for people’s safety.” These three malls, SM City Daet (Camarines Norte), SM Roxas City (Capiz) and SM City Grand Central (Caloocan), will add over 170,000 square meters of GFA to its portfolio.

Source: Inquirer