SM Investments Corporation, the country’s most valuable conglomerate with a market capitalization of over P1 trillion, is allotting P90 billion for capital expenditures (Capex) this year.In a media and analysts’ briefing after the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting, SM Senior Vice President for Finance Franklin Gomez said the bulk of the capex at P80 billion will be spent by property development arm SM Prime Holdings Inc.

He added that the remaining P10 billion will be split equally between SM Retail, which owns both food and non-food retail chains, and SM’s banking units BDO Unibank and China Banking Corporation.
“We will continue to capitalize on our strengths and take advantage of the robust domestic economy to create growth,” said SM President and Chief Executive Frederick Dybuncio.

He noted that, “ our core businesses face positive market conditions and expansive opportunities for enew market development across the country while our new investments offer us additional long-term growth.”

SM Retail is aiming to continue expanding its store network in multiple formats around the country as low store penetration in the Philippines presents wide possibilities for diversification and growth, specially in the northern and southern regions which have not been covered by organized retail.

BDO is seen to benefit from growth in the consumer, middle-market and corporate segments on the back of the country’s rising per capital income, expanding middle class, young demographics, low banking penetration, accelerating provincial growth and the government’s infrastructure build-up.

On the other hand, China Bank will continue to pursue its digital banking transformation to sustain its relevance to its customers.

SM Prime is planning to beef up its land bank and will be allotting a bigger share of its P80 billion capex for land acquisition as it gears up to open more malls while exploring new segments in the residential property development business.

Source: Manila Bulletin