Aboitiz group allots P48-B capex

MAJORITY of the budget or P23 billion is earmarked for power business unit Aboitiz Power Corp. — BW FILE PHOTO

ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) has earmarked P48 billion for its 2021 capital expenditure (capex), higher by 69% compared with the level in the previous year, with the bulk going to its power projects, it said on Tuesday.

“Over the next 10 years, we commit to investing in capacities to advance business and communities in the nine Asia-Pacific countries where we operate,” said AEV President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin M. Aboitiz in a press release.

In 2020, the company spent P29 billion amid what it called “unprecedented challenges” because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“We continue to invest in our country to support economic recovery and growth, as millions of Filipinos are relying on us — families and communities. Our team members take this responsibility to heart. We simply cannot fail,” Mr. Aboitiz said.

In the press release, AEV said majority of the budget or P23 billion was earmarked for its power business unit Aboitiz Power Corp. to complete the 1,336 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan under GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co.

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“AboitizPower is likewise adding to its portfolio battery energy storage system projects that will help ensure grid stability through sufficient ancillary services,” the holding firm added.

AboitizPower recently said that it was in the process of adding its first battery energy storage project to its portfolio, as it would install the 49-MW facility of its unit Therma Marine, Inc. in Maco, Davao de Oro.

Meanwhile, P25 billion of this year’s budget will go to AEV’s other business units.

Broken down, P13 billion will go to Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. for various projects, including bulk water supply under its unit Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. with Davao City Water District and other water projects. The allocation also covers the construction of common towers for telecommunications.

Around P2 billion will be earmarked for Republic Cement and Building Materials, Inc.; and P4 billion will go to AEV’s food group, which will be mainly used for feedmill expansion.

Aboitiz Land, Inc. will have a budget of P3.1 billion for its land-banking activities and residential projects; while UnionBank of the Philippines will corner more than P2 billion for its digital and branch transformation efforts.

AEV is the Aboitiz group’s holding firm with investments in power, banking and financial services, among others.

Separately, AboitizPower told the stock exchange that the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx) had approved the listing of its P8-billion bonds, including oversubscription.

“The PDEx approval paves the way for the secondary market trading of the Series ‘A’ Bonds, with a fixed interest rate of 3.8224% per annum. The bonds will mature in 2026,” AboitizPower said.

Earlier this month, AboitizPower said that it had started selling five-year fixed rate bonds worth P8 billion to retail investors after the firm received a permit to offer the securities for sale from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company opened the public offer on March 2 and said that the selling would end on March 8. The bonds are to be issued on March 16. They will mature five years from the issue date.

AboitizPower holds the Aboitiz group’s investments in power generation, distribution and retail electricity services. The firm owns distribution utilities in the country’s three major islands.

Shares in AboitizPower at the local bourse slipped 2.14% or 55 centavos to close at P25.10 each. AEV shares shed 5.82% or P2.2 to finish at P35.60 apiece. — Angelica Y. Yang

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