(Source: Inside Retail Asia | 24 April 2017)
SM Prime Southeast Asian expansion plans are imminent, judging by a chance interview with the company’s chairman.
The Philippine property company already operates 60 malls in its home market and a growing portfolio in China, currently standing at seven.
A foray into Southeast Asia has long been whispered and shareholder expectation rose when rival Ayala Group invested in a property company in Malaysia and confirmed it was investigating opportunities in Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar.
In what Business World Online described as “a chance interview” with Henry T Sy Jr, the SM Prime chief confirmed the company will “come out with a decision very soon,” but declined to provide specific details. The online publication said the foray would start next year.
“I’m going to ASEAN also. By next year, mag-uumpisa na. Pina-study ko na ’yan (It will start next year. I already asked them to study this),” Business World Online quote Sy, son of the Philippines’ richest man, Henry Sy Sr.
Luis A. Limlingan, business development head at Regina Capital Development Corp, told the publication the move makes business sense for SM Prime.
“Demographics-wise, the markets are similar; gross domestic product (growth) of these countries are averaging 5-6 percent; and access is nearer. They are also frontier markets,” he said.