Mr. Ramon Monzon, President of the Philippine Stock Exchange; members of the board of directors and management of the Philippine Stock Exchange; Mr. Edgar Injap Sia II, Chairman of DoubleDragon; distinguished guests: Good morning.
I congratulate DoubleDragon for bringing another milestone to the Philippine stock market.
This company has successfully thrived in adverse conditions. Amid all the uncertainty about COVID-19 and while the economy remained largely on lockdown last year, DoubleDragon’s Merry Mart Corporation was successfully launched in the market. Today, it is offering the second REIT or real estate investment trust to be listed in Philippine history.
I commend DoubleDragon’s remarkable business acumen and resilience amid these challenging times. As with the previous initial public offerings made during the pandemic, DoubleDragon’s REIT listing reflects the strong confidence of our investors in our economic recovery.
As you know, the REIT Act was passed into law in 2009 but no company found the terms attractive. Property players cited friction costs, minimum public ownership requirements, and taxes as obstacles for the REIT to flourish in this country.
Last year, the Duterte administration successfully resolved the issues that prevented Philippine REITs from finally taking off. We took on the challenge of crafting a regulatory framework for this financial instrument that is right for the country.
Immediately after fixing the long overdue reform, we saw the successful listing of the first REIT through Ayala Land’s 13.6-billion peso landmark transaction last year.
Today, we deliver again to our economy a powerful financial mechanism to further broaden access to investments and promote greater financial inclusion for the Filipino people.
DoubleDragon’s REIT offering is worth as much as 14.7 billion pesos–the largest REIT issuance in the Philippines so far. The investment portfolio is very compelling.
This consists of six completed office towers with retail components in the DoubleDragon Meridian Park. This REIT includes freehold ownership of DoubleDragon’s most valuable property–its 4.75 hectare prime commercial land in the Manila Bay Area, where these six office towers are situated.
At this particular time in our history, REITs are indispensable to rebuilding a strong and truly inclusive economy for our people. These will make available huge volumes of capital to our financial system that will help fund our long term growth.
The Duterte administration ensured that all shareholder proceeds from REIT offerings will be retained within our domestic economy and used to drive our growth.
Majority of the proceeds from DoubleDragon’s REIT will be infused as equity into its Central Hub Industrial Centers Incorporated, which is the industrial warehouse leasing arm of DoubleDragon. This will increase the company’s leasable warehouse space and footprint nationwide.
DoubleDragon’s ambitious plan of building a chain of modern industrial warehouse complexes in strategic locations across the country will help bridge the gap in our logistics distribution network. This will effectively encourage the expansion of manufacturing activities and create more jobs for our people. Infrastructure investments will primarily fuel our economic recovery.
I wish DoubleDragon success as it lists its REIT offering today. I look forward to more REITs that will help drive our infrastructure modernization and open more business opportunities in the country.
Thank you and congratulations!