SM ‘not that concerned’ over offshore gaming woes with ‘minimal exposure’

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By: Cathy Yang & Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

The temporary halt in the approval of new offshore gaming ventures in the Philippines is unlikely to affect SM Investments since it has “minimal exposure” to the sector, said SM Investment Corp president and CEO Frederic DyBuncio.

SM Prime Holdings has “very few” Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) take up, while its residential business has “less than 5 percent” of direct sales to buyers from mainland China, DyBuncio said.

“I’m not that concerned about POGOs pulling out because as far as the group is concerned our exposure to POGO is very minimal,” DyBuncio said in an exclusive interview with ANC’s The Boss.

“You might see a lot of foreigners in SMDC condos for example but those normally would be renting from other investors who already purchased from us,” he said.

Some POGOs are under scrutiny over alleged illegal recruitment of Chinese nationals. The Chinese government earlier urged the Philippines to “ban online gaming.”

“Strong” demand from business process outsourcing (BPO) and the government’s Build, Build, Build program fuel SM group’s property, banking and even its retail businesses, he said.

“More development, more growth, there will be more spending power so these will help our retail business as well,” he added.

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