(Source: The Philippine Star, by Iris C. Gonzales | Aug. 10, 2015)
SM Prime Holdings Inc. of retail and banking magnate Henry Sy is beefing up its presence in China and is looking at four new areas to acquire to strengthen the SM brand for both the commercial and residential space.
In an interview, SM Prime executive vice president Jeffrey Lim said the company is presently looking at four new areas to acquire and develop into commercial and residential areas.
“Our development guys are looking for new areas. There are a number of areas we’re looking at right now but it’s difficult to disclose yet …We have to wait for the government or the seller,” Lim said.
He said the company wants to take advantage of the strength of the anchor business, which is the shopping center but also sees the opportunity to put up residential projects, possibly near its commercial ventures.
“We want to take advantage of the strength of the anchor which is the shopping center. Moving forward, we have to consider putting up residential in these areas to take advantage of this development,” Lim said.
He believes that SM Prime would continue to strengthen the SM brand in China.
“I think we will continue to strengthen that brand. One crucial development we had is the residential development in Chengdu. So this is our first one. I think if this will be successful, i think we can move into other cities,” Lim said.
In Chengdu, the project is being implemented by SM Development Corp. but Lim said the company has yet to decide on the name.
“We still have to decide in terms of what we will call that brand in China. It could also be SM Residences because the SM Mall is already known as a mall in China,” he said.
The Chengdu project will initially have 300 to 400 units, which will eventually increase to 1,500 units.
For the other residential projects, the company is targeting affordable residential units with sizes that are a bit bigger than those in the Philippines.