DMCI working out JV deal with NTT

Philippine Daily Inquirer
01:09 AM May 15, 2017

The property arm of DMCI Holdings is in talks with NTT of Japan on a partnership to develop a two-tower office and residential complex in Makati, a project which will bring to the market some P8-billion worth of new property inventory.

DMCI president Isidro Consunji said DMCI Homes would make its debut in the office property business as part of a two-tower project planned along Pasong Tamo, Makati near the current site of Home Depot.

DMCI Homes has a 7,000- square meter lot in this area where a floor area ratio of 14 is allowed. The plan is to build two towers—one for office and another for residential space—with 30 stories each.

“We’re talking with NTT, but we haven’t signed anything yet,” Consunji said.

Two other Japanese companies have approached DMCI for this project but talks with NTT were said to be in advanced stages. Consunji said NTT would likely take an initial 30 percent economic interest in the two-tower project.

A foreigner can own only up to 40 percent of real estate ventures in the Philippines as prescribed by the Constitution. Foreigners are also not allowed to own land in the country.

Consunji and his team had gone to Japan to visit NTT, a telecommunications giant which have also become big in real estate in Japan over the years.

“They are the sixth or seventh largest real estate company in Japan. We asked them how this happened to a telecom company and they said this was because of technology change. Long ago, because of their telephone business, they needed a lot of switching stations inside the city, these were the manual stations. When that [technology] became obsolete, they had [accumulated] real estate assets in prime locations all over Japan, so accidentally, they became a real estate company,” Consunji said.

In the Philippines, NTT had also made money by investing in Smart Communications in the past as a strategic partner of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan-led First Pacific group, Consunji noted.

“They told us: ‘We are very comfortable with the Philippines and we’re prepared to invest’,” he said.

At first, Consunji said his group thought NTT wanted to invest only in the office portion of this two-tower project in Makati. However, he said NTT was interested even in the residential component.