MANILA -- Ortigas and Co said Wednesday its net income doubled to P1.5 billion last year, driven by strong residential sales, as it looked to revamp its flagship Greenhills Shopping Center, Capital Commons and other developments.
Property demand will continue to grow, despite the specter of higher interest rates and a weak peso, the company's president and CEO, Jaime Ysmael, told ANC's The Boss.
"Most of our buyers are still domestic. Some of them have families abroad earning dollars, it translate to more pesos," Ysmael said.
A growing middle class and expanding local businesses will drive demand, he said.
"All of those factors add up, plus a favorable monetary policy. Interest rates are lower compared to our peers in the region. The peso exchange rate is still okay. All of the factors converge to make the environment still conducive for the property market," he said.
Ysmael said he expected the Bangko Sentral to "stabilize" the exchange rate after the peso fell to the P52 level against the dollar this week.
A 3 to 5 percent annual increase in property prices will help developers cope with faster inflation, he said. Consumer prices rose at the highest pace in 3 years last January.
"We have to be flexible and make sure that we design, procure and execute our projects, properly at the lowest possible cost without sacrificing brand promise. At the same time price the products effectively to address the kind of market and the kind of demand that they expect," he said.
The take-up from the gaming sector makeup for the slowdown in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, he said.
"Economic growth brings with it more business opportunities, more entrepreneurs and expansion of existing companies will require office. Businesses expand as the economy expands so, we’re all interlinked," he said.
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