Ayala Land scouts for investment opportunities in ASEAN

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, Nov. 23 (PNA) — Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is continuously on the lookout for possible investment opportunities in Southeast Asia after it acquired a stake in a Malaysian development and construction firm.

ALI Chief Financial Officer Jaime Ysmael stressed that while the company is now focused on acquisition of Malaysian MCT Bhd, it is still looking for opportunities in ASEAN, particularly Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Our plan is to really look at investing into established companies with the organization to execute rather than starting green field because by doing that way, we minimized the risk,” Ysmael said in an interview.

“We also ensure that there is an immediate contribution to our bottomline by having a stake in established operator who shares the same values as Ayala Land,” he added.

Ysmael noted the developer has been scouting for investment opportunities even before this year’s ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

He said it has also invested in ASEAN prior to the Asian crisis, and even countries outside of the region such as China.

“But now I think we would like to really focus on ASEAN… Other than Malaysia, we have not had any specific discussions yet,” he said.

In October, ALI increased its stake in Malaysian construction company MCT Bhd from 9.16 percent to 32.95 percent for USD92 million. (PNA)