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MANILA, Philippines - Shares in Rockwell Land Corp. on Friday sizzled on its listing debut, bucking the sluggish performance of the broader stock market.
The stock rose to as high as P7.71 apiece in early trade before settling at P4.90 apiece, 235.62 percent higher than its listing price of P1.46 per share.
The shares of the Lopez-led property developer opened at P7.70 each, nearly a 427.40-percent premium from its listing price.
“Rockwell Land has rocked the market,” said Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Finance Inc.
“Given the limited shareholder base, a lot of buyers are willing to pay a higher price for the shares compared to its issue price given its prospects moving forward,” del Castillo added.
Rockwell Land became the first company to list by way of introduction in 2012. Through this listing method, a company can have its existing shares traded on the Philippine Stock Exchange without having to raise fresh capital.
Ambassador Manuel Lopez, Rockwell Land chairman, said in a briefing the company will tap the capital market to raise funds "at the right time."
The property firm expects earnings to breach the P1-billion mark this year, an improvement of at least 9.4 percent from the previous year's P914 million, driven by improved residential sales and recurring income, said Nestor Padilla, Rockwell Land president.
Revenues are seen to grow by nearly 13 percent to P7 billion from P6.2 billion last year. Capital expenditures for 2012 will reach P8 billion.
With all of its projects concentrated in Metro Manila, the property developer may expand in new areas like Cebu and Davao and may offer new product formats.
"We are always open to listen to opportunities especially now that we are a listed company. We want to keep adding value for shareholders. If it makes sense and the numbers are good, why not?" said Lopez.
Rockwell Land has 10 hectares of prime land in Metro Manila, enough to keep the company busy in the next five to six years.
The real estate firm is set to launch The Proscenium in a 3.6-hectare lot that will expand the company's flagship development Rockwell Center in Makati. It will add five residential towers that will be complemented with 15,000 square meters of retail, 10,000 square meters of office space, and a 700-seater performing arts theater.
The company recently made its foray into townhouse development with 205 Santolan by Rockwell in Quezon City.
It is also expanding its office business, recently breaking ground on the 20-storey Lopez Tower, the new headquarters of the Lopez Group of Companies. It will bring an additional 26,000 square meters of office space to Rockwell Business Center in Pasig City.
On Friday, the company listed 6.228 billion shares, of which 3.176 billion or 51 percent of the company would be distributed as property dividends to existing shareholders.
The property dividend is in line with Manila Electric Co.'s (Meralco) divestment of its 51 percent stake in Rockwell Land. The dividend is set at 2.8 common shares in Rockwell Land for every stock held in the utility. Foreigners owning Meralco stock would be paid in cash instead of Rockwell Land shares.
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