Raises stake in property firm MCT to 33%: Ayala Land Inc invests additional $92 M in Malaysia
By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 17, 2015 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Ayala Land Inc. has raised its stake in Malaysian development and construction firm MCT Bhd to 32.95 percent.

ALI chief financial officer Jaime Ysmael said its wholly-owned subsidiary Regent Wise Investments Ltd. exercised its option to acquire additional shares of MCT for $92 million.

The purchase of additional shares would allow ALI to reap opportunities in the growing middle-income market in Malaysia.

“This transaction affirms ALI’s confidence in MCT’s solid track record in project execution and business strategy. MCT is poised to deliver its pipeline of integrated, mixed-use projects in Subang Jaya, Cyberjaya, and Dengkil in Klang Valley, Malaysia which aims to capture the demand from the middle income and affordable market segments,” Ysmael said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

In an interview early this month, Ysmael said ALI was considering borrowing in Malaysian ringgit to fund its additional investment in MCT.

Established in 1999, MCT is a property developer specializing in mixed-use projects that include retail, office, hotel, and mid- to affordable residential.

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MCT has several ongoing projects in OneCitySubang Jaya and Cyberjaya, as well as a land bank in Dengkil, 1.5 kilometers away south of Cyberjaya, all located in the Klang Valley in Malaysia.

“By partnering with a company such as MCT, ALI will be expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia in line with its diversification goals,” the Ayala-owned property firm said.

ALI is looking at other markets in the fast booming Southeast Asian region such as Vietnam and Myanmar.

“We are looking for companies with existing track record and capability so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We share same vision. So that [buying into companies] would be our preferred mode rather than doing it greenfield by ourselves,” Ysmael said.

ALI’s planned expansion in the region coincides with the ongoing integration in the region through the so-called 2015 Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community.

Through the AEC, the 10 member nations operate under a single market and distribution base to compete and integrate within the larger global economy.

Aside from the Philippines, other countries in Asean include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.