MANILA, Philippines — Ayala Corp., the country’s oldest conglomerate, is increasing its capital expenditures for this year as its telecommunications and property giants Globe Telecom and Ayala Land Inc. beef up their respective businesses.
Ayala is looking at a capex of P182 billion for this year, P25 billion higher than the P157 billion allocated for last year, said Ayala chief finance officer Jose Limcaoco.
Part of the increase will be for Globe Telecom for its continued network expansion and improvement and fiber rollout and for Ayala Land Inc. as it resumes its project developments, he said.
Last week, Ayala president and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala said the group is cautiously optimistic about this year.
“I’m cautiously optimistic and hopeful that we will see growth this year, hopefully five , six percent, which will be a very dramatic reversal from what we have seen for (2020) for understandable reasons,” Zobel said.
He said that while it would not be easy, companies need to continue investing to fuel the growth of the economy.
Consumer behavior, he said, has been improving in terms of mobility, while spending has been improving the past months.
“We’ve been lucky as a country and that’s thanks to the good efforts of the government to be operating in a fairly low interest environment, and where we have been able to raise capital in the past. We were actually also able to raise capital in the middle of the pandemic,” Zobel said.
Ayala Corp. chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala has said the Ayala group remains committed to contributing in the transformation of the Philippine manufacturing sector “for greater global competitiveness post-COVID-19.”
“We and other private businesses can complement the government’s efforts by creating new jobs aligned with the post-pandemic economy, helping re-skill the workforce, and localizing the high value, complex capabilities required for long-term national competitiveness,” Zobel said.
Ayala is the country’s oldest conglomerate, tracing its history in 1834.
Its businesses are in real estate, financial services, telecommunications and investments in water, electronics, automative, healthcare among others.
Effective April 2021, the company is embarking on a major leadership transition.
Jaime Augusto, the seventh generation captain of the country’s oldest conglomerate, is passing the reins of the sprawling empire to his younger brother Fernando as the new Ayala CEO starting in April next year, but he will remain chairman of the company.
Article and Photo originally posted by Philippine Star last January 12, 2021 12:00am and written by Iris Gonzales. Minor edits have been made by REBPH to cater to its own readers.