Gokongwei-led property developer Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) plans to raise as much as P20 billion from a new retail bond offering in order to boost its war chest for expansion over the medium term.

The proposed bond offe­ring obtained a triple-A (PRS Aaa) credit rating with a stable outlook from local credit watchdog, Philippine Rating Services Corp. (Philratings).

PRS Aaa is the highest cre­dit rating on PhilRatings’ long-term issue credit rating scale. Debt papers rated PRS Aaa are deemed to be “of the highest quality with minimal credit risk” and the borrower’s capa­city to meet its financial commitment is extremely strong.

A stable outlook means the rating is likely to be maintained or to remain unchanged in the next 12 months.

Philrating said the assigned issue ratings had taken into account RLC’s “solid competitive position,” “healthy liqui­dity,” “sound capitalization” and “solid fundamentals” to temper the immediate adverse impact of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the consequent Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. The ratings also projected recovery in the medium- to long-term.

RLC is the second largest mall operator in the country, with 52 shopping malls with gross floor area of 3 million square meters as of end-2019. System-wide occupancy rate was at a high 94.4 percent as of year-end.

“RLC believes that its competitive strength lies in its mixed-use retail, commercial and residential development. The company has shown flexibi­lity in developing malls of different sizes, depending on a mall’s target market,” Philratings said.

The property developer aimed to achieve a balanced mix of tenants in its commercial centers, while leveraging on the brand equity and drawing power of its affiliate companies in the retail trade business, the credit watchdog said.

RLC’s residential division consists of four brands: Robinsons Luxuria, Robinsons Residences, Robinsons Communities and Robinsons Homes, which differ in terms of target market, location, type of develop­ment and price ranges.

The company’s office buil­dings division is one of the leading space providers in the Philippines, with a gross leasable space of 592,000 sqm. Located in central business districts and other key cities across the country, RLC’s office developments had a high system-wide occupancy rate of 98 percent as of end-2019.

The company has been targeting the information technology and business process management sector due to its sustained growth and increa­sing space demand from multinational and logistic companies in recent years.

For its hotels and resorts division, RLC had a portfolio of 20 hotels with a total of 3,129 rooms as of end-2019. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA INQ

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