Ports giant International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) is slashing it 2020 investment spending by 40 percent as the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic weighs on the global economy.

ICTSI chair and president Enrique Razon Jr. said capital spending for the year would hit just $160 million—$60 million of which was already deployed in the first quarter. The original budget was $270 million.

“At this juncture, we still do not see the end in sight,” Razon told shareholders during the company’s annual meeting on Thursday.

COVID-19 has affected global trade, but Razon said ICTSI’s ports remained fully operational and played an essential service as countries, including the Philippines, went on lockdown.

“By the end of March, every single country where we operate was on lockdown in one way or another,” Razon said.

“But I can tell you that the impact has not been as severe as we ourselves expected, proving once again the tremendous resilience of our business,” he added.

Apart from capital spending, ICTSI said it cut operating costs by 11 percent “across the board with further cuts planned.”

On Tuesday, ICTSI said it had raised $400 million from the sale of bonds in the international market.

“We will continue to seize every opportunity to further strengthen our finances going forward,” Razon said. This would also allow the company to make new investments.

“We are still keenly on the lookout for opportunities to expand our portfolio and continue to be very active in seeking out potential acquisitions or new projects whose potential or valuation makes sense in this environment,” Razon said.


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