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Trader finds niche in furniture

MONDAY, 04 JUNE 2012

AFTER years of subcontracting, Charles Lim discovered a niche in the furniture industry by creating a line of outdoor furniture that is purely Cebuano-made.

From a start-up company of 20 workers in 1993, Lim was able to grow Heritage Muebles Mirabile Export Inc. to 100 employees today to support his furniture export operations.

Lim said he got into the business when he was 21 and learned how to grow a company the hard way.

Lim, a marketing graduate of the University of San Jose-Recoletos, said he went into several types of businesses so he could earn a living without depending on his family in Masbate.

He said he ventured into garments trading after a Chinese businessman offered him some start-up capital.

“He supplied me products while I went to towns or markets and sold them in early mornings. I joined school and company biddings for college or company t-shirts,” Lim said.

He said his exposure in the garments trading industry allowed him to build business networks and linkages that opened opportunities for him in the furniture industry.

He decided to close his trading business and used its revenues to set up a small operation for his new venture.

With a capital of P2 million, Lim established Heritage Muebles Mirabile Export Inc. in 1993.

The company is located on a 25,000- square-meter property in Soong, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City. The facility has a showroom, manufacturing and office facilities.

Heritage started with manufacturing wrought iron, stone, fiberglass, stone cast for furniture and home decorations. It later expanded to outdoor furniture made from aluminum and synthetic fiber.

Lim’s first order was a nine-container shipment from a US-based client he met during a furniture expo in Manila.

“He was happy with the delivery and since then, he became a regular customer,” Lim said. He said it was the quality of the furniture and his on time delivery that impressed the client.

“If I’m asked what made the company this successful, it’s the team effort that we have that made us create quality furniture and meet the requirements and deadlines of our clients,” he said.

Lim’s furniture products are now exported to the Middle East, Singapore, Europe, Canada, Australia and the US.

“The demand for outdoor furniture has grown over the years. Buyers opt to buy outdoor furniture because of its durability,” he said.


SMIC earmarks P5 billion for hotel project
MONDAY, 11 JUNE 2012 03:30

SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), the holding firm for the various business of the family of the country’s richest man Henry Sy, has earmarked almost P5 billion for the construction of two hotels under the Luxury brand.

Based on documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), SMIC has appropriated around P4.93 billion out of the total proceeds from its fixed-rate bond issue for two hotel projects to be built at the Mall of Asia complex and in Looc, Batangas.

A big chunk, or P3.4 billion, will go to Luxury City Hotel, an upscale hotel that will have approximately 400 rooms.

The balance of P1.53 billion will be channeled to the 400-room Luxury Hotel in Santelmo, Batangas. “This will be a resort,” said SMIC chief financial officer Jose Sio.

Sio said the design and costing are still being prepared.

SMIC’s hotels and convention centers segment is aiming to offer 1,000 hotel rooms by 2013.

The group is currently building the P750-million Park Inn Radisson Hotel in Davao City’s Lanang District, the first Park Inn Radisson in the Asia Pacific region.

Targeted for opening in the first quarter of 2013, the 204-room Park Inn hotel will be located within the 175,000-square meter mixed-use complex owned and developed by SMIC’s shopping mall subsidiary SM Prime Holdings Inc.

The Park Inn brand is one of the hotel brands under Carlson and is the largest mid-market brand for hotels under development in Europe.

From the first ShoeMart store which opened in 1958, the SM Group has since evolved into a group of companies with five core businesses: shopping mall development and management (SM Prime), retail (SM Department Stores, SM Supermarkets, SM Hypermarkets and SaveMore stores), financial services (BDO Unibank, Inc. and China Banking Corp.), real estate development and tourism (SM Land, Inc., SM Development Corp., Costa Del Hamilo Inc. and Highlands Prime Inc.), and hotels and conventions (SM Hotels, SMX Convention Specialists, Hotel Specialists – Tagaytay, Cebu and Pico).


Condotels (condo-hotels) - New Hotel Phenomenon Set To Sweep The Philippines

Interest in the Philippines condominium hotels sector has increased significantly in the past two years following many years of intermittent development and association with other shared ownership vehicles, says Beth Collingz in her recent report: 'Condominium Hotels-The Philippines Latest Hotel Phenomenon'

Beth Collingz, Overseas Marketing Director, Investment Sales for PLC International Marketing the lead marketing partners for Pacific Concord Properties Inc's Lancaster Brand of Condotels in the Philippines explained: A condominium hotel is a hotel operating unit which is sold to individual equity investors, where each owner acquires a room, suite or studio whilst the whole enterprise is managed as a hotel operation under a single brand.

Buyers own their units the same as regular condos. There is no time limit to ownership. All Condos come with freehold title deeds. The Condotel model is similar to the serviced apartment or apart hotel sector and is suitable for an investor who wants to test the water in hotel investment.

We are seeing more and more sophisticated customers coming to the market and a change in demand patterns; the traditional timeshare products seem past their prime. This, plus an increase in investment appetite for the hospitality sector, suggests that the condominium market looks set to grow Collingz continued: Many international hotel brands have also declared that the Philippine hotel landscape is ready for condominium hotel developments, either in conjunction with self-contained hotel operations, as fully self-contained condominium plans or as a part of a mixed-use development plan such as the Lancaster Brand.

Condominium hotels are significantly less developed in the Philippines than in the US, in part owing to a low cost residential focused market as well as the lack of development in the hotel sector since the 1997 Asian Crisis. Alternative hotel ownership are featuring more and more in the hotels sector, with the rise of condominium hotels and a shift in investor strategy, thus creating a new investor profile. At the moment, the Philippine condominium market is being targeted and driven by private retail purchasers, typically reasonably net worth individuals attracted by a city centre or a resort investment foothold although we are now seeing more and more first time property buyers moving into the Condominium Hotel marketplace said Collingz.

Metro Manila and Cebu are particular favorites as an investment destination. There is room for a wider pool of institutional and real estate investors to invest in a portfolio of condominium units or the establishment of an investor-developer partnership.

Collingz continued that a lot of this interest is being driven by the relatively cheap market prices in the Philippines compared to Europe, specially UK Housing prices, and the easy payment options available for our Condo Hotel Developments, but there are other factors, too. Offshore Property Investors, Foreign baby boomers as well as overseas Filipinos, are looking for ways to maximize their return on investments as they approach retirement, and so are purchasing second homes, particularly Condo Hotel Investments where they can use the Condo for vacations and rent it out through our In-House Condotel Management when they are not using the unit thereby gaining rental incomes that on today's purchase prices, give a projected ROI on their investments of some 12-16% depending upon the mode of payment for the unit.

Pacific Concord Properties Inc's Lancaster - The Atrium, Shaw Boulevard, Metro Manila, Philippines is a "Full Service" Condominium Hotel offering Studio, One, Two and Three Bedroom Suites for sale. To be completed and ready for turnover from December 2010, the Lancaster Atrium will provide unit owners with premier residential condo units with option of enrolling their units in the Lancaster Condo Hotel Rental Pool and earn Rental Incomes as Owner Non-Residents when not using their units through Condotel Management. This makes the Lancaster Brand of Condotels, one of the Hottest Investment Opportunities in the Philippines.

Part of the success story for this sector will be the education of a whole new investor base previously accustomed to buy-to-let residential plans or conventional commercial real estate investments, together with the emergence of a secondary market in the Philippines to demonstrate transparency and liquidity said Collingz.





CEBUNEXT- The 2011 Furniture Exhibition3
CEBUNEXT - The 2011 Furniture Exhibition