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CLI secures P3-B loan from DBP

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Cebu Landmasters, Inc. is developing a mixed-use property Astra Centre in Mandaue. Courtesy of Cebu Landmasters

THE Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) extended a P3-billion loan to a Cebu-based contractor planning to build a commercial center in Mandaue City.

In a statement, the state-run lender said it has approved a P3-billion loan to Cebu Landmasters, Inc. (CLI), which will finance the construction of a mixed-use property called Astra Centre.

Located along A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue, Astra Centre will house a mall, office spaces, condominium units and a Radisson Red Hotel.

The credit line is also expected to boost the CLI’s working capital as the local developer takes on more projects, DBP said. The homegrown firm led by the Soberano family is also building the Davao Business Park in Mindanao.

Prior to this, DBP also signed a P1.525-billion financing deal with the provincial government of Cebu for the construction of a 20-storey office building.

Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III signed the loan agreement in May, which comes with a 10-year payment period with a fixed interest rate of 2.9%. The new building will serve as a one-stop shop for provincial offices and will come with “green” features like solar panels and an in-house waste and sewerage management facility.

DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Cecilia R. Borromeo said the lender is looking to “stimulate economic activity” in Cebu, which is touted as the most populous and richest province in the country. Cebu City is also the center of business activity in the Visayas.

Branded as the government’s infrastructure bank, DBP said they have also extended over P15 billion loans to construction firms building priority projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.

The lender rolled out the Infrastructure Contractors Support program in July 2017 to provide special credit lines for contractors tapped by the national government to carry out big-ticket projects, particularly for the 75 major developments in the pipeline.

DBP’s loan portfolio grew by 18% to reach P250.59 billion during the first semester. Ms. Borromeo said more than half of the expansion may be attributed to infrastructure financing.

DBP, the eighth-biggest bank in the country, saw its net income grow 4% higher to P2.76 billion as of end-June compared to a year ago. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez