SM Prime targets two China mall openings by 2025

LISTED property developer SM Prime Holdings, Inc. continues its mall expansion in China with two planned openings by 2025, the president of its malls unit said.

The scheduled openings next year will be in Fujian Province, comprising phase 4 of SM Xiamen and a mall project in Haicheng town, said Steven T. Tan, president of SM Prime’s mall unit SM Supermalls.

He also said that another mall project is slated for opening by 2026.

“We still see a lot of potential for our China malls,” Mr. Tan said during a briefing last week.

SM started construction of SM Xiamen Phase 4 in February 2021, with a total investment of 1.148 billion yuan, according to the company’s website. The project is planned to have five 15 to 19-storey towers connected by a five-storey podium.

SM Xiamen Phase 4 has a total construction area of over 260,000 square meters (sq.m.), including an office area of nearly 120,000 sq.m., a commercial area of over 30,000 sq.m., and 1,643 parking spaces.

Mr. Tan said the company is bullish on Fujian’s prospects despite China’s economic slowdown.

“We still believe in the China market. China is so big and Fujian is not really that greatly affected and most of our anchor projects are in Fujian,” he said.

 “We still believe in the prospect of China and, therefore, we will still continue to expand our footprint in China,” he added.

 Meanwhile, SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim said that the company is not focused on land banking efforts in China as it is only developing existing properties.

 “Our developments will basically focus on the Fujian province area. These are existing properties. We have existing malls. We just have to improve the efficiency and productivity of these malls,” he said.

 “We have to develop them because Fujian province is a market where we are doing very well in China,” he added.

Based on its website, SM’s malls in China include SM Xiamen (Phases 1, 2, and 3), SM City Chengdu, SM City Chongqing, SM City Tianjin, SM City Suzhou, SM City Yangzhou, SM City Zibo, and SM City Jinjiang.

Back home, SM Prime is eyeing to open four malls this year that will add over 440,000 sq.m. of gross floor area to the company’s mall portfolio. The new openings are in Caloocan, San Fernando (La Union), Laoag, and Cebu.

SM Prime earmarked P100 billion for its capital expenditure budget this year.

Shares of SM Prime were last traded on April 26 at P28.35 per share. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave