By Jenniffer B. Austria
Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. is “recalculating” the value of three ongoing toll road projects amid the rising construction and financing costs, a top executive said over the weekend.
MPTC president Rodrigo Franco said in a briefing these projects that were delayed because of the pandemic would be subject to cost recalculation given the increased prices of construction materials and higher interest rates today.
“If these projects were not delayed, then they would not have been caught up by current higher costs of construction materials as well as higher borrowing cost,” Franco said.
Franco identified the projects as the P35-billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway, the P15-billion NLEX-SLEX Connector Road and the P9-billion C5-Link Expressway.
The projects are now slated for completion by 2023, he said.
Franco said the recalculation of costs was covered by the re-evaluation provisions of commercial agreements covering the projects.
“The additional cost will have to be recovered, and that is the one we need to talk with the grantors,” Franco said.
Meanwhile, Franco said the company had yet to finalize its planned initial public offering, which would largely depend on market conditions.
“Timing is everything. We have always been open for IPO, but market has not been favorable to an immediate IPO,” Franco said.
He said while MPTC continued to prepare for an IPO, the company would also focus on completing the remaining big projects in the pipeline and addressing regulatory concerns.
MPTC, which operates a network of toll roads in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian markets. was previously listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
MPTC sought voluntary delisting its shares from the local bourse in 2012, after the PSE implemented a 10-percent minimum public ownership for listed companies.
Under the PSE rules, a delisted company could apply for re-listing, five years after it was delisted.
MPTC, the infrastructure arm of conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp., posted a 51-percent growth in core net income to P4.1 billion in the first nine months as revenues jumped by a third to P16.4 billion on combination of record traffic growth and toll increases.
MPTC said earlier it would spend P30 billion in 2022 to develop tollway projects here and abroad.