Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- SM Prime Holdings Inc., the largest Philippine mall operator, rallied the most in six months in Manila stock trading after Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Lim said its fifth shopping center in China is 80 percent occupied.
SM Prime shares jumped 5.3 percent to 15.96 pesos in Manila, the steepest gain since June 18. SM Investments Corp., parent of SM Prime, climbed 2.5 percent to 850 pesos, the highest close since Dec. 13. The two stocks accounted for almost a quarter of the 2.1 percent gain in the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index.
The company’s SM City Chongqing mall has been attracting 50,000 customers a day since it opened on Dec. 14 and will reach full occupancy in a year, Lim said in a mobile-phone text message. SM Prime plans to open two more shopping centers in China in 2014, according to the company’s website. Chinese corporate earnings may climb as much as 10 percent next year, with companies benefiting from domestic consumption posting even greater growth, Russell Investments said yesterday.
“The gestation period for SM Prime malls in China is longer than in the Philippines, so it’s good and important to have a high occupancy rate from the start,” Richard Laneda, an analyst at COL Financial Group Inc., said by phone today. Laneda has a buy rating on the stock with a 12-month price target of 17 pesos.
Manila-based SM Prime has 51 malls in China and the Philippines with a combined gross floor area of 6.3 million square meters (68 million square feet). The company opened six malls this year.
“China is a very promising market,” Laneda said. “SM Prime malls operating there for more than five years have margins that are comparable with the Philippines.”
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