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Ayala Land Says Difficult to Meet Nov. 4 Manila Bay Bid Deadline

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Ayala Land Inc., the biggest Philippine developer, said it will be difficult to meet the Nov. 4 bid deadline for a Manila reclamation project after its request to extend the cut-off date by two months was rejected.

The developer said it will consider all avenues for the 300-hectare (741-acre) project in Manila Bay, and has teamed up with an European engineering company for its proposal to the Pasay City government. It will take two months to come up with a development plan, Chief Operating Officer Bobby Dy said.

“Coming up with a well-thought out proposal within the next four to five days will be next to impossible,” Dy told reporters in Manila today. “We’re reviewing all options,” he said when asked if the company would appeal the city’s ruling or seek a court injunction.

Ayala Land’s proposal for the project was expected to spark a bidding war with SM Land Inc., its largest property competitor in the country. SM Land had made a 54.5 billion-peso ($1.26 billion) offer for the land, part of an area being developed into the capital’s new entertainment and business district. Ayala Land had sought a 60-day extension for the deadline to submit its counter-proposal.

Ayala Land shares fell 1.8 percent at the close of trading in Manila, while SM Prime Holdings Inc., SM Land’s parent, rose 2.7 percent. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 0.2 percent.

“We cannot grant your request for extension of time to submit a counter-proposal without exposing ourselves to charges of violating or bending the rules to favor your company,” the Pasay City government said in an Oct. 30 letter to Ayala Land, a copy of which was released by the company in Manila today.

Ayala Land officials were “disappointed” with the city’s decision, Dy said.

In the letter, the Pasay City’s government also declined to waive the payment of a bid document fee worth 150,000 pesos, which it said is required by an ordinance and is “inherently reasonable.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Norman P. Aquino in Manila at naquino1@bloomberg.net; Cecilia Yap in Manila at cyap19@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Clarissa Batino at cbatino@bloomberg.net

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