Banyan Tree to set up Philippines fund

The Banyan Tree-Philippines Hospitality Fund will cover the development costs of two integrated island resorts in the country, one of which will cost more than $200m. The vehicle will allow the firm to get a 'foothold' in the country's growing tourism industry.

Singapore-listed leisure resort manager and developer Banyan Tree intends to establish the Banyan Tree-Philippines Hospitality Fund.

The fund will finance the development costs of Isla Diwaran, an integrated island resort as well as another Banyan Tree resort in the Philippines, which will be located at a site that has yet to be identified. It will also enable Banyan Tree “to gain a foothold in the growing Philippine tourism industry, in line with its global expansion plans,” the company said in a statement.

Tranzen Group, the holding company of Filipino businessman Salvador Zamora II, has agreed to invest an undisclosed sum into the fund. Philippine banks BPI Capital Corporation and First Metro Investment Corporation have also agreed to assist in setting up and raising capital for the fund. 

Located south of Manila, in the Palawan province, Isla Diwaran is a 55-hectare development, which will feature three resorts, 600 keys, three spas, a marina and a town centre. The project is estimated to cost more than $200 million and aims to open in 2012.

“We are confident that the Philippines will grow as an important luxury-tourist destination,” Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree, said in a statement. The company is looking to tap into the country’s potential, he added.

In January, Banyan Tree held a third close on $100 million for its Banyan Tree Indochina Hospitality Fund, which is targeting between $300 million and $400 million. That fund is focused on developments in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Banyan Tree did not respond to requests for comments at press time.