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ASIAVIEW: View from Manila

It was clear first-hand that Manila is a city at a nascent stage in its development as an institutional market for property. A dilapidated international airport, rubbish-strewn roads and traffic chaos were early indicators that public services are still wanting. Add to that the multiple machine guns regularly in sight, and it is apparent that the country’s current regime still faces political instability.

Domestic developers nonetheless see value here and, looking at the tenant roster of the five buildings sold by Apollo, it is clear that the Philippines’ outsourcing potential can attract international occupiers. Indeed, Apollo’s full-circle investment will do much to demonstrate that institutional-quality real estate can exist in the country in spite of its various immaturities. The sheer volume of bidders for those five offices also indicates how rare such a property offering is.

Meanwhile, the impact of Typhoon Haiyan also will have ripples for investment in Manila. That said, Tacloban, where the force of the typhoon was felt most, is 850 kilometers further south.