Shares of Empire East Land rose as much as 7.5 percent after it said it signed an agreement with the group of Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada to take the lead in developing luxury residential towers, part of a $2-billion casino-resort project near Manila Bay.
Philippine property developer Empire East hit 86 centavos in early trade, its highest in almost a year. It was the most actively traded stock by volume, with over 62 million shares changing hands, more than four times the average full-day trades in the past 90 days.
The broader market gained 1.2 percent.
Shares of Empire East were also the third most actively traded by turnover. The stock has gained around 36 percent so far this year as of Friday, outpacing the 29 percent gain in property sub-index.
Empire East, a unit of conglomerate Alliance Global through its property arm Megaworld Corp, said it would take the lead in building more than 25 high-end residential towers in a 13-hectare development within the Entertainment City casino-resort complex. It did not give the value of the deal.
Empire East president Anthony Charlemagne Yu said in a statement the company foresees Entertainment City to attract 1 million tourists yearly, many of whom may opt to buy properties for retirement or for long-term use.
Okada, who owns Universal Entertainment, is also in talks with Robinsons' Land for the retail and casino operations of the gaming and leisure project set to open in 2014.
(Reporting by Erik dela Cruz in Manila)
$1 = 42.11 pesos