MPTC optimistic about tollway business in Southeast Asia

PANGILINAN-LED Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) remains bullish on the strong growth potential of its business in Southeast Asia.

MPTC President Rodrigo E. Franco said last week the tollway operator expected its regional operations to increase their revenue contributions by “at least 25 percent in the next three to five years” from the current 10 percent.

The company’s optimism is fueled by the strong performance of its Thailand operations, as well as its plans to explore more opportunities in Vietnam and Indonesia.

Franco noted that Don Muang Tollway Public Co. Ltd. (DMT), a major toll road operator in Bangkok, had been “earning very well.”

“DMT is a solid contributor [to] the performance of Metro Pacific Tollways,” he said.

MPTC’s parent company, Metro Pacific Investments Inc. (MPIC), holds a 29.45-percent stake in DMT, which operates a 21.9-kilometer (km), six-lane elevated toll road stretching from central Bangkok to Don Muang International Airport, and to the National Monument, north of Bangkok.

In a press briefing in Thailand last Friday, DMT Executive Vice President Sakda Panwai said his firm saw traffic volume growing by 3 to 5 percent year. In 2018, about 100,000 vehicles use the Don Muang tollway daily.

MPTC also targets to further strengthen its presence in Vietnam and Indonesia, embodied by MPIC’s 44-9 percent interest in the former’s CII Bridges and Roads
Investment Joint Stock Co. (CII B&R) and 77.94-percent stake in the latter’s PT Nusantra Infrastructure Tbk.

“Indonesia is never lacking in opportunities,” Franco said. “ Like the Philippines, there is catching up that [is] needed to be done for road infrastructure.”

PT Nusantra’s construction of the AP Pettarani elevated toll road project in Makassar City is expected to be done by middle of next year, he noted.

For Vietnam, Franco said MPTC saw new highways that could be bidded out as expressways. He noted the group still wanted to focus on Ho Chi Minh “because it’s a growth area.