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Philippine court rejects petition against SM-Ayala JV's 16.7B-peso land buy

The Court of Appeals dismissed a petition against the 16.7 billion-peso sale of a 45.2-hectare development site in Cebu City, Philippines, to a joint venture between SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Ayala Land Inc., The Philippine Star reported.

The complaint sought to block the sale of the property to the joint venture as it is a violation of City Ordinance 2332 in 2012, which protects government properties from unlawful and unauthorized transactions and dealings. The appellate court rejected the claims in a 14-page decision for lack of merit, upholding a 2015 ruling by the Cebu regional trial court, which found that the transaction did not violate the ordinance, according to the publication.

SM Prime and Ayala Land agreed to acquire the site, which forms part of the wider South Road Properties development, in 2014. The latest court decision further clears the hurdle for the companies' planned joint development on the property, the May 28 report added.

As of May 27, US$1 was equivalent to 52.18 Philippine pesos.