The upscale development will be called Aurelia Residences and will be located adjacent to the current Robinsons Land project near the Manila American Cemetery ( probably the quietest and least busy section of BGC nowadays). Basically, Robinsons Land will chip in its real estate into the joint-venture deal and Shang Properties will build and run the condo.
It will break ground later this year and if the track record of Shang Properties with its Horizon Homes in Shangri-La at the Fort is any indication, the project will be completely sold out within weeks. Note, of course, that all 95 units at Horizon Homes now go for an average of P625,000 a square meter. That’s the price for luxuriously furnished units as opposed to around P540,000 a sqm for their bare condos. At the average size of 320 sqm, the Horizon Homes units were fully scooped up by buyers for around P200 million apiece.
Naturally, expect the premium units of the Shang-Robinsons joint venture to be in this region, too. Or more. And don’t be surprised if they’re sold out as well, with all the money going around nowadays. —DAXIM L. LUCAS
We’ve seen so many sci-fi movies where machines turn against mankind and dominate the planet. In The Matrix, for instance, humans have been relegated to just being an energy source for omnipotent machines.
In reality, while machines have made a lot of things easier for people and businesses, many people are still wary of artificial intelligence (AI). Global discussions have thus cropped up whether some form of regulation should be put in place.
Based on a new poll commissioned by the World Economic Forum, a significant portion of the global population is concerned about the use of AI. Skepticism is much higher about the use of AI by business than its use by government, as if there’s greater chance that forprofit organizations have a greater probability of producing machines that can turn evil and cause the apocalypse.
Based on the survey, which covered more than 20,000 people across 27 countries, 41 percent said they were worried about the use of AI. This compared to 27 percent who were not worried and 32 percent who were undecided.
When asked whether the use of AI by companies should be regulated more strictly than it was today, 48 percent said they agreed compared to 20 percent who disagreed.
The skepticism toward corporate use of AI was diminished when it came to governments, with 40 percent believing that current restrictions must be tightened up compared to 24 percent who disagreed.
However, most people still have faith in the inherent potential of the technology to do good as only 19 percent of people said they believed that the use of AI should be banned altogether, compared to 48 percent who disagreed with such a ban.
“Artificial intelligence is one of the most powerful tools we have as a society,” said Kay
Firth-Butterfield, WEF’s head of AI. “But, without a governance structure to provide the guardrails for how we interact with this, we risk leaving large parts of the population behind. Developing these guidelines is our focus area at the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We hope to accelerate the adoption of this technology to maximize its benefits while minimizing the risks.” —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA INQ
Nonprofit’s office block
Back in 2006 when he turned 80, tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. gave away his fortune (his personal stake in conglomerate JG Summit) to charity. He has lived a good life and wanted to help others through Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF), which thus became the singlebiggest shareholder of JG Summit.
GBF, whose nonprofit activities have benefited from the expansion in JG Summit’s business empire over the years, recently teamed up with JG Summit’s property development arm Robinsons Land Corp. to create a new joint-venture firm capitalized at P5 billion.
RLC president Frederick Go told Biz Buzz that the JV firm would develop an office building block inside the Bridgetowne West Business Park along C5 in Quezon City. It’s a one-time project with GBF, he noted.
The deal will allow RLC and GBF to jointly generate recurring earnings from office leasing. GBF, for its part, will be able to unlock values in the form of direct rental income and not just dividends from the operating unit. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA
For the love of Vios
It must feel good to be loved. And if cars could talk, maybe that’s what the Toyota Vios, which sold more than any other car model so far this year, would tell you.
Toyota Motor Philippines said that its locally assembled flagship car was still the country’s top-selling vehicle, citing the May 2019 report of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc.
The industry association does not disclose to the media how much each vehicle model sells at a given time. But according to Toyota, it has already sold 12,295 units of the Vios, outselling all available car models in the country.
The Vios, the suggested retail price of which starts at P735,000, is the only vehicle from any passenger car or commercial vehicle category to have sold more than 10,000 units so far, Toyota said. The Toyota Hilux, meanwhile, comes in as second best-seller at 8,723 units.
“The Toyota Vios remains to be a preferred vehicle among Filipinos,” Toyota Philippines first vice president for brand and product planning Cristina Arevalo said. In June, the company offered a five-year warranty period for the newly purchased Vios G and E variants, extending the standard warranty period by two more years. New buyers of these variants will also continue to enjoy free preventive maintenance package up to 20,000 kilometers.
All these take place as the vehicle industry seeks to recover its volume losses last year, after being hit by higher excise taxes as well as high inflation rates that dampened consumer demand.
Toyota, for one, saw its sales drop 4.6 percent to 58,886 units in the first five months of the year from 61,733 units recorded in the same period in 2018. But hopefully things will look up later this year.