SOCResources, Inc. was incorporated and registered with the SEC on September 25, 1992 primarily to undertake oil and gas exploration, development and production and became one of the leading exploration companies upon its listing in 1994. Starting in 1995, SOCResources opted to strengthen its core business by diversifying then into other investments.
The diversification process, brought on by the financial crisis of the 90’s, was honed through the years and allowed SOCResources to invest in technology based and as well as other long-term ventures. This gave the company new legs to stand on needed to weather the lows of the period. One of the first and significant investments was the acquisition and sale of Bell Telecommunications Philippines, Inc., the acquisition and sale of Filipinas Plaza along EDSA corner Chino Roces Avenue and the minority ownership of Premiere Development Bank.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, on October 30, 2003, approved the amendment of the Company’s Articles of Incorporation to change the primary purpose thereof to that of a holding company and to include its then primary purpose of oil exploration as among the secondary purposes of the Company. The Company continued to maintain its exploration activities.
Belltel (Bell Telecommunications Philippines, Inc.) was a pioneering telco that has then the second of only two nationwide telecommunications franchises in the country. It delivered state-of-the-art converged communications solutions to leading educational institutions, corporate clients, government agencies and high-end residential buildings. With its broad wireless network, it became an attractive asset that was pursued by a much larger corporation for acquisition and integration into their telecommunications business. SOCResources sold this company in 2009.
The Filipinas Plaza building was a prime investment situated along the major gateway road to Makati. An MRT station was located in front of the property enabling direct access to pedestrian traffic to the building complex. This development enhanced the attractiveness of the investment that allowed for its sale in 2008.
The sale of Filipinas Plaza and BellTel gave the company the influx of funds for re-investment and following the proven model of acquisition and sale of significant assets, SOCResources acquired position in AGP International Inc which in turn gained control of AG&P Manila. AG&P Manila is one of the oldest and largest steel fabrication companies in the country with the unchallenged capability in modular fabrication. Its recent achievement was a first time ever in the world, the construction of a modularized coker plant for an oil refinery, fabricated and shipped from its shipyard in Bauan, Batangas. These colossal structures towered as much as 10 stories high and weighed 1500 to 2500 tons each, were shipped on special large-hold ships that traversed the Panama Canal on its way to Lake Erie. AG&P was supposedly a long term investment however management was able to identify an opportunity which allowed for a shorter turn-around time in recouping this investment. This allowed for recoup of the investment and make a good return in what would have taken the company more than several years at the very least following the usual course of investment and dividend sharing. On January 31 of this year, after holding the AGP investment for 13 months, the company sold its AGP shares at a good profit.
Premier Bank on the other hand expanded to almost 40 branches after the company acquired its shares. It became one of the most stable small banks that it became an attractive target for acquisition by a much larger bank. The sale of this asset was recently concluded this year with the approval of the sale by the Monetary Board.
Following the successful sale of the Filipinas Plaza and in response to the growing need for affordable housing for Filipinos, SOCResources has followed on through the real estate business by acquiring a 2.4 hectare plot in Buli, Muntinlupa strategically located along the South Luzon Expressway. The country’s housing backlog paved the way for SOCResources to serve a basic need of Filipinos through SOC Land Development Corporation (SOC Land), its wholly owned subsidiary, that is to put up quality homes at affordable prices. SOC Land’s maiden venture will be the P2.5 Billion Anuva MRB (mid-rise residential building) project in the Buli Property. The medium rise complex offers amenities usually found only in high-end residential like a resort-themed community including spacious clubhouse, a resort-type lazy river feature, jogging paths, bike trails, playgrounds in every corner, including a yoga deck, and a tree house. The property will house only 8 towers thereby preserving 80% of its open space for the general benefit of future residents. The company broke ground on July 12, 2011 for the construction of the first of four 20- and 14-storey tandem buildings inside the complex.
The first tandem building of ANUVA RESIDENCES, the “ANALA”, projects a Fun Zone image showcasing the Wet and Dry Play Area for children. The building was completed and delivered last May 16, 2015 during the turnover ceremony held on the same day. Amenities facing Anala have likewise been completed as well as the parking slots in the lower ground floor for the residents to enjoy and use. As for the second tandem building known as Azalea, the License to Sell has been secured and initial earthworks have been done last quarter of 2015.
SOC Land’s newest project is a horizontal residential development, ALTHEA RESIDENCES. It is situated in Brgy. Zapote, Biñan City, Laguna and featuring modern homes with tranquil vibe spread in 4.3 hectares of land. For this project, road networks have been completed last May 12, 2015 while the Entrance Gate/Guardhouse and the Model Houses were completed last quarter of 2015.
It can be seen that in the two decades that passed, SOCResources transformed from a purely exploration play to an investment company. Even with varied interests, its exploration business was kept on by partnering with the biggest and the best in the oil exploration business, the likes of Occidental Petroleum, ARCO, UNOCAL, Murphy Oil, Philippine National Oil Company, Tap Oil, Shell and KUFPEC resulting in participation in close to $200 million worth of work program and saw the acquisition of thousands of kilometers of new seismic and the drilling of 8 wells. In its latest exploration foray however, SOCResources together with Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Co. deemed it prudent to relinquish Service Contract-60 in light of the dismal results of the wildcat well drilled and CSEM (Controlled Source Electro-Magnetics) survey. Setting aside this development, SOCResources will continue to search for energy through other avenues.
SOCResources has identified two new areas for potential investment which it is investigating. To address a growing population, now pegged at 92 million Filipinos and increasing every year, it looks at food production. The Company believes that a rising population coupled with rising incomes will drive greater protein consumption. Opportunities have been identified to get in this value chain to grow a long term business that will allow expansion laterally and vertically. The Company is currently identifying large tracts of land suitable for agro-industrial development.
The country needs both conventional and renewable energy resources to address its power requirements. SOCResources made a slight shift in focus towards renewables while keeping in line with its energy thrust. Renewables do tackle the issue of climate change, a stark fact that affects all in the world and every little help contributes to the overall effort to stave off this phenomenon. Some renewables however are still in their infancy and therefore cannot provide for the efficiencies and reliability needed for sustainable energy. SOCResources is investigating renewable energy resources, hydropower and geothermal, that can provide for base load power that is sustainable for the long term and therefore provide for a steady income stream for the company.