PHILIPPINE cargo handler Asian Terminals says it will spend three billion pesos (about HK$900 million) in the next five years to expand its port facilities to meet increasing cargo traffic in Manila's South Harbour. Asian Terminals begins an initial public offering next week of 150 million shares at 5.10 pesos each, or 11.24 to 14.18 times its projected 1996 earnings, to partly fund its expansion. Executive vice-president Richard Barclay said the company planned to use bank loans and to float debt paper to fund the rest of its capital requirements. The company is the exclusive handler of international bulk cargo at the Port of Manila. It also has a 30 per cent stake in Inversora Puerto Buenos Aires, which owns one third of Terminales Rio de la Plata that manages Terminal 1 and 2 of the Port of Buenos Aires. The firm expects to open a US$36 million grains terminal in January in Mariveles in Bataan province west of Manila, the first commercial grains terminal in the Philippines. 'We plan to enhance our container and cargo handling facilities to accommodate growing volume in the South Harbour, Manila's largest port,' Mr Barclay said. He said his company planned to expand its container yard to 17.7 hectares from 12.5 hectares to accommodate 700,000 containers by 1997 from the present 500,000. All Asia Securities, the underwriter, said trade in the Philippines grew by 20.2 per cent last year from 1993 while international containerised cargo rose 35.6 per cent and non-containerised cargo passing through South Harbour rose 12.3 per cent and that cargo traffic in South Harbour this year and the next was expected to rise due to strong economic growth in the Philippines.