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Australian firm eyes investment in PH’s RE, mining, digitalization

MANILA: Australian-based global financial services firm Macquarie Group Ltd. has expressed interest in investing in renewable energy, value-added mining, and digitalization efforts in the Philippines, Malacañang said Tuesday.

The commitment was made during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s meeting with Macquarie Group executives on the sidelines of his participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne on Tuesday, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement.

During the meeting, Macquarie Group managing director and chief executive officer Shemara Wikramanayake said the company is keen on operating in the Philippines because of its demographic profile, particularly the ‘young and growing population’ which gives the firm ‘a bigger opportunity in terms of growth and organization.’

Wikramanayake discussed with Marcos the Macquarie Group’s interests in energy transition, mining and digitalization process, noting t
hat the company provides sufficient funds not only in the United States and Europe but also in Southeast Asia.

‘I am excited to talk about what more we can be doing in the Philippines because at the moment we do advisory work in investment bank, we bring our balance sheet to invest in,’ she told Marcos, as quoted by the PCO.

‘The whole digitization process, we’re excited about. Also, the energy transition we’re excited about… we certainly invest in digitization and we invest in energy transition and in mining and building bigger advisory business,’ she added.

Marcos welcomed the Australian company’s investment plan, saying it would be a big help for the Philippines’ development, especially in terms of digitalization process which would benefit both investors and the locals.

‘We somehow have fallen behind in that regard, and we’re trying to catch up,’ he said, referring to the digitalization efforts in the Philippines.

‘Digitization is a very important part of ease of doing business not just for investors
, but for locals in their dealings with the government.’

Marcos said the Macquarie Group may also consider exploring other sectors in the Philippines.

‘I don’t see any part of what we’ve discussed so far that is not applicable to what our ground plan for the economy of the Philippines. So, again, we’re very open to any insights you might have to improve investment terrain in the Philippines,’ he said.

The Macquarie Group is a global financial services group operating in 34 markets, specializing in areas such as resources, agriculture and commodities, energy and infrastructure, with particular knowledge of the Asia-Pacific region.

It has been operating in the Philippines for over 15 years already, with more than 1,000 direct employees through Macquarie Offshore Services, which supports the company’s global business across operations, finance, technology and risk management.

In 2012, Macquarie won a bid to manage the first and largest-ever infrastructure fund for the Philippines at PHP25 billion through th
e Philippines Investment Alliance for Infrastructure in partnership with the Government Service Insurance System.

A Macquarie Asset Management-led consortium acquired a majority stake in Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the Philippines’ largest renewable energy company, from 2017 to 2018.

The EDC manages 1.5 gigawatts of renewable energy generation capacity across geothermal, solar, hydropower, and wind, representing approximately 20 percent of total installed renewable energy in the Philippines.

Source: Philippines News Agency