Australia’s Macquarie placing $600M in Philippines’s PPP projects

One of the world's largest financial services companies is investing up to $600 million to finance infrastructure projects under the Aquino administration's public-private partnership program.

Sydney, Australia-based Macquarie Group said the fund allotted to the Philippines is more or less on a par with the $1.2 billion the group placed in India and the $1 billion in China.

 "The Philippines is very important to the Macquarie Group. There is a good combination of strong economic growth and sound prospects for the economy," said Michael de Guzman, managing director of the group's Manila office.

In fact, the Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia where Macquarie invested some of its funds, because of  sound macroeconomic fundamentals and growth potential, De Guzman told reporters on the sidelines of the "2012 Philippine Energy & Infrastructure Business Meeting."

According to its website, Macquarie has $339 billion worth of funds under its management.

Under the PPP initiative, Macquarie is eyeing to finance the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 1 extension to Cavite from Baclaran, the proposed P10.2 billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway project.

While foreign investors are interested in placing their money in Philippine projects, BDO Unibank chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson said local banks have more than enough liquidity to raise at least $1 billion for infrastructure projects under the government's PPP initiative.

Banks are – in fact – excited for the PPP program to go full swing to benefit from the highly liquid financial market.

"The delay means delayed business. We are hoping that these projects would be bidded out soon," Sy-Coson added.

De Guzman, however, said Macquarie is also eyeing to fund power projects including power plants that run on coal, gas, and renewable energy.

The group earlier partnered with the state-run Government Service Insurance System and Asian Development Bank, pooling their funds under the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure, especially to finance infrastructure projects.

GMA News

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