MORE than a dozen fund managers in China with combined assets of around $40 billion are looking into areas of investment in the Philippines, Bank of China (BoC) country head Deng Jun said on Tuesday.
“They will study first the market and they will invest in the Philippines soon. The 13 companies are big ones in China, so they are looking at equities—stock market. Also, they may partner with the private sector here and in construction,” Deng told reporters in a press conference.
He said the 13 firms need to familiarize themselves with the market in the Philippines first and find qualified partners.
The BoC plans to bring in 150 Chinese investors to participate in the 12th Asean Finance Ministers’ Investors Seminar (AFMIS) happening this April 6 in Mactan, Cebu.
“But for some reason or another, unfortunately some investors cannot buy their tickets. According to our database, there are only 95 companies already registered,” Deng said.
He said that among these 95 investors, 50 are from corporations and traditional industry and the remaining are from the financial sector. Of the 95 registered investors, 25 are from Hong Kong and the rest from the mainland China.
He said some of these companies are: Ant Financial Services Group under Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and WeChat under Tencent Holdings Ltd.; and for infrastructure, China Railway Construction, China Railway Engineering, and China Communication Construction Co.
AFMIS is an annual event where Asean ministers meet with investors, both within and outside the region, to promote Asean as an attractive investment destination.
“Bank of China is one with the Asean in increasing trade and investments in the region; in integrating small, and medium enterprises [SMEs] in the digital economy for greater access to trade information, global market and value chain, and finance, promoting entrepreneurship; and in increasing cooperation within the region and connectivity to the rest of the world,” Deng said.
Recently, 320 SMEs from China and 350 from the Philippines participated in a matchmaking process as part of Bank of China’s SME Cross-Border Trade and Investment Conference.
This supports the Belt and Road initiative of the Chinese government, which aims to link economic partners in Asia, Europe and Africa.
“In supporting the ‘Belt and Road,’ BoC has become an important window facilitating exchanges of peoples and enterprises between China and countries along the way. Bank of China envisions a world that builds mutually beneficial relationships that meet the interest of all,” Deng said.
He also said that more Chinese investors are interested in the Philippines because of the country’s strong economic growth in the past decade, and the improvements of relationships between Philippines and China.
Deng added that the BoC is planning to establish branches in Davao hopefully within this year and also in Cebu possibly next year.