MANILA, Philippines – Malaysian banks are keen on investing in the Philippines given the country’s positive economic backdrop, the Malaysian Embassy Trade Office (MATRADE) said.
MATRADE Manila trade commissioner Nyaee Ayup announced yesterday a group of Malaysian investment bankers were in the country earlier this month to look at opportunities here.
MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Economic Research Department chief economist Maslynnawati Ahmad, who led the delegation, said Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and Amanah Raya, which have stakes in Malaysian companies and banks, are interested in opportunities in the Philippines.
“Nonetheless, we are not privy to such information, and I think the fund managers are not allowed to disclose any that is still in the study stage,” she said.
Ahmad said most Malaysian companies that are looking into the Philippines are likely to focus on products or services catered for domestic consumers such as retail, food industries, health, roads, transport, water sanitation and sewerage infrastructure as well as housing.
“They will also tap the massive untapped potential of Mindanao, mainly agriculture supply chain,” she added.
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Ayup said there are also investors who want to develop oil and gas resources in the country.
There is interest among Malaysian firms to invest here as the Philippines has made significant economic gains and is expected to sustain growth in the coming years.
“The Philippine economic condition is likely to moderate, but to stay strong near its potential growth of about six percent. It may remain as one of the fastest growth countries in the region in the next one to two years,” Ahmad said.
Given the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration, Ayup said the MATRADE is promoting Malaysia as an investment hub and promoting the expansion of Malaysian companies in the Philippines.
The ASEAN Economic Community which would be established by the end of 2015, aims to create a single market and production base for member states to promote free movement of goods, services, investment and skilled labor across the region.