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International Finance Corp. plans wider exposure in Philippines



MANILA, Philippines — Fresh from its anchor investment in Ayala-led AC Energy’s green bonds, the International Finance Corp. (IFC) said it plans to widen its exposure investments in the country for climate-smart infrastructure and affordable housing in the near term.

In an interview yesterday, Vivek Pathak, director of IFC’s East Asia and Pacific Department, said they plan to invest more in green infrastructure, particularly in logistics and power.

At the same time, IFC is also interested in investing in firms and financial institutions that can spur the building of more affordable housing that is climate-friendly.

Pathak was in the country to meet with several banks and firms for potential clients for green finance. He said these include other companies under the Ayala Group and “one major bank.”

“So we are looking at several areas, we are looking at infrastructure, so that’s a big component. We are also looking at affordable housing,” he said. “At the same time taking to more and more banks because we want to get them to be more interested,” he said. (www.philstar.com)

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Lalamove Philippines expanding services to Pampanga



Lalamove Philippines on Wednesday announced plans to expand its delivery services to Pampanga, citing a growing need for logistics services in areas outside of Metro Manila.

On the sidelines of the AVCJ Private Equity & Venture Forum, Lalamove Philippines managing director Dannah Majarocon said the company is looking to expand to several areas.

“We are looking at moving into another city by the first half of next year. It’s a toss-up, but we are leaning more towards Pampanga because it makes a lot of sense,” she said in an interview with GMA News Online.

“Our business clients in Manila want to have items delivered all the way to Pampanga and from Pampanga to Manila, plus you have another port that is in that area,” she said.

Lalamove offers delivery services in over 100 cities across Mainland China, Southeast Asia, and India. In the Philippines alone, the company has over 45,000 partner drivers catering to clients in Manila and Cebu.

“Eventually, we will move into other cities further south. We’re still deciding if we’re gonna go Davao or Iloilo, but the most logical next phase for us will be where the central business districts are,” said Majarocon.

The company is banking on the growing need for logistics services, as it has continued to register positive growth in terms of delivery orders.

“It’s hard to fully determine or to fully attribute if it’s because of traffic because the growth of Lalamove has continuously compounded every single week, every single month, ever since we started here,” she said.

“Growth has been ‘exponentially fantastic’ for lack of a better term, and I would attribute that more because we are addressing a need in the market,” Majarocon added. —GMA News

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Megaworld to build P1.8-B mall in Pampanga



MEGAWORLD Corp. is spending P1.8 billion to construct a new mall inside its Pampanga township Capital Town.

In a statement Monday, the listed property developer said Capital Mall will offer 33,000 square meters (sq.m.) of gross floor area across three storeys. The mall will make use of materials recovered from the sugar mill owned by Pampanga Sugar Development Corp. (PASUDECO), which used to stand on the site of the township.

“As a tribute to the legacy of Pampanga’s oldest sugar mill, we will build the Capital Mall with its rich cultural heritage in mind. Other recovered portions of the sugar mill such as the giant bull gears, sprockets, and mechanical parts will become part of the mall’s interiors,” Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Andrew L. Tan said in a statement.

The mall will have four cinemas, a food hall, and a shophouse strip. It will likewise feature a landscaped garden that will have restaurants and cafés surrounded by water ponds and century-old trees.

“Even the food hall will sport an industrial architecture highlighted by more mementos of the sugar central. The cinemas will also feature the 1960s charm and ambiance,” Mr. Tan said.

Megaworld will start construction by the first half of 2020, with target completion in 2022. Via www.bworldonline.com.

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PH now Australian business’ top expansion destination



Australian businesses in Southeast Asia have picked the Philippines as the most preferred destination for their expansion, a recent survey showed.

The Philippines has become the most popular market for Australian companies looking to expand, after being picked by 24 percent of survey respondents in the latest edition of Australian Business in Asean.

This marked the first time the country became the top pick of Australian businesses since the annual survey began in 2016.

The survey said 80 percent of businesses in the region plan to expand their operations by 2023, citing the growing middle class in Southeast Asia as among the factors that fueled their bullishness.

“The Philippines is now the most prominent destination for future investments, overtaking Vietnam in 2017 and Myanmar in 2016,” the 2019 survey read.

The 2018 edition did not include details on the expansion plans for specific countries, unlike in 2016, 2017 and 2019. It also did not specify its methodology and sample size.

“Philippine trade with Australia has increased significantly over recent years while there has also been growing Australian investor interest in the Philippines,” the survey said.

Traffic congestion in the country, however, was identified as a “high-impact constraint on business” by the majority of respondents, followed by government bureaucracy and the tax system.

More than one-third, or 36 percent, of Australian companies here in the Philippines have been operating here for more than two decades.

The survey said companies continued to be attracted to the market, citing that 14 percent of the respondents had been operating in the country for less than two years. —ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL

Via Inquirer.net

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