The newly-appointed president and CEO of the Philippines’ first sovereign wealth fund on Wednesday unveiled plans to invest in provincial airports and power projects to generate returns over the long term.
The fund, upon starting operations later this year, is planning to generate more capital through overseas roadshows targeting foreign pension funds and other sovereign wealth funds, Maharlika Investment Corp President and CEO Rafael Consing Jr told reporters.
The fund has 107 billion pesos ($1.92 billion) in seed money from two state-owned lenders and the central bank. Under the law, the fund would issue up to 500 billion pesos worth of preferred and common shares.
Maharlika has identified tourism infrastructure, agro- urbanism, energy security, and digital infrastructure as key sectors that will receive its support, Consing said.
Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr pushed for the fund’s creation, touting it as a key driver of long-term economic growth and infrastructure development.
The Philippines is relatively late in setting up a sovereign wealth fund in the region, with neighbouring Indonesia launching its fund in 2021, and Singapore long having established one. But critics warmed it could be misused, like Malaysia’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad that was embroiled in a multi-billion dollar graft scandal.
($1 = 55.7000 Philippine pesos)