Apr 19, 2013

Ayala Corp: Looking for Myanmar Investment Opportunities

The diversified Philippine conglomerate has sent teams to Myanmar to look for opportunities in banking, real estate and telecommunications, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said in a news briefing after Ayala's annual general meeting.

"There is strong interest on our part to participate in that economy," said Mr. Zobel.

"We're trying to expand our interest in Asean," he said, referring to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which will establish a free-trade area by 2015. The Philippines and Myanmar are Asean members.

Ayala will bid with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. to provide telecommunications services in Myanmar, Mr. Zobel said. Ayala and Singtel are partners through joint venture Globe Telecom Inc. (GLO.PH).

In the Philippines, Ayala is bidding particularly for toll road and airport projects auctioned under the government's public-private partnership program. It won an auction for a four-kilometer toll road; it decided against bidding for a 7.7-kilometer expressway.

Ayala is interested in government airport, transport and road projects, particularly if they add value to Ayala Group's other businesses such as property development, said Corporate Strategy and Development head John Eric Francia.

The company has set aside $1 billion for investment, the bulk of which will be for the power sector into which it recently diversified. It has invested around $325 million of that figure over the past two years and will invest the rest by 2016, said Mr. Francia.

The power sector target is for a portfolio of plants which use conventional and renewable energy to generate 1,000 megaWatts.

Source: Fox Business