Filipino Equity Investments Substantially Outpace Foreign Capital: Boon or Bane?

Manila Bulletin, September 18, 2011 | Go to article overview

Filipino Equity Investments Substantially Outpace Foreign Capital: Boon or Bane?


MANILA, Philippines - Filipino equity investments have overshadowed foreign investments in the country, a prevailing scenario since 2000. Some viewed it as a good indication of Filipino businessmen's confidence in the domestic economy, but others said this only indicated a government's failure to attract foreign investments.

Data gathered by the Board of Investments (BoI) from the various investment promotion agencies including BoI, Clark Development Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority showed that total registered equity investments from both foreign and Filipinos reached P3.393 billion from 2000 to first semester of 2011.

Of this figure, Filipino equity investments hit P1.958 billion, accounting for 57.7 percent on the average over the 11-year period as against foreign investments of P1.435 billion or 42.3 percent of total.

Based on the data, Filipino equity investments outpaced foreign for nine years out of 11. Foreign equity Filipinos contributing only 21.6 percent or P47.92 million. In 2007, foreign equity amounted to P214.082 million or 55.49 percent out of the total P385.803-million equity investments registered in that year. Filipino equity investments in that same year reached P171.721 million or 44.51 percent of total.

The last time foreign equity investments surpassed Filipino equity contributions was in 2003 with 53.31 percent share of the total equity investments of P63.794 million.

In the first half of 2011, Filipino equity investments substantially outpace foreign with 80.44 percent of total P319.884 million.

Efren V. Leano, executive directorof the BoI, noted that the rise in Filipino equity against foreign equity started in year 2000 when local businessmen were beginning to show confidence and slowly pouring in capital in their own country.

"Filipinos have shown confidence in the local economy and this is a good promotion to foreign investors that they should not be afraid to come here and pour their investments because Filipino businessmen are already investing. This should be an encouragement for them to come in," said Leano.

According to Leano, moneyed Filipinos started to pour in their capital in 2000 because of the economic reforms that were implemented starting with then President Fidel V. Ramos, who liberalized and opened up the financial sector.

Power generation projects started pouring in during the administrations of Ramos and Arroyo. Those projects were majority-owned by Filipinos.

The Constitution has restricted foreign equity contribution in certain industries like the utilities sector, however, to a maximum of 40 percent. …

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