Marubeni looking to expand PH presence

TOKYO: Japanese trading conglomerate Marubeni Corp. wants to expand its investment commitments in the Philippines, a company official told visiting reporters on Friday.

“We will continue our business in the Philippines,” Kazuaki Shibuya, general manager of Marubeni’s environmental infrastructure department, said in a press briefing

Shibuya, who is also a director of Maynilad Water Services Inc. (Maynilad), said the Japanese trading giant was “very instrumental” in the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) approval of its first commercial loan to a private company in the country.

Marubeni holds a 20-percent equity stake in Maynilad, which is majority owned by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and 25-percent owned by DMCI Holdings Inc.

The Japanese conglomerate remains upbeat about the level of its investments in the Philippines, according to Shibuya, who explained why the country remained an investment hotspot.

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“We have a contract risk system so we will get countries in terms of the type of technology they use, political situation, [and] bureaucratic situation. We [kind of] put a credit limit on these countries,” he noted.

“From our point of view, the Philippines has much more space in the margin,” Shibuya added.

Marubeni has investment expansion plans in the Philippines but some of the businesses are still under research and development.

The Japanese conglomerate said it was looking to invest in the country’s consumer business, infrastructure development, innovation and digitalization.

Sustainability, decarbonization, and global warming countermeasures are also being looked at in the Philippines, it added.

In addition to Maynilad, Marubeni has expanded its Philippine portfolio by owning a significant stake in Ingrid Power Holdings Inc. (50 percent); Isabel Ancillary Services Co. Ltd. (40 percent); and San Roque Power Corp.

It also has a 34 percent shareholding in MPIC subsidiary Metro Pacific Hospitals, 40 percent in SBM Leasing Inc., and 50 percent in Team Energy Corp.