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IFC to invest $400 million in Phl 

MANILA, Philippines - The International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private sector financing arm of the World Bank group, is planning to invest up to $400 million in the Philippines in 2013, a top IFC official said.

This is higher than the $200 million to $300 million allocated for 2012.

In a chance interview, IFC resident representative to Manila Jesse Ang said the projected investment would go to financial and infrastructure programs and projects.

In the financial sector, he said IFC hopes to continue working with the banking sector.

“We will focus on financial sector so you’ll see us continue to work with the banking sector. We are looking at working on distressed assets, cleaning up their balance sheets. You know Basel 3 will happen in 2014, banks will need to look at what capital they need to raise,” he said.

He said at present, they are also finalizing the creation of a special purpose vehicle for the Planters Development Bank.

IFC has stakes in other financial institutions such as BDO Unibank Inc. and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Earlier, he said it is planning to increase its shareholdings in these two banks if opportunity arises.

On the infrastructure side, Ang said IFC would look at some projects in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program particularly those involving transport, tollroads, and water.

Ang earlier said they also have entered into advisory contracts with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for their respective PPP programs.

He said they would continue to look for opportunities in the power sector, particularly in the renewable energy projects.

In agriculture, Ang said IFC is working with the government through the Department of Agriculture for the DA’s grain silo project.