Japanese financial exec expressed ‘strong interest in MIF

February 11, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 89 views

A high-ranking official of one of Japan’s leading financial institutions has expressed strong interest in the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund.

This was announced by Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez following his meeting with the Japanese senior official during the dinner held Wednesday night for President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and the Philippine delegation, hosted by Mitsui and Metro Pacific Investment Corporation.

According to Romualde,the Japanese financial executive expressed strong interest in MIF believing that it will help the Philippine power sector.

“It was during our conversation that he expressed strong interest (in the Maharlika Investment Fund) and in the possibility of investment in the proposed sovereign wealth fund, particularly for the power sector,” Romualdez said.

Among others, the MIF is intended to help achieve the “Agenda for Prosperity” and the objectives of sustainable and inclusive growth and attract additional investments for big-ticket infrastructure projects and other development programs of the government.

Romualdez said the interest in the proposed MIF shown by the Japanese senior financial official is significant because he played a key role in setting up Indonesia’s own sovereign wealth fund known as INA (Indonesia Investment Authority).

Reports said that since its launch in February 2021 with initial funding of $5 billion from the Indonesian government, INA had raised more than $20 billion of co-investments from other foreign parties by the end of 2022.

The Speaker said that according to the Japanese official, the growth prospect of the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund is “potentially higher” compared to INA.

“So that’s very good, that we’re getting support (for the Maharlika Investment Fund),” he said.

In December last year, the House approved the bill creating the Maharlika Investment Fund, with around 90 percent of the chamber’s members supporting the passage of the measure. Romualdez is the principal author of the measure.

Romualdez attributed the overwhelming support of the House to the proposed sovereign wealth fund to the willingness of the proponents to address the concerns of critics and the openness of the leadership to accept proposed amendments to improve the measure.