Philippines finalizes rules on sovereign wealth fund

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in July signed into law Republic Act No. 11954, which created the Philippines’ first sovereign wealth fund. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Monday said his government has finalized rules for the Philippines’ first sovereign wealth fund and that authorities aimed to get the fund operating swiftly.

Mr. Marcos last month suspended the implementation of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) to ensure transparency and accountability in the fund’s management.

“Upon our approval, we’ll swiftly establish the corporate structure, getting the MIF up and running,” Mr. Marcos said on Facebook.

The government plans to start the fund’s operations by year-end. 

The fund, signed into law in July, has been touted by Mr. Marcos as a key plank for economic growth and infrastructure development.

Under the law, the fund would issue P500 billion ($8.96 billion) worth of preferred and common shares which the government, state-run firms and banks can purchase.

The Philippines is relatively late in setting up a sovereign wealth fund in the region, with neighboring Indonesia launching its fund in 2021, and Singapore long having established one.

The sovereign wealth fund of neighbor Malaysia, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, was engulfed in a multi-billion-dollar graft scandal. — Reuters

Neil Banzuelo

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