Japan lender expresses interest in Maharlika fund – Malacañang

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) — A Japanese bank is interested in the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) bill, which is now up for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signature, the Palace said Thursday.

According to Malacañang, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Chairman of the Board Tadashi Maeda said during a courtesy call on Marcos that the group “wants to know more details about the country’s potential, targeted projects” under the proposed sovereign wealth fund.

The JBIC could craft “more tangible” and “specific proposals,” the Palace added.

Marcos told Maeda that the MIF is the kind of investment that the Philippines “needs.”

“It’s so that we, the Philippines, can participate in what would be, what is regarded, of course, as an investment for us. It is a necessary infrastructure that we are investing in,” Marcos said.

“So, that is the plan for the sovereign fund. We now have to go and look at the design or the structuring of the fund. But it is basically seen as our government participation in projects that, mostly, will really be in the Philippines,” the president added.

Owned by the Japanese government, JBIC is a policy-based financial institution focused on the development of its home country, as well as the international economy.

The controversial measure that seeks to create the MIF is off to Malacañang for Marcos’ approval after Congress swiftly passed the bill on Wednesday.

READ: Maharlika bill now up for Marcos' signature

The JBIC is also eyeing to team up with Philippine companies in the energy sector for possible projects, including the giants Aboitiz, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, and San Miguel Corporation.