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Canadian insurer to make first infra investment in PH

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 03:24 AM December 02, 2015

Canadian Insurance giant Sun Life Financial Inc. has given its Philippine unit the go-ahead to invest in a power project in Mindanao, its first local investment in infrastructure.

On the sidelines of the 27th Pacific Insurance Conference on Monday, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) Inc. president and chief executive Rizalina G. Mantaring told reporters that the approval was secured about three weeks ago.

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“One of the things that [Finance] Secretary [Cesar V.] Purisima has been challenging insurance companies is to invest in infrastructure. On our side, we’ve been telling the government that we want to invest in infrastructure because it’s a great match—long-term assets, long-term liabilities. We’ve really been working on it… And finally, we got the approval from our headquarters for Sun Life to make its first infrastructure investment in this country,” Mantaring said.

Mantaring said Sun Life’s investment would be in the form of equity funding—a “private fixed-income investment.” She, however, declined to disclose details.

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The Sun Life executive said the terms and the project’s details would be disclosed as soon as approvals from regulators such as the Insurance Commission were obtained.

In an e-mail on Tuesday, Sun Life Philippines said the Mindanao power plant project was expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2018.

Mantaring said Sun Life’s upcoming investment in the Philippine power sector would be the first of “more” projects it wanted to be involved in here in the Philippines.

“Our investments people are constantly on the lookout for potential investments for us because it’s difficult if our investments are all on government securities, which have low interest rates and yield,” she said.

She added the company was also interested to invest in public-private partnership (PPP) projects, noting that Sun Life was “the largest investor in PPPs” in Canada, particularly in projects involving bridges, hospitals, jails and toll roads.

“Power is a particular competency of Sun Life, that’s why it’s the first one [in the Philippines],” she said.

According to its website, the Sun Life Financial group of companies’ total global assets under management stood at $846 billion as of end-September.

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TAGS: Cesar V. Purisima, Infrastructure, Insurance, Rizalina G. Mantaring, Sun Life Financial Inc., Sun Life of Canada
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