PH to allow entry of 100% foreign-owned investment houses
Fully foreign-owned investment houses will be allowed to operate in the country as the government will remove the restriction under the soon-to-be-released latest foreign investment negative list (FINL).
Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said the Neda Board was expected to approve in a meeting in early September the removal of investment houses and financial investors from the 11th FINL.
Every two years, the government releases the FINL, the list of sectors where foreign ownership or participation is limited.
The 10th FINL issued by former President Aquino in 2015, through Executive Order No. 184, had practically kept intact the 9th FINL list of activities and sectors restricted to foreign equity and participation.
According to EO 184, financing companies and investment houses regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission were allowed to have up to 60-percent foreign equity participation.
The consensus to remove investment houses from the FINL was reached during a recent meeting of the country’s economic managers, who found that there was no constitutional restriction in the ownership of investment houses, Edillon said.
“Except if it involves, let’s say, damages or collateral, then it will be subject to constitutional restriction,” Edillon said.
The Neda official said certain foreign-owned investment houses had expressed interest to set up shop in the country.
As soon as the restriction is lifted, the government hopes to see interested firms to establish presence in the country, Edillon said.
The Duterte administration’s economic managers had said they wanted to ease restrictions to foreigners in order to entice more investors, especially in the telecommunications sector.
The 10th FINL mandated no foreign equity for the following: Mass media, except recording; practice of professions in the pharmacy, radiologic and x-ray technology, criminology, forestry and law sectors; retail trade enterprises with paid-up capital of less than $2.5 million; cooperatives; private security agencies; small-scale mining; utilization of marine resources in archipelagic waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone as well as small-scale utilization of natural resources in rivers, lakes, bays and lagoons; ownership, operation and management of cockpits; manufacture, repair, stockpiling and/or distribution of nuclear weapons; manufacture, repair, stockpiling and/or distribution of biological, chemical and radiological weapons and anti-personnel mines; as well as manufacture of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.
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