BIZ BUZZ: Borrowing spree | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Borrowing spree

/ 02:05 AM January 23, 2023

One must spend money to make money, as the business adage goes.

And so it is as well for economies like that of the Philippines where resources must first be spent by the government to ensure that the economy starts chugging along, especially after the ravages of the pandemic these past three years.

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But what if money to spend is in short supply? Well, you borrow it, of course!

Biz Buzz hears that the Bureau of the Treasury is preparing for what some described as a “borrowing spree,” which will be rolled out over the next few weeks.

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The opening salvo already happened earlier this month when the national government borrowed $3 billion through a bond issue. Next on the radar, we’re told, will be a peso-denominated retail treasury bond sale.

And more interestingly, we hear that this will be followed not too far down the road by the dollar-denominated retail treasury bond issue. That will certainly be a hit with Filipinos who love holding on to dollars, including many beneficiaries of remittances from abroad.

The only question now is: Will financial markets cooperate and give the Philippine government a good price for its planned borrowings? Watch this space folks.

—Daxim L. Lucas

Conquering the SEA market

E-commerce solutions provider Enstack, a proudly homegrown company that currently has nearly 100,000 online merchants, is ready to take on the Southeast Asian (SEA) market.

Macy Castillo, CEO and founder of Enstack, said in a recent interview with reporters they intend to do this in 18 months, starting with Vietnam. The company is currently testing the product in this market with about 150 merchants.

“Aside from Vietnam, I think Thailand might be a very similar market also,” she said, noting that they were taking their learning from the Philippine market as they go abroad.

With the plan to go regional set in motion, Enstack is in talks with potential venture capitalist partners to fund their journey.

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“Anything in tech is sort of a money-eating machine. So, as we expand and grow, we have a lot of interests actually from additional investors locally and internationally,” she said.

In particular, Castillo said investors from the United States and Europe had expressed interest to bring in some capital to the company. She said Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, is very attractive now for investors and they want to learn more about this market.

More than money, the Enstack official said they want partners who have “other portfolio companies that [they] can work with” to strengthen their brand.

Enstack, established in February 2022, is a company that provides small and medium enterprises digital solutions supporting payment portals, logistics and store management, including inventory tracking.

—Tyrone Jasper C. Piad INQ

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