Macquarie, ADB set up $625 million fund for Philippines

Australia's Macquarie Group and the Asian Development Bank said Tuesday they were teaming up with other investors to open a $625 million private equity fund focused on vital infrastructure in the Philippines.

The Manila-based ADB said it would invest $25 million in the fund, with other contributors including the Macquarie Group, the Philippine government's employee pension fund and Dutch pension fund manager APG.

"ADB's participation can help mobilise additional investment in the Philippines from top tier international partners," the bank's director-general for private sector operations Philip Erquiaga said in a statement.

The government has said 12 percent of the country's $120 billion investment requirements would have to come from the private sector.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, the world's largest infrastructure fund manager, will run the fund with the ADB playing an advisory role in areas like environmental and social safeguards, the bank said.

The Macquarie Group said in a separate statement that the fund would be investing in both existing and new infrastructure projects in areas like transport, power, renewable energy, water and telecommunications.

It cited its "successful track record" in setting up similar infrastructure funds in new markets like China, India, Mexico, Africa and Russia as well as its access to infrastructure experts.

It did not say how much Macquarie would invest in the fund or when the first of its infrastructure projects would be implemented.

In his annual state of the nation address before Congress last week, President Benigno Aquino vowed to speed up the development of the country's infrastructure, citing vital airport, rail and road projects.

The poor state of the Philippines' infrastructure has been cited as one of the major hindrances to growth in the largely impoverished country of 95 million.

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