KKR to hike investments in PH

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    Global investment US firm KKR eyes more investments in digital transformation and data usage, infrastructure and consumption in the Philippines which it sees as an attractive market amid the global pandemic.

    IKKR, which has a cumulative investments of $1 billion in the Philippines since 2018, cited the fundamental strength of the country’s economy underpinned by a stable currency, strong level of foreign reserves, its focus on keeping inflation low, and the introduction of reform programs aimed at improving the investment climate.

    KKR also cited the Philippines’ young and dynamic population as an advantage.

    Ashish Shastry, co-head of Private Equity for KKR Asia Pacific and head of Southeast Asia said the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has only accelerated the trends and needs around digital, with developments like working from home, increased online purchase and delivery all reinforcing the fundamentals of investments into technology.

    Shastry cited Voyager Innovations and its PayMaya service offer an excellent channel to drive content and mobile-enabled commerce to Filipinos. KKR has investments in Voyager, Metro Pacific Hospitals, First Gen and Pinnacle Towers, which aims to strengthen and expand the Philippines’ telecom infrastructure.

    KKR sees a great opportunity to provide capital and help fill the financing gap in the Philippines, whose Build, Build, Build infrastructure program .

    “Another theme is consumption upgrades as consumers in the Philippines and across Asia seek higher-quality goods and services among the rising middle class, newly urban populations and millennials,” Shasrtry said, adding that they are also looking at partnering with large family-owned businesses.

    “We see significant opportunity in the Philippines and will continue to invest where we believe we can add value to companies and the economy,” the official added.