Friday, 11 April 2008

Seagate Global to invest $100M in RP

By Max V. de Leon
The Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/0411&122008/companies03.html

CALIFORNIA-based asset manager Seagate Global Advisors LLC is placing $100 million in direct investments in the next six months.

Its top executive said the country’s economy will continue to improve in the coming years.

William J. P. Lawton, Seagate Global chairman and chief investment officer, said they would invest in alternative energy, mining, real estate and services—particularly business process outsourcing and tourism.

Lawton recently visited the country. His company is now in the process of establishing a representative office here.

He said the Philippines was able to establish strong economic fundamentals in the past 10 years and this would enable the economy to keep on growing.

“Our forecast for the Philippines is it will continue to improve because its long-term fundamentals are strong,” he told the Business Mirror.

Seagate Global manages funds of endowments, pensions and investments of high net worth individuals from London and Geneva, as well as the US.

Lawton said the Philippines will be its next concentration in Asia after China, where it has invested over $600 million.

“Our focus country in Southeast Asia is the Philippines,” he said.

Lawton said China’s growth has helped the Philippines grow because the country is providing the Chinese with mineral needs “and other things it can provide like tourism.”

Here, Lawton said the company is particularly interested in Cebu because of the provincial government’s strong support to the private sector in terms of infrastructure and over-all business environment.

Aside from the $100 million, Lawton said its soon-to-be established representative office will also be managing multiple funds.

This is a good time to focus on the Philippines while most people haven’t yet noticed the positive developments here.

That is why prices of shares traded on the Philippine Stock Exchange are still relatively low, he added.

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