Manila eyes $1.5B investments from Qatar, Kuwait

Posted at 01/11/12 7:56 PM

* Qatar sovereign fund readies $1B investment

* Kuwait's global logistics firm commits $500M

* Investors eye infra, agri, tourism, energy deals

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines said on Wednesday it expects investments totaling $1.5 billion from Qatar and Kuwait this year, with investors looking at opportunities in infrastructure, agribusiness, tourism and energy sectors.

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund was taking a look at the Southeast Asian nation's agriculture, energy and tourism sectors, Manila's Trade Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio told Reuters.

Panlilio said Qatar's investment plans may be discussed during a state visit later this month by the Emir of Qatar.

"The Qatar Investment Authority is interested in food security, agribusiness, energy-related projects and hotels," he said in an interview, without giving further details.

Panlilio said another $500 million in investment has been committed by Kuwait and Gulf Link Holding Co. (KGL), which was eyeing opportunities in the tourism, business outsourcing, and infrastructure sectors.

"KGL is open to investing in new projects, not just government projects," he said.

He confirmed a local newspaper report on Tuesday that top KGL officials had recently met with President Benigno Aquino about the global logistics group's investment plans.

The KGL Group has a $200 million investment in Global Gateway Development Corp., a private firm constructing the $2 billion Gateway Logistics Center at the Clark Export Processing Zone in Pampanga province, north of Manila, according to the newspaper report.

"If it's a government project they are going to run after, bidding is a must. But if it's a private sector project, then it's subject to negotiations," Panlilio said regarding the investment process.