Saudi business leaders have signified robust interest in the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) – the Philippines’ first sovereign wealth fund – during the Saudi-Philippines Roundtable Meeting on October 19, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“I am very pleased that we are joined today by leaders and the sector from Saudi Arabia who are eager to learn more about the investment opportunities in one of ASEAN’s most exciting markets and learn more about the newly-launched Maharlika Investment Fund that you have launched under your administration,” Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia Khalid A. Al-Falih said in his welcome remarks.
As head of the Marcos, Jr. administration’s economic team, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno briefed investors on the Fund’s purpose, safeguards, and investment opportunities.
“Maharlika seeks to work with other sovereign wealth funds, both as an investment partner and peer in the global sovereign wealth fund community. We look forward to exchanging views and learning from the best practices of top-of-class funds, such as those here in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. echoed this statement in his keynote speech, saying that he anticipates Saudi Arabia’s investments and insights from its extensive experience in financial management.
Following their respective capital infusions to the MIF, state-run banks Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) maintain their solid financial positions, the Department of Finance (DOF) today assured the public.
Furthermore, in his capacity as Finance Secretary, Diokno clarified that the banks’ initial capitalization for the MIF were secured from their investible funds, which do not affect loanable funds to farmers and other sectors.
Secretary Diokno reiterates that the participation of these government financial institutions (GFIs) would help increase the MIF’s investment base and could result in significantly higher rates of returns. The greater amount of funds mean more resources that could contribute to the achievement of the Marcos, Jr. administration’s 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda while the government remains committed to the implementation of the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF).
“We are continuously talking to all stakeholders involved in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the Fund. Both LBP and DBP are resolute in their commitment to responsible financial management and shall have proper representation in the Board,” Secretary Diokno said.