Philippines SWF Put On Ice

Posted on 10/18/2023

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. put his own SWF on ice after facing opposition. The Maharlika Investment Fund was signed into law in July and it appeared to be a priority for Marcos. The Office of Executive Secretary said Marcos held up to “study carefully” how the fund would be organized and managed, and to ensure “transparency and accountability.”

Philippine leftist political party Bayan Muna made a challenge in the Supreme Court. Speaking of the money involved, opposing political leader Koko Pimentel has taken to public airwaves: “We don’t know how much of that will be invested, which will be for salaries, which will be for operating expenses. Implementation is far away but we’ve already released a large amount of money.” Pimentel also thinks there may be some constitutional factors that impact the creation of the fund. This puts the fund in jeopardy.

The government along with two state-run banks: Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines, are providing the fund’s seed money. Development Bank has released US$ 440 million to the government as its share in the initial capital of the nation’s sovereign wealth fund. Its capital was combined with US$ 883 million from Land Bank of the Philippines. The money is so far remaining parked with the government until the situation stabilizes.

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