Ayala Corp readies biggest Filipino investment in Myanmar, partners with Yoma Group

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2019 09:56 AM | Updated as of Nov 14 2019 10:22 AM

Ayala Corp President and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala and Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala speak at Ayala Corp's 2019 stockholders' meeting. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA -- Ayala Corp said Thursday it would invest up to $237 million (P12 billion) under a strategic partnership with Myanmar's Yoma Group, poised to be the largest Filipino conglomerate's investment in the Southeast Asian nation.

The Yoma Group, composed of 2 holding firms listed in Singapore and Myanmar, will sell a maximum 20 percent to Ayala, the Filipino firm told the stock exchange, calling it a "milestone international transaction."

"Our partnership with the Yoma Group gives Ayala a unique opportunity to participate in Myanmar’s growth story," said Ayala Corp Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

"We could not imagine a better way to do this than with the Pun family, whose solid, decades-long reputation as a business house has cemented their expertise in multiple sectors such as real estate, banking, automotive, healthcare, power, and tourism, among others,” Zobel said, referring to the Pun family that controls Yoma Group.

Yoma Group Executive Chairman Serge Pun said: "Ayala is one of the foremost conglomerates in the Philippines; a family business that has endured generations of change, while maintaining a stellar track record in many sectors across the economy. We have much to learn, and they have much to teach us."

Myanmar's market is "underpenetrated" and its economy has grown above 6 percent in the last 3 years. Located between India and China, Myanmar has a "unique" location with special economic zones in place, Zobel said.

Last October, Ayala's power arm, AC Energy, announced plans to develop up to 200 megawatts of renewable power in Myanmar, energizing 70 percent of the population, according to the disclosure.