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PH government updates rules on mergers and acquisitions

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By Alithea De Jesus

A new Covid-19 Response Report (CRR) produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with the professional services firm Reyes Tacandong & Co. maps out the opportunities emerging in the Philippines for investors seeking attractively priced assets, following changes to the rules governing mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

The CRR considers the impact of the decision to exempt M&A transactions valued below PHP 50bn from review by the Philippine Competition Commission for a two-year period from September 2020.

Elsewhere, the potential of the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act to improve the post-pandemic business and investment climate is also explored.

Other topical issues examined include the operational changes witnessed across the Philippines’ important business process outsourcing (BPO) industry during the pandemic, which were introduced to enable employees to work remotely and made possible by the adoption of new technologies.

In its coverage of the acceleration of tech-led innovation and implementation, the report also highlights the new openings in e-commerce and the digital payment segment, buoyed by mobility restrictions and other changes in consumer behaviour prompted by the virus.

The CRR includes an in-depth interview with Protacio T Tacandong, COO, Reyes Tacandong & Co. in which he shares his thoughts on the sectors ripe for investment.

“Largely internet-based businesses, as well as those selling essential goods and services delivered directly to the consumer, will see the most expansion,” he told OBG. “Other sectors set for investment include construction; health care; financial services, especially digital banking and financial technology; BPO; utilities; agriculture and industrial farming; and the export of labour services.”

Patrick Cooke, OBG’s Regional Editor for Asia, said that while the imposition of stringent lockdown measures in the Philippines had curtailed a lengthy period of accelerated economic growth, pent-up demand in the country’s large internal market is expected to help bring about a relatively swift recovery once the disruption subsides.

“The Philippines is set to experience a severe economic contraction in 2020, with its consumption and services-led economy bearing the brunt of the crisis,” he said. “However, new trends borne out of the pandemic are already creating openings for agile and innovative businesses, and the country remains on course to be among the fastest-growing economy in ASEAN next year.”

The CRR forms part of a series of tailored reports which the global research and advisory company is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Covid-19 Economic Impact Assessment articles and interviews.

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