Globe Telecom CEO relaxed about new law on foreign stakes

Ernest Cu Globe Telecom.jpg

One of the big operators in the Philippines says a new law on international shareholding will make “no impact” on it, but might bring in new players to the market.

Ernest Cu (pictured), CEO of Globe Telecom, was commenting to Capacity on a new law that will permit foreign ownership of companies in telecoms and other sectors.

President Rodrigo Duterte this week amended the law, dating back to 1935, that limits foreign shareholding in telecoms and other sectors to 40%.

Cu told Capacity: “Our shareholders, local and international, have no plans of changing their existing investment holdings at the moment.”

But he said that this new law will “impact new players more than the incumbents”. He added: “In terms of the provisions of the law, we commit to abide by them as part of our governance practice.”

A Reuters report this week said that the 1935 ruling “has long been blamed for stifling competition”.

The Management Association of the Philippines, a business group, said in a statement: “The entry of foreign investors will foster strong competition that will benefit the consumers, create more jobs, expand our economy, and boost our recovery from the disruptions caused by Covid-19.”

In his comment to Capacity, Cu agreed: “Considering its impact on other industries outside of telco, this may help attract more [foreign direct investment] to the country which in turn will generate jobs and economic well-being for the people.”