MANILA - Chinese billionaire Jack Ma will be investing in the Philippines through his Alibaba Group's affiliate, financial service provider Ant Financial Services Group.
Mobile operator Globe Telecom on Friday said that Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt) has entered into a strategic partnership with Ant Financial.
Mynt is a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Capital Venture Holdings (GCVHI) under Globe Telecom and Ayala Corp. The partnership aims to speed up financial inclusion and upgrade payment services in the country.
Ant Financial's parent company, Alipay, and Ayala Corp agreed to subscribe to new shares of Mynt, which operates GCash and Fuse Lending.
When the transaction closes, Ant Financial will own a substantial minority in Mynt while Ayala Corp. will acquire a minority interest. The remaining equity interest will be owned by GCVHI.
The deal represents Ant Financial’s first-ever investment in the Philippines.
“A world-leading digital financial services provider has decided to partner with us. We are confident that having a strategic partner for Mynt will help fulfill our mission of providing financial services in a non-traditional manner that will benefit the majority of our population who are unbanked. With this partnership, we are set to democratize financial services in the Philippines,” said Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu in a statement.
Ant Financial CEO Eric Jing said they are committed to building an open, technology-based ecosystem with their partners.
“We look forward to working with Mynt’s innovative management team to provide simple, secure, low-cost and accessible digital financial services to unserved and underserved individuals and small and micro enterprises in the Philippines, thus helping individuals to live a better life and helping SMEs to grow and create more jobs,” Jing said.
Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba Group, was in the Philippines in 2015 for the APEC CEO Summit. He said Alibaba is looking at investing heavily in ventures abroad as the company works to maintain its rapid growth even as the prospect of e-commerce saturation at home looms large.