Manila Water seeks to expand portfolio in Southeast Asia

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 31 2018 02:11 PM | Updated as of May 31 2018 04:21 PM

Manila Water seeks to expand portfolio in Southeast Asia 1
Manila Water's Balara Water Treatment Plant is retrofitted to allow it to withstand a 7.2 magnitude earthquake feared to hit the Metro Manila. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Manila Water eyes growing its Southeast Asia portfolio as it seeks to address water security in the region, its president said Thursday.

The water concessionaire aims to grow its portfolio to 10 percent of total revenue from the current 5 to 6 percent, said Ferdinand Dela Cruz, its president and CEO. 

Dela Cruz said this would be substantial even as its Manila coverage would still be its "focus area." Manila Water is currently present in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar.

"We are very deliberate in our approach in ASEAN. We have a very disciplined investment criteria. It’s always risk-adjusted as well, but we believe that the addressable market is still sizable and the growth prospects in the Philippines and ASEAN looks pretty good," he told ANC's The Boss in an exclusive interview.

Manila Water seeks to expand portfolio in Southeast Asia 2
Manila Water President and CEO Ferdinand Dela Cruz speaks with ANC's Cathy Yang. ABS-CBN News

Apart from providing water and waste water services to the region, Dela Cruz said Manila Water is also looking at waste to energy opportunities in Southeast Asia.

"I see Manila Water, apart from being a water, waste water company, over a period of time we also want to be an environmental services company," he said.

"We believe this is something we could easily move into. We believe there are opportunities in ASEAN for these types of businesses and we have the skill set and the human capital to be deployed for this type of business," he added.

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Dela Cruz said the company is also expanding its capacity in Metro Manila and in areas outside the metropolis, including Mindanao where its operations are in the early stages of planning.

Manila Water's aspirations are part of its plans to met an ambitious profit target of P11.5 billion by 2020. The company's income grew P6.5 million in 2017 and its first quarter earnings this year jumped 16.6 percent year-on-year at P1.7 billion.