ING set to double Manila manpower

ING Bank of the Netherlands plans to double its manpower in the Philippines next year, a top executive said Wednesday.

William Connelly, global head of ING Commercial Banking, told reporters in a press briefing in Makati City the company would double its global services and operations manpower in Manila from 215 personnel to about 500 in 2016.

“The people we hire and the activities we do here are of higher value added than what many of our competitors do here. So the level of people and job fulfilment we can offer them is very encouraging,” Connelly said.

“So in the Philippines, we have a high-quality franchise in banking and we are very excited about what else we can do here through the GSO,” he said.

ING’s GSO was set up in the country in 2013 to perform in-house processing for ING’s commercial banking business in Asia and Europe.

Connelly said the bank marked its 25th year in the Philippines in 2015. “We are clear as to what our strategy is, and it’s very much focused on pure banking,” he said.

The ING focused on setting sustainable lending to three major sectors, involving toll road financing, shipping financing for offshore rig and utility financing.

“It’s a global business [utility financing]. We are able to translate what we do in Europe, like windmill financing, to what’s relevant here in the Philippines [Burgos wind farm],” Connelly said.

ING has been involved in the landmark transactions such as the acquisition by PLDT of Digitel to become a bigger telecommunications company and the expansion of ABS-CBN Network.

“We’re excited that the next space is the LNG terminal so we’re kinda hoping that once the decision is there, they will make use of our expertise because we had a lot of LNG M&A across Asia,” said Consuelo Garcia, country manager of ING Bank Manila Branch.

Garcia said project financing would remain a popular financing structure in the Philippines.

“Last year, we did P33 billion for Pagbilao. That was the largest at the time. Now, there are even bigger transactions,” she said.

ING Manila started in 1990 as a representative office and was the first foreign bank to be given a universal bank license in the country in 1996.

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