April 26, 2017 / 10:29 AM / 3 years ago

Philippines' San Miguel to build $11.4 bln worth of toll roads with state agency over 5 years

MANILA, April 26 - Philippines’ San Miguel Corp on Wednesday said it will partner a state-run infrastructure agency to spend 554 billion pesos ($11.14 billion) over five years to expand toll roads, to relieve traffic-jammed roads in the capital Manila.

The announcement comes after the government pledged to usher in a “golden age of infrastructure” in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

San Miguel said its infrastructure arm has signed a deal with the Philippine National Construction Corp (PNCC) to undertake the five-year project under their existing joint venture.

“We need to fast-track infrastructure spending to significantly improve investment into the Philippines,” San Miguel President Ramon Ang said in a statement.

The government hopes infrastructure development will attract manufacturers put off by high power prices and poor roads and ports.

It also hopes it will create jobs and further stimulate an economy that grew 6.9 percent in 2016 - its quickest pace in three years - and which is forecast to expand similarly this year.

“PNCC is looking forward to exploring with (San Miguel) the possible stretches, linkages and extensions that can be built from the tollroads of our existing joint venture companies,” PNCC President and Chief Executive Officer Mario Espinosa said in the statement.

San Miguel’s Ang said the five-year project will create a network of roads and expressways that will connect the capital to neighbouring provinces.

The conglomerate has expanded aggressively since 2008 in search of revenue, adding such businesses as power generation, infrastructure, mining and oil refining to its staple of food and beverage.

$1 = 49.7120 Philippine pesos Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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