Philippines lifts foreign equity ownership restrictions in its banking industry

By Joseph Tato, Paul P Chen and Paolo Cesar S Boado

Philippines president Benigno Aquino III has signed into law Republic Act 10641 (RA 10641), ‘An Act Allowing the Full Entry of Foreign Banks in the Philippines’. 

Under the new law, signed on 15 July 2014, non-Philippines banks are permitted to: (i) own up to 100 per cent of the voting equity of existing Philippines banks; (ii) establish fully owned banking subsidiaries in the Philippines; or (iii) establish branches in the Philippines with full banking authority. 

Previously, non-Philippines banks could only own up to 60 per cent of the voting equity of existing Philippines banks or of banking subsidiaries incorporated in the Philippines…

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