Conglomerate Ayala Corp. committed to invest $250 million on new technologies like artificial intelligence, block chain technology, e-commerce ventures and start-up companies that will complement its existing businesses.
Ayala chief finance officer Jose Teodoro Limcaoco, who also heads AC Ventures Holdings Corp., said in a press briefing following the annual stockholders’ meeting the group already invested $150 million so far and that another $100 million will be spent in new technologies to expand the international portfolio.
AC Ventures over the past 18 months has invested in Zalora Philippines, the country’s largest online fashion platform offering a wide range of fashion and lifestyle products, Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. and in several small start-up companies.
Meanwhile, Ayala chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said the conglomerate was accelerating expansion overseas to achieve the goal of 10-percent equity earnings contribution from the international portfolio by 2020.
“In our country, our businesses are established leaders that have important presence in their respective industry. Across the Ayala group, we have made significant progress in expanding our international presence, particularly across Southeast Asia, where we have the ability to bring our expertise and capital to address opportunities,” Zobel de Ayala said.
The international portfolio as of the end of 2017 accounted for seven percent of total earnings.
Ayala Corp. is looking at four business units for its overseas expansion to lead the way, namely Ayala Industrials, Manila Water Co Inc., AC Energy and Ayala Land.
AC Industrials is set to open its 20th manufacturing site in Serbia in the third quarter of the year. It recently formed a new joint venture company with Japanese firm Toppan Printing to serve the market for copper-based metal mesh touch sensors.
Manila Water is looking to further expand its investments in Vietnam and Indonesia. It is now the largest foreign investor in the water sector, supplying half of Ho Chi Minh’s consumer and industrial demands.
The water company recently acquired an 18-percent stake in Thailand’s East Water and started its entry into the Indonesian market, with a 20-percent stake in Indonesian bulk water supply company PT Sarana Tirta Ungaran.