MANILA - - Dutch financial giant ING Bank, N.V. targets to focus on having more market deals starting this year to take advantage of the sustained robust growth of the Philippine economy.

In a briefing Wednesday, new ING Bank Country Manager Hans B. Sicat said more opportunities are expected partly due to the government’s intensified program on infrastructure.

“In ING we want to do more market deals. More than the capital market deals you all see us bring to fore,” he said.

The new ING Bank Manila chief, who would assume his post starting November 16 this year in lieu of former ING Bank Manila head Consuelo Garcia, said the Philippines is a priority country of ING in Asia.

He said they are optimistic not only for the conglomerates but the growing companies as well that are involved in the consumer and retail sectors, among others.

He said a number of conglomerates, for one, are reviewing their portfolio and how to maximize their value for their stakeholders and take advantage of opportunities.

He said another focus is on companies that are into renewable energy (RE), which accounts for 58 percent of ING’s project financing deals in 2016.

“Clearly, the government’s focus on infrastructure should be a good thing for the economy in general. That gives you a clue on opportunities for financing,” he said.

The incoming ING Bank Manila chief said this development creates opportunities for project financiers.

Since starting its domestic operations in 1990, ING has arranged 87 mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals amounting to around USD26 billion as well as 117 capital market transactions reaching more than USD28 billion.

"We need to strongly demonstrate this strength to our clients, particularly to up-and-coming conglomerates that need our service to grow bigger," Sicat said.

Garcia, during the same briefing, said ING is not new to infrastructure financing deals, noting that the financial institution is strong on this in Europe.

“What we see to be our role is connecting our clients and getting them aware of the requirements not just here but in Asia,” she said.

Garcia said some of these projects need joint venture (JVs) because they are big, thus, the opening for private sector participation. (PNA)