The Philippines has moved in recent years to liberalise
several sectors of the economy to simulate foreign direct
investment (FDI), but foreign land ownership is one area that
still faces a number of regulatory hurdles.
While foreign ownership ceilings remain set on a number of
sectors, including the 40% limit on the telecommunications
industry, the government signed a law in July 2014 allowing a
foreign bank, subject to certain requirements, to own up to
100% of a local lender.
"Some sectors are totally liberal in terms of foreign
ownership and others have recently liberalised, such as
Alun Evans, partner at Allen & Overy in Singapore. "But
the issue pervading all sectors is land ownership that is
capped at 40% foreign ownership."
Evans reveals that many of his clients have entered into
long-term leases, while some of them have taken up a 40%
minority interest in a joint venture...