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Philippine senate passes bill liberalising banking sector

Published on Jun 9, 2014 6:47 PM

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippine senate has approved a bill that will open the country's restricted banking sector to more foreign financial institutions.

The passage paves the way for a change in the law ahead of a goal for economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc of countries in 2015.

It amends a 20-year old foreign banking act, permitting foreign ownership of domestic banks to rise to 100 per cent from 60 per cent, a statement posted on the senate's website said.

Current limits to the number of foreign banks operating in the country will be eliminated, it said. The existing Republic Act 7721, which liberalised the entry of foreign lenders in 1994, allowed the entry of only up to 10 banks fully-owned by foreigners to operate in the country.

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