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Kristina Navarro

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Kristina R. Navarro is an associate in Quisumbing Torres' Banking and Finance Practice Group and a member of the Financial Institutions Industry Group and Fintech Focus Group. She has three years experience in financial regulations, fintech, acquisition finance, and loans and credit facilities.

Cross-border lending in Asia Pacific continues to grow steadily despite external factors such as COVID-19. While the region is not immune to external factors, borrowing volumes for financial institutions, credit funds and other market participants remain high in Asia Pacific. Considering the demographics of many of the nations, the various financial centers and many market participants investing more substantially in some of those financial centers, we remain optimistic that lending activity across Asia Pacific will continue to grow.

On 16 February 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11523 or the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Act (“FIST Act”). The FIST Act allows financial institutions (FIs), including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), banks, financing companies, investment houses, lending companies, insurance companies, government financial institutions, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and other institutions licensed by the BSP to perform quasi-banking functions and credit-granting activities, to offload non-performing loans and other bad assets to a Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Corporation (FISTC). The law took effect on 22 February 2021.

The Insurance Commission, through Circular Letter No. 2018-74 dated 28 December 2018 (Circular Letter), issued the guidelines for admissibility of investments in infrastructure projects, thereby encouraging insurance and professional reinsurance companies to invest in infrastructure projects under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2017 to 2022. Based on the Circular…