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Tuesday, 13 June 2017 07:54

Ayala Corp Targets European Automotive Technology Suppliers

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Story image for ayala corp from Barron's

Filipino conglomerate Ayala Corp (AC.PH) is scoping out acquisitions among Europe’s automotive technology suppliers, according to the Financial Times.

Speaking to the newspaper, chairman and chief executive Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala says there is a case for the Philippines as a hub for manufacturing parts for self-driving cars. Ayala says that Ayala is specifically looking at Germany for potential deals.

“The automotive industry is going through a shift [from] a carburetor mechanical vehicle to basically a vehicle being run by computer. I believe we can make a case for bringing part of that business to the Philippines,” he tells the newspaper in an article Tuesday morning.

Ayala says automotive manufacturing work could potentially shift from nearby Thailand to the former Spanish colony. The FT cites figures showing Thailand’s automotive exports are worth USD26 billion, but that almost three-quarters of the country’s motor industry is vulnerable to automation.

Ayala, one of Asia’s oldest companies, has dabbled in this space recently, but is yet to really throw its weight around. It bought a majority stake in touch-screen maker Via Optronics for EUR47 million and plastic auto parts maker Misslbeck Technologies for EUR27 million.

The Manila-based conglomerate has interests spanning from real estate to telecommunications. The stock was one of Barron Asia’s top picks for 2017. So far the shares have returned 19%, versus 15% for the Filipino index.

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