By: Manila StandardJuly 25, 2018

Sta. Ana, Cagayan—The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority has earned P205.976 million from offshore financial technology or fintech firms in the second quarter of the year to raise its total revenues to P340.625 million as of the first half of 2018. This Q2 amount already exceeds its full 2017 income by 51.70 percent, Ceza Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Secretary Raul L. Lambino said Wednesday. “The overwhelming interest by offshore firms in financial technology solutions and crypto currency trading wanting to locate at the Cagayan Special Economic Zone has surpassed all our expectations,” Lambino said, adding inquiries about the Ceza project are mounting every day. “It’s only the end of the second quarter, and we have already exceeded our target for the entire 12 months of last year,” he added, referring to the P116.077-million increase over Ceza’s 2017 income of P224.548 million, mostly from online gaming operations. Lambino said the P205.976 million income from fintech firms planning to conduct offshore virtual currency exchange, initial coin offering, blockchain development, and financial technology solutions at the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport only cover their application and license fees as principal licensees. He said Ceza stands to earn P 3.6 billion from an initial batch of 25 principal licensees, including their investment commitment of US$1 million each but excluding the 0.1-percent shares from every transaction value generated from the offshore virtual currency exchange services. Aside from giving Ceza a new source of income, Lambino said the fintech operations would initially create more than 20,000 new jobs for high-paying and highly skilled information technology employees, plus the needed highly technical and managerial positions. He said 12 of the 17 fintech and OVC (offshore virtual currency) firms, led by Golden Millennial Quickpay, have fully paid their application and license fees as Principal Licensees. Five have paid their application fees and 19 more have already signed up with Ceza, bringing to 39 the registry total.

The first fintech and OVC principal licensees are Golden Millennial Quickpay, Ultra Precise Investment Ltd. and Liannet Technology Ltd., the latter setting a high-level marketing launch on Thursday with participants from China, Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia. Lambino, who concurrently serves as Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon, said Ceza would authorize principal licensees to operate in its designated offices in Metro Manila. But they will have to course all trading transactions of digital assets through LR Data, its accredited cyber park located in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. He said the back offices of all FinTech firms will eventually be installed in Sta. Ana after a two-year incubation period at a 10-hectare property that would be developed as a modern fintech hub that could rival the best in Asia. Others that have already paid the required fees are Formosa Financial Holdings, Sino-Phil Economic Zone Agency Development and Management Corp., Asia-Pacific Intl. Ltd., Hongkong Yuen Shing-Hong Ltd., Tanzer Inc. and Rare Earth. On the list that has paid their applications are BitVentures Inc., Rare Earth Asia Technologies Corp., I-Dragon Science Development Corp., CR8TIV Solutions, Seryna Coin Metrics Inc., and BCB Global Trading Corp. Ltd. Firms with pending applications include Changwei Intl. Co. Ltd., IPE Global PTE. Ltd., Hachiman Technology Sdn. Bhd., MX Exchange Ventures, Superior Tech. Pte. Ltd., Madison Blockchain Strategy Investment Co. Ltd., Asia Pacific Blockchain Association; Pacific Strategic Investments Ltd., SuperAngels Ventures Ltd., ANX Holdings Ltd., Northern Orient Resources Inc., Mobile Pole Position Pte. Ltd., Coinbundle, CSM Corp., TransGlobe Ventures Ltd. Stepwyze LLC, Paradigm Technologies Unlimited Solutions Corp. and ST Union.