July 25, 2018 | Anna Leah E. Gonzales – The Manila Times

THE Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) expects to earn P3.6 billion from the initial 25 offshore financial technology (fintech) and virtual currency companies that are planning to operate in the economic zone.

In a statement on Tuesday, CEZA Administrator Raul Lambino said the amount included the $1 million (P53.42 million) each firm had committed to invest, and excluded the 0.1-percent share generated from every transaction they made.

These companies would also create more than 20,000 jobs for information technology professionals, he added.

CEZA’s earnings from these firms reached P205.97 million in end-June. This increased the agency’s total revenue by 219 percent to P340.62 million in the first half of 2018 from P106.76 million in the same period last year.

The amount also exceeded the P224.54 million the agency generated, mostly from online gaming businesses, in 2017.

“The overwhelming interest by offshore firms in financial technology solutions and cryptocurrency trading wanting to [operate in]the Cagayan Special Economic Zone has supassed all our expectations,” Lambino said.

The P205.97 million income only covered the application and license fees of the fintech companies, which would not only hold initial coin offerings, but also offer blockchain development and fintech solutions.

Twelve of the firms, including Golden Millennial Quickpay, Ultra Precise Investment Ltd. and Liannet Technology Ltd., already paid their application and license fees in full. Five paid their application fees.

The three companies were already granted licenses, but Ultra Precise and Liannet are yet to receive theirs.

Liannet is set to hold on Thursday a marketing launch with participants from China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Malaysia.

According to Lambino, CEZA would authorize principal licensees to operate in designated offices in Metro Manila. They would, however, have to course all digital asset transactions through LR Data, its accredited cyberpark in Sta. Ana town, Cagayan province.

The back offices of all fintech firms would eventually be established in Sta. Ana after a two-year incubation period, in a 10-hectare property that would be developed as a modern fintech hub.