July 24, 2018 | By: Janina C. Lim – Business World

THE Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) said revenue for the six months to June more than tripled year on year to P340.625 million due to strong interest from locators from the financial technology industry.

In a statement, the investment promotion agency said the six-month total has surpassed, by 51.7%, its revenue for the previous full year.

“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,” CEZA Administrator and CEO Raul L. Lambino said in the statement.

Payments by the fintech firms include their application and license fees as principal licensees.

Mr. Lambino said 12 of the 17 fintech and offshore virtual currency (OVC) firms have fully paid their application and license fees while five have paid only application fees.

A total of 39 firms have registered. Of these, only three so far have been issued licenses — Golden Millennial Quickpay, Ultra Precise Investment Ltd. and Liannet Technology Ltd.

CEZA hopes to generate P3.6 billion from an initial batch of 25 principal licensees, incorporating the $1 million minimum investment required for firms in their first two years in operation.

The target excludes the 0.1% by value CEZA plans to levy on every transaction from OVC exchange services.

Mr. Lambino said the fintech locators are expected to create more than 20,000 new jobs.