METRO PACIFIC Tollways Corporation (MPTC) is studying the possibility of investing in toll roads and other infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) said the MPTC board approved the creation of a special committee to “study potential toll road and other infrastructure investments in the Philippines and the ASEAN region.”

The MPTC special committee is also authorized to negotiate the terms and conditions of any possible investments, and to appoint a representative to sign and execute any agreements related to the deal.

“The MPTC Board likewise authorized the company to secure a credit line or standby letter of credit of up to P8,000,000,000 from any local or international financial institution to support such Potential Investments,” MPIC, the parent of MPTC, said.

MPIC said the company will make a formal announcement upon the implementation of any of the potential investments that may be approved and identified by the MPTC special committee.

Among the current projects of MPTC are the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) C5 South Link, and the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.

MPTC announced earlier this year that it is spending about P153 billion from this year up to the first quarter of 2018 for the public private partnership (PPP) and expansion projects it will start implementing.

Meanwhile, parent company MPIC has set a capital expenditure budget of P79 billion for this year, nearly double from last year’s P40.5 billion. Of the total, between P22 billion and P24 billion were allocated for the construction of more toll roads.

MPIC is one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo