Raul Lambino, administrator and CEO of CEZA

Administrator says CEZA’s second-quarter revenues exceeded full-year 2017 earnings

Raul Lambino, administrator and CEO of CEZA

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has earned P205.976 million from offshore Financial Technology (FinTech) firms to raise its total revenues to Ᵽ340.625 million by the end of the second quarter, already exceeding its 2017 income of P106,763,295 by 51.70 percent, said Raul Lambino, administrator and CEO of CEZA.

“The overwhelming interest by offshore firms in financial technology solutions and cryptocurrency 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 said, 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 (ICO), blockchain development, and financial technology solutions at the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, among others, only cover their application and license fees as principal licensees.

He said CEZA stands to earn P3.6 billion from an initial batch of 25 principal licensees, including their investment commitment of $1 million each but excluding the 0.1 percent share from every transaction value generated from the offshore virtual currency exchange services.

New jobs

Aside from giving CEZA a new source of income, Lambino said the FinTech operations would also initially create more than 20,000 new jobs for high-paying and highly-skilled IT (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 paid their application fees, and 19 more have already signed up to bring to 39 the registry total.

The first three FinTech and OVC principal licensees are Golden Millennial Quickpay, Ultra Precise Investment Ltd., and Liannet Technology Ltd.

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.

FinTech hub

He said, after a two-year incubation period, the back offices of all FinTech firms will eventually be installed in Sta. Ana at a 10-hectare property that would be developed as a modern FinTech hub that could rival the best in Asia.

The 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.

Also in the list that have 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.

Those 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.

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