Canada's Sun Life Financial Inc. has given its Philippine unit the green light to invest in a power generation project in Mindanao. The investment, which Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) plans to make by year end, will be the first infrastructure bet of the local company.

The approval came three weeks ago, and the company is now working on approvals from the Insurance Commission and other agencies, Philippine Daily Inquirer reported CEO Rizalina Mantaring as saying. It's not yet decided if the investment will be in shares or bonds.  The power plant is expected to start its operation by the third quarter of 2018.

Mantaring said the company is on the same page as Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

“One of the things that Secretary Purisima has been challenging insurance companies to do is to invest in infrastructure," Mantaring said. "On our side, we’ve been telling the government that we want to invest in infrastructure because it’s a great match—long-term assets, long-term liabilities. We’ve really been working on it. And finally, we got the approval from our headquarters."

Mantaring said Sun Life plans to invest in more infrastructure projects including public-private partnership (PPP) projects. She said Sun Life Financial, the parent company, is the largest investor in PPPs in Canada.

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