PHINMA mulls nursing school in Myanmar

THE EDUCATION ARM of PHINMA Corp. plans to build schools outside the Philippines — including a nursing school in Myanmar — to mark its Southeast Asian foray ahead of a planned listing in 2019, a company official said.



“My plan is [to go public by] 2019. I want to build a better story first,” PHINMA Education President Chito B. Salazar said on the sidelines of the launch of Career Academy Asia (CAA) on Tuesday night. PHINMA Education is sending a team to Myanmar to talk to potential partners for the establishment of a nursing school, paving the way for its maiden venture overseas.


“I hope to be in Myanmar, Vietnam and Malaysia by that time,” Mr. Salazar said, adding that the company plans to export its expertise in information technology, allied sciences and business.“We’re also talking to Medical City to set up schools together,” he added, without elaborating.


PHINMA Education has revived talks to acquire a university that will give the company a footprint in the middle-income segment, Mr. Salazar said.


PHINMA President Ramon V. del Rosario, Jr. said the company was on the verge of signing a deal to purchase a university, but negotiations fell apart at the last minute.


“We were supposed to sign but things didn’t go well. It did not end so were hoping to announce something in the next few days,” Mr. Salazar said.


PHINMA Education has four schools catering to the lower-income segment. They are the University of Iloilo, Araullo University, Cagayan de Oro College and University of Pangasinan.


“By that time [2019], I hope to add a fifth school to the low-income segment. I have a school in the mid-income segment and then Career Academy Asia. I hope to have an international group as well,” Mr. Salazar said.


Set to open in Rockwell in August, CAA is a senior high school specializing in design, arts and management. PHINMA Education has partnered with internationally recognized institutions Singapore-based First Media Design School and School D’ Hospitality Institute for the venture.


By 2020, PHINMA Education's earnings will hit the P600-million mark with its four schools having a student population of 100,000, Mr. Salazar said. The education business made P192 million last year, a 19% increase from P160.8 million in 2013.


Shares of Phinma rose 1.59% or 18 centavos to close at P11.50 apiece.


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