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Western Union Expands to the Philippines

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Western Union Co. (WU - Free Report) has partnered with Petnet Inc. to provide its international business payment service in the Philippines.

PETNET Inc. was established in August 12, 1998. The principal purpose of the company has been to grow the network of Western Union in the Philippines. Guided by this purpose, PETNET has expanded and become the largest Western Union agent network in the country. The network of PETNET includes over 3,000 locations, consisting of banks, pawnshops, business centers, money-changers, supermarkets and company-owned locations.

Owing to its growing imports, the Philippines offers a unique opportunity for Western Union to extend its international business service to local business owners that conduct cross-border trades.

The Philippines, which is located in the Asia Pacific region, reported an increase of 14% in revenue, driven by growth across the region. Western Union is stretching itself very fast geographically as well as in terms of providing services.

Last month, Western Union completed the acquisition of the remaining 70% interest in one of its leading super agents in Europe, Angelo Costa, for cash consideration of approximately $140 million. This acquisition will allow the company to access its network locations more directly and be closer to its consumers, as well as introduce new products and services more quickly, such as prepaid cards.

Western Union competes with MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI - Free Report) based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The stock carries a Zacks # 3 Rank, which translates into a “Hold” recommendation over the short term. Over the medium-to-long term, we suggest that investors maintain a “Neutral” position.

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