Myanmar Monitor


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Photo credit: Nikkei Asian Review

Economy, Investment and Trade

Myanmar’s financial sector attracting foreign companies
Foreign companies are entering the Myanmar market to provide support services for the country’s rapidly growing commercial banking sector. Companies such as Diebold Nixdorf, Hitachi and VMware are set to provide ATMs and a variety of financial software for local banks. There were 1,800 ATMs installed in Myanmar in 2015 – the lowest ATM penetration rate in Southeast Asia. However, Myanmar’s ATM market is projected to grow by over 20% annually until 2021.
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Myanmar launches largest foreign funded property development
A US$700 million urban development project financed by international aid agencies and foreign partners, was launched in the business district of Myanmar’s commercial capital Yangon. It is said to be the country’s largest real estate investment involving foreign stakeholders. The project covers a 10-acre site and includes two office towers, a serviced apartment complex and a luxury hotel.The project is led by Singapore’s Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd, which owns the largest equity stake in the project (excluding the hotel component of the development) with 48 percent. Other investors include Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsubishi Estate Co, First Myanmar Investment, International Finance Corp, Asian Development Bank and Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd. The project is expected to be completed in 2020.
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India gears up to invest in Myanmar
India is looking to deepen economic ties with Myanmar in the area of energy. Indian oil minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, is currently on a visit to Myanmar looking for opportunities in oil exploration, refining and products retailing. There are also talks of laying fuel and gas pipelines linking India’s northeastern states with Myanmar. Pradhan’s visit falls under India’s Act East Policy which includes improving economic, political and cultural ties with its eastern neighbours. The visit comes after defacto Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi visited India in 2016 to court investments for the country.
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Thailand considers infrastructure development loan for Myanmar
Thai Transport Minister, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, said that Thailand is mulling over a 4.5 billion Baht (US$128 USD million) loan to Myanmar which would contribute to the development of the country’s infrastructure. The loan would cover the construction of a highway from the Thai-Myanmar border to Dawei – a special economic zone in Myanmar. The loan was requested by Myanmar and the Thai Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency is currently assessing the proposal. The project is seen as key to Myanmar’s development with the potential to bring in more trade and investment as well as create more jobs.
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India’s Tata Steel explores Myanmar expansion
Steel maker Tata Steel is exploring the possibility of setting up a steel product solution business in Myanmar as well as Bangladesh. The steel solutions include products such as rebars, doors, windows, modular housing, toilets and ATMs especially catered for the business to consumer markets (B2C). Tata Steel’s Managing Director, T V Narendran, said that the B2C markets in Myanmar and Bangladesh are similar to that of India.
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