Jan 16, 2020

Ports, trains and trade: Xi Jinping to offer Myanmar billion-dollar bounty

The crown jewel of Xi's two-day visit will be a $1.3 billion deep-sea port off Myanmar's troubled western Rakhine state. The Kyaukphyu port will serve as Beijing's gateway to the Indian Ocean. Myanmar has successfully hammered down the price from $7.2 billion to swerve fears of a Chinese debt-trap, but will still pick up 30 per cent of the bill. Read more at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/volkswagen-hit-with-big-polish-fine-over-dieselgate/articleshow/73272050.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

KBank mulling sizeable stake in Myanmar's A Bank

Kasikornbank (KBank) wants to expand its footprint in Myanmar, acquiring a sizeable stake in a bank there. If the acquisition deal goes through, it will mark the second purchase of a stake in an overseas financial institution by a Thai bank in two months, after Bangkok Bank's acquisition of Indonesia's PT Bank Permata worth US$2.7 billion (81.3 billion baht). KBank is studying a suitable business model in Myanmar after the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) opened to more business opportunities for foreign banks, said co-president Kattiya Indaravijaya. Foreign banks are allowed three licence types in Myanmar: establishment of a commercial bank as a subsidiary, a foreign bank branch and application for equity participation with a local bank. "After news reports of our interest, the CBM is considering a stake sale," Ms Kattiya said. "KBank is considering negotiation of investment models to finalise an appropriate structure there. This will depend on approval by the CBM and the Bank of Thailand concerning the business licence type." According to the Myanmar Times, KBank is looking to buy a 35% stake in Ayeyarwaddy Farmers Development Bank (A Bank). The CBM has allowed foreign banks to hold stakes in local banks since January 2019. Incorporated in 2014, A Bank has assets of 314 billion kyat (6.4 billion baht) and registered capital of 40 billion kyat. Ms Kattiya said A Bank has high-growth potential and a positive outlook in accordance with Myanmar's economy. With a wide business portfolio, including small and medium-sized enterprise, retail and insurance concerns, it would facilitate KBank's business expansion in the market. KBank has overseas networks in nine countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), plus Indonesia, China, Japan, the US and the Cayman Islands. Finansia Syrus Securities analyst Sunanta Vasapinyokul said KBank's share purchase of A Bank initially will not affect KBank's financial structure, since the investment is not a consolidation, unlike Bangkok Bank's acquisition of Indonesia's PT Bank Permata. A Bank's assets worth 314 billion kyat would make up 0.02% of KBank's assets valued at 3.2 trillion baht, Ms Sunanta said. "This could be deemed KBank's first step into the banking industry in one of the CLMV countries," she said. KBank shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 133 baht, down three baht, in trade worth 2.39 billion baht. Source: Bangkok Post

Dec 16, 2019

Ukraine specialty graphite manufacturers interested to export to Myanmar foundries

For more information, please contact evi@myanmar-business.org

Dec 6, 2019

8 Israeli firms eye collaboration with Myanmar businesses

Eight Israeli companies which are members of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC) are willing to go into partnership with Myanmar entrepreneurs, according to a letter sent by the Myanmar embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv. The companies offer to cooperate with foreign firms, and a request letter was sent to the Myanmar's business community through the Myanmar embassy to Israel informing that they want to go into partnership with Myanmar businesspeople. The eight Israeli companies are Tadiran Consumer & Technology Products Ltd, Synergo by Medical Enterprises Group, Tevatronic Ltd, Agriculture-Ein Harod ACA Ltd, Wekah Technologies Ltd, Green Oxygen Brand, Wekah Technologies Ltd, Moskovits Inventions Ltd and Total Biz Business Consultancy. Myanmar entrepreneurs wishing to do business with those Israeli firms may view details on their official websites and contact Ms. Yonat Keren, International Relations Division of FICC (email: yonat@chamber.org.il). Israel invested US$2.4 million in Myanmar from 1988-89 fiscal year to October 2019, according to the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration. Bilateral cooperation between the two countries had developed in various fields including education, agriculture, health and the economy. Since 1994, successful ongoing collaborations in agriculture and livestock is taking place in cooperation with AICAT (Arava International center for Agricultural Training) and the Granot Agro-Studies Group and later also with the Ramat Negev Agro Research Center. Source: Eleven

Dec 5, 2019

Alpen Capital exploring opportunities in Myanmar

Alpen Capital is an investment banking advisory firm, offering solutions in the areas of debt, M&A and equity, to institutional and corporate clients. It’s been operating across the GCC and India since 2005 – with additional projects in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Founder and executive chairman Rohit Walia discusses the business’s recent transactions, the opportunities he’s looking to discover in Myanmar and Indonesia, and the firm’s associate company, Alpen Asset Advisors, which specialises in asset and wealth management. World Finance: Rohit, let’s start in the GCC; what opportunities are there for investors? Rohit Walia: There’s a lot of opportunities – the GCC’s going through a major change in the way business is done. I mean, if you look at the UAE, the ownership patterns we used to have, what you were allowed to do, have completely changed. Saudi Arabia had major reforms. A lot of infrastructure is coming up with their 2030 vision. Similarly, most of the GCC countries have something or the other happening. There’s a lot of interest from the outside to come and do business in the Middle East and GCC specifically. World Finance: Tell me about some of the recent transactions you’ve been involved in. Rohit Walia: We did a very interesting one recently. We sold a food company, a large ticket transaction, to a very large listed company in Saudi Arabia called Savola. A very nice transaction, very strategic in nature. So they took a 51 percent stake in the company, and they left the management as-is. Complicated – it took us one year to the get the documentation done, but yeah! We did another interesting one in Oman, where we sold a company belonging to one of our clients in Dubai, to another client in Qatar. But the business is in Oman. So yeah, we’ve done some interesting stuff along the way. World Finance: What other emerging market opportunities are there in the region? Rohit Walia: In the emerging market we’ve done a lot of work in Sri Lanka. We’ve funded a number of banks there, roughly three-quarters of a billion dollars. We’ve done funding in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India. So the emerging markets have done well for us. We’re looking at two new markets I will visit myself now: one is Myanmar, and the other one is Indonesia. We’ll see how that pans out. World Finance: And what sorts of transactions have you been involved in, in those regions? Rohit Walia: Mostly financial institutions. So funding financial institutions – and I think one of the things we’ve looked at is impact funding, as they call it. So women, for example: women empowerment is big. Or SME businesses. Things that increase employment, that are good for the economy, sustainable. That’s been some kind of a focus. Most of our funding has come from development financial institutions, which give you longer-term tenure money. And it’s good for the emerging markets to get funding from the global development institutions. World Finance: I mentioned at the top your associate company, Alpen Asset Advisors; tell me about its offering in independent wealth management. Rohit Walia: So it’s an independent asset management offering. We used to offer previously only one bank’s products, which was Bank Saracen. We changed that about five years ago, to have a number of banks: banks like CIC, Credit Suisse, Crédit Agricole, which we are all on-boarded with, and which provide us solutions for our clients. So each of them has a product offering, which is then tailor-made to what clients really want. So we’ve done custom-made products, we did a very interesting one in Iraq recently, for Trade Bank of Iraq, called Dananeer fund, which buys Iraqi bonds. So bespoke products, depending on what the client is looking for from the solution – we put it together. World Finance: And you mentioned a couple of new regions you’re going to be exploring; what else is in the future for Alpen Capital? Rohit Walia: Africa; we’ve started covering Africa, we’ve done a few transactions there. So we’ve done Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria. We’re looking at Senegal. It’s a big continent, huge market, and I think a huge opportunity for growth. World Finance: Rohit, thank you very much. Source: https://www.worldfinance.com/banking/investment/alpen-capital-exploring-opportunities-in-myanmar-indonesia-and-africa

Thai Investors Look to Bring Mass Tourism to Myanmar’s Myeik Archipelago

Business owners from Thailand have expressed interest to invest in tourism in Kawthaung and the Myeik archipelago, in Tanintharyi Region in southern Myanmar, according to Director-General U Thant Sin Lwin of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). “The region has mainly engaged in livestock and mining, and lately, tourism is springing up in the region. Thai investors are very interested,” said the director-general. The region will host an investment forum on Dec. 7 in Myeik, where opportunities to invest in tourism, fisheries and mining would be presented to potential domestic and foreign investors, he said. A Thai businessman has held talks with DICA and enquired about the potential for operating tours to the Myeik archipelago by plane. “The businessman has asked about how many islands, hotels and hospitals there are and what planes could land. We are making a list,” said U Thant Sin Lwin. The investment would be sizable with proposals to welcome cruise ships and seaplanes across Tanintharyi Region, he added. Myeik is becoming increasingly popular among domestic visitors and is tipped by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism as the next major tourist attraction. The archipelago attracted more than 45,000 visitors in 2018 with the ministry expecting numbers to grow for this year. “Domestic firms can’t operate tour packages that require heavy investment. It is good that Thai businesses will fly to the islands. But it would be better if Myanmar’s businesses could do it,” U Thet Khaing, managing director of MT & K Tourism Co, told The Irrawaddy. He, however, said he welcomed foreign investment because technological improvements were needed. “But one potential problem is that those islands were sold to individuals under previous governments. So new investors will have to negotiate with the owners for partnerships. This will be a challenge,” said U Thet Khaing. DICA said Tanintharyi Region had only received 3.3 billion kyats (US$2.2 million) in foreign investment in saltwater-prawn production since 2017. Source: The Irrawaddy

Dec 2, 2019

Deliverink ranked first in timely food deliveries in Yangon

In November, Myanmar Business Network (MBN) conducted a survey among the customers who use food delivery companies in Yangon. The results revealed that the company which performed best is Deliverink with close to zero late deliveries during that month.