Aug 1, 2015

Myanmar Investment Vehicle Raises $20 Million

A London-listed company has raised almost $20 million for investments in Myanmar, according to an announcement.

Myanmar Investments International Ltd. raised the money in a new share issuance on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

The company first listed on the exchange in June 2013, as enthusiasm for the country’s economic prospects surged following re-engagement with Western countries. It announced at the time that it had raised $6.7 million on the first day of trading.

The company announced on July 21 that it had raised a further $19.9 million by issuing 17.3 million new shares, according to a report from Alliance News in London.

Myanmar Investments has already been involved in a micro finance project in Myanmar, but has not said what specific investments it will make with the new capital.

Alliance News reported that the company was “considering investments in the finance, telecommunications, manufacturing, healthcare and education sectors, including a potential securities joint venture with two partners to acquire all four types of securities [licenses] being issued ahead of the opening of the new Yangon stock exchange later in 2015…”

It also said Myanmar Investments may get involved in the rapidly growing telecommunications tower business in Myanmar.

“There continues to be a good flow of potential investment opportunities in a range of sectors in Myanmar,” the report quoted Maung Aung Htun, the companies managing director, as saying in a statement. “This is underpinned by a real need to upgrade infrastructure or provide products and services that are available in the rest of Asia. As a result Myanmar Investment will continue to raise capital to participate in these opportunities.”

London-listed Myanmar Investments has an office in Singapore, but is registered in the British Virgin Islands, an offshore jurisdiction.

Source: The Irrawaddy

Ooredoo Lagging Behind as Telenor Subscribers Top 10 Million

Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor has announced that its subscriber base in Burma is now more than 10 million, more than double the number claimed by competitor Ooredoo.

The two foreign companies now have a total of more than 14 million customers, underlining the massive growth in mobile phone use in the country, where only a year ago the state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) was the only provider of mobile phone and internet services.

The latest figures from each operator suggest that Telenor is pulling ahead in the race to reach new subscribers in Burma. Telenor and Ooredoo, a Qatari company, were the first two private companies to be awarded telecoms licenses in the country. The government is set to open up a tender for another license, but only local companies, or joint ventures involving a local firm, are being asked to apply.

In quarterly results published on July 22, Telenor Group said that its Burmese venture “continues to exceed our expectations” and had passed the 10 million subscriber mark in July.

“Customers’ strong demand for voice and data services keeps driving revenues and profitability,” Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO of Telenor Group, was quoted saying in a press release.

“During the quarter [April to June] we further expanded the network, reaching 213 of a total of 330 townships at the end of June. The speed of our network expansion is the key challenge in a nation where approximately 70 per cent of the population lives in rural areas.”

Ooredoo published its own results on Wednesday, saying that it had reached only 4.3 million mobile customers.

“The high quality of its 3G network contributed to almost doubling the number of customers in the first half of 2015,” it said.

The results also said that the company’s Burma venture was already in profit, but clearly the company is far behind its main rival, which is now closer to the incumbent provider than to its private rival in terms of subscribers.

MPT has teamed up with two Japanese firms to expand its services, and reportedly has some 11 million subscribers.

Source: The Irrawaddy

Ministry Requires More Buildings to Install Transformers

The Ministry of Electric Power (MEP) has issued an official regulation requiring every new apartment construction project that consumes 30 kilowatts (KW) of electricity or more to install transformers, according to an official from the Yangon Electricity Supply Board (YESB).

However, the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) has not adopted any rules for installing transformers in new apartment buildings and discussions are going on between the two departments, according to YCDC.

“We haven’t set any rules yet. The Ministry of Electric Power has requested that we implement this regulation. But we have to think about the public’s convenience. Now we are discussing this with related departments. We will choose the best option,” said an assistant director from Engineering Division under YCDC.

The existing regulations for MEP requires only apartment buildings with over 18 units install a transformer, but the MEP suggested that this requirement be extended to all apartment buildings that use at least 30KW and have more than four electricity meters.

As almost every apartment building in the city uses more than four meters, construction firms say they may face losses if they have to install a transformer. A 50KV transformer costs around K10 million and this regulation might bring many construction projects to a halt.

“Before, we had to install a transformer for a building with over 18 units. But now this applies to all buildings with more than four meters, which means more than four units because each unit uses its own meter. Construction companies may face losses as many make only K50 million in profit per year constructing buildings without transformers. If this regulation is enforced, construction companies will have no choice but to stop,” said U San Yu, site manager of Toe Paut Construction Company.

A total of 451 construction projects to build apartment buildings were approved by YCDC during the 2014-15 fiscal year, compared with 172 projects approved in 2013-14.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

Jul 31, 2015

HAGL Apartments Up for Grabs

Apartment units at the Vietnamese mega project HAGL Myanmar Center are now open for lease to the public, the company said.

The housing units in the first section of the project are being offered to the public through a 70-year rental contract which can be renewed after expiration.

“Housing units are up for leasing now and a sales office has been opened. Customers can choose from three plans to buy units; full down-payment, one-year installment and two-year installment,” a spokesperson for the company said.

The housing units are valued at $230 per square foot with the size of the rooms ranging from 66 to 119 square feet. The housing units and the residential building will be completely built by 2017.

HAGL said its building is designed to withstand earthquakes and equipped with advanced security systems. The buildings when completed will be under 24 hour security surveillance and have comprehensive monitoring and alarm systems.

“As the HAGL Myanmar Centre is located on Kabaraye Pagoda road, it is well connected. The residents can go to the airport conveniently and will have a view of the Shwedagon Pagoda. In addition, the centre will have retail spaces where the residents can buy their day to day necessities,” Cao Duy Thinh, managing director of HAGL Myanmar, said.

The residential building, developed with a 100 percent Vietnamese investment of $440 million, will be 31 storeys high and include 660 residential units.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

Mon State to Get Deep Water Port

A local firm is in talks with an American company to build a deep water sea port in Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon state, according to Mon State government officials.

Amherst Group LLC, based in Delaware, and Global Integrated Service Company will cooperate to construct an industrial zone and deep water port along the coast near Pa Nga and Kyaikkhami villages in Thanphyuzayat city.

Officials of Mon State government and the two companies met and discussed this matter late last month.

The project proposal is expected to be submitted by the firms to the Myanmar Investment Commission soon, officials said.

U Ohn Myint, chief minister of Mon State, said that the project will create job opportunities for local people and support the development of Mon state.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

Jul 29, 2015

Schneider Introduces Tech Solutions at Myanmar’s First Data Centre Conference

French energy management firm Schneider Electric held its first Data Centre Solution Day in Yangon in a bid to help local businesses adapt their data centres to their business needs.

During the event, Schneider Electric introduced the industry’s first integrated physical data centre infrastructure that covers the-state-of-the-art cooling, power, and end-to-end supporting architecture with a management software, focusing on data security and operational efficiency.

“By enabling companies’ full visibility of their data centre operations and usage, Schneider Electric brings the ability to reduce energy consumption, and curb CO2 emissions.

“This will in turn, improve long term investment and competitiveness in the main sectors of finance, banking and telecom, and help drive economic growth in the country,” said Pascal Reigner, country president of Schneider Electric Myanmar.

The Data Centre Solution Day brought together business stakeholders from the banking and finance, IT and telecom sectors as well as building, infrastructure and industry sectors to introduce the latest global data centre trends.

Schneider Electric Myanmar said in a statement that it aims to unite information technology with energy infrastructure to create energy efficient homes, buildings and cities, with a priority to seek out and work with local talent and business partners to develop customised solutions meeting Myanmar’s needs.

Source: Myanmar Business Today

Jul 20, 2015

Bean exports on rise.

Myanmar has earned US$81 million from the export of green beans to the EU countries from the start of the financial year to July, according to Win Myint, director of the Ministry of Commerce.

The ministry and the Ministry of Agricultural and Irrigation are conducting courses on the production of quality beans and pulses.

An official from the commerce ministry said: “We are educating bean and pulse growers on growing methods and the use of fertilizers. This programme was carried out in five townships: Thanlyin, Kyauktan, Kayan, Thongwa and Kawa. Plans are underway to extend the initiative.”

Mung beans are becoming one of Myanmar’s main agricultural exports, mainly to India with the EU market growing.

Prices for beans and pulses have risen significantly this year thanks to the dollar’s appreciation against the kyat. Rice, bean and pulse exports raise around US$1 billion annually.

According to the Bayinnaung sales centre, mung beans sell for around Ks1.4 million per tonne.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media