Feb 13, 2017

16m mobile users registered: MPT

Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) says it has more than 23 million users nationwide and 16 million of them are now officially registered.
The state-owned enterprise said it was busy with the official registration process for non-registered users. 
The Directorate of Telecommunications announced that non-registered mobile SIM card users were required to register by the end of March this year or face a temporarily shut down.
Users were still undergoing the registration process and many more left, telecom operators said.
“We have now more than 23 million users nationwide. We are working to improve our services,” said an official from MPT.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology already picked Vietnam’s Viettel Co and Star High Public Co Ltd, which was nominated by the Ministry of Defence, to become the fourth telecoms operator.
Eleven domestic public companies merged to form Myanmar National Telecom Holding Public Ltd last September for the licence.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media

US company in Thilawa looks to export

The US Ball Corporation producing drinking cans for the domestic market at Thilawa Special Economic Zone is planning to export its products, according to the firm's country manager Min Tala Nyan.
“Currently we produce cans for the domestic market. We’re discussing how to expand our business. After that, we will export,” he said.
The Ball-operated factory at the zone is capable of manufacturing about 500 million cans a year.
“At present we’re producing 350ml, 330ml and 250ml cans. 550ml is coming soon,” Min Tala Nyan added.
Ball invested US$45 million in the Thilawa factory and is expected to increase its investment soon.
The factory was officially opened on November 16 last year at Zone A of Thilawa. 
It is reportedly the first direct US investment in the country.
From April to October last year, foreign investment in Thilawa in Yangon reached US$900 million, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.
A total of 14 countries have invested in 74 projects in the SEZ. The major investors are Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, the UAE, Panama, China, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan.
Singapore topped the investors’ list with US$395 million in 21 projects. It has been used as a conduit for investment by western firms looking to avoid sanctions. It accounts for more than 44 per cent of the total investment.
Source: Eleven Weekly

Only 0.2% own a business

In Myanmar only 2.46 in 1,000 people own a business, a third of the Asean average, according to a business survey

A ceremony to launch a report highlighting the difficulties facing businesspeople and entrepreneurs in Myanmar took place in Nay Pyi Taw. It was attended by Maung Maung Win, deputy minister for planning and finance, and United Nations Development Programme Asia-Pacific regional director Haoliang Xu. 

The survey said the private sector was weak with little variety in businesses and low productivity. Most businesses had a workforce of fewer than 10 people. 

"It is essential to provide good data and figures," said the deputy minister. "The business survey report was compiled to better understand the opportunities and challenges of the private economic sector." 

The survey was jointly conducted by the Central Statistical Organisation and UNDP.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media 

Feb 8, 2017

Rental Rates for Office Space in Yangon Will Continue to Fall in 2017 – Colliers

Rental prices for Yangon’s offices have fallen for the second year in a row and are expected to keep drop­ping in 2017, according to a new market snapshot by real estate firm Colliers International.

Rates for commercial space fell 18 percent in the last three months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, and are down 33 percent from 2014 rates, the snapshot said.

Businesses now pay an average of $46 per square meter.

Collier predicted a fur­ther drop of four percent by the end of 2017. “The sizeable additional sup­ply within the next twelve months will exert further downward pressure on the citywide rate, albeit at a modest degree,” the company’s researchers said in the update.

They added that inter­national quality develop­ments “are continuously taking shape” with the Junction City Office, Crys­tal Tower and Time City Office Tower projects all due to launch in the near term.

They will contribute to more than 95,000 square metres of leasable space expected to become avail­able this year. The extra space will mark a 34 per­cent increase in the total supply of office space, the update said.

Occupancy rates rose to 61% at the end of 2016, up 16% on the year be­fore, the figures show. But the percentage of of­fice spaces laying empty is still higher than at the end of 2015, when occupancy rates were at their peak.

More than 176,000 square feet of office space is now occupied in Yan­gon, and the percentage of offices in use is expected to increase even as more space becomes available, Colliers said.

“The eventual opening of the insurance industry, along with the further lib­eralisation of the financial sector is likely to drive occupancy levels upward in 2017,” the researchers said.

“Colliers expects the government to start to streamline and expedite investment approval pro­cess which should facili­tate the entry of more for­eign companies. This will contribute to the rise in the overall office take-up rate for the year.”

Source: Myanmar Business Today

Feb 7, 2017

Ministry of Electricity and Energy: Invitation for bids to supply steel poles for national electrification project

for more information, please email at evi@myanmar-business.org

Ministry of Transport and Communications: Expression of Interest for Consultant Companies for developing Vehicle registration by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system

for more information, please email evi@myanmar-business.org

Feb 1, 2017

Singapore Company Will Hand $300m Power Plant To Myanmar Government in 22 Years

The Singapore-listed energy company Sembcorp has signed a build-operate-transfer agreement with the Ministry of Elec­tricity and Energy for a 225-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Myingyan, near Mandalay.
The signing “represents a key milestone” for the $300 million project, the company said in a state­ment.
Under the deal, the Sembcorp Myingyan Power Company will op­erate the plant for 22 years before the government takes ownership.
Semcorp’s Executive Vice President, Tan Cheng Guan, signed the deal with U Htein Lwin, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Electricity and Energy on January 18th, the state­ment added.
Last March the company signed a long-term power purchase agreement with the government to sell the plant’s entire output to the Electric Power Gen­eration Enterprise, an en­tity under the Ministry of Electricity.
The plant, which is due to go into operation next year, will be one of My­anmar’s largest gas-fired stations and will “help to play a key role in meeting the country’s growing de­mand for electricity,” the company said.
“We thank the govern­ment of Myanmar for its support, and we are en­couraged by its commit­ment to accelerate infra­structure development in the country,” said Sembcorp Group President & CEO Tang Kin Fei.
“We are confident that we will be able to deliver this facility on time. This will help to meet the grow­ing need for power particu­larly in Mandalay, support the nation’s progress and improve the quality of life for the Myanmar people,” the CEO added.
Sembcorp employs 7,000 people and oper­ates facilities around the world. Its power facilities have a total capacity of 10,000 megawatts. The company also supplies water solutions to local governments and indus­trial projects and works in urban development and marine engineering.
Source: Myanmar Business Today