Jul 9, 2014

Myanmar gems emporium takes record 3 billion dollars

Myanmar's annual gem emporium took in more than $3 billion this year, the most ever for the country's annual sale of gems and jade, organizers said Tuesday.

Income reached $3.4 billion and saw the successful auction of 6,007 of 7,454 jade lots, 126 out of 436 gem lots and 224 of the total 342 pearl lots, they said.

"This year sale surpassed the target and is the record sale in Myanmar emporium history," said Tun Hla Aung, joint secretary of the Myanmar Gems & Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association.

The emporium earned just more than $2.4 billion dollars last year, the highest in recent decades. Improved access to the country and a rise in the price of jade boosted revenue.

"This year's jade price is more than 20% higher than last year," Mr Tun said.

An uncut lump of jade weighing nearly a quarter of a metric ton failed to make its starting price of $82 million dollars, Mr Tun told dpa. "No one dared to buy such a precious stone," he said.

Over 4,000 traders from Thailand, China, Hong Kong, and Japan attended the emporium this year, according to organizers. Myanmar started to hold annual gem sales in 1964.

Source: Bangkok Post

Jul 7, 2014

Containerized Data Centers by AST Modular (part of Schneider Electric) are now available to Myanmar clients

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Jul 3, 2014

Request for Expression of Interest: Environmental and Social Management Consultant for Thaton Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT)

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

Jul 2, 2014

Three types of licences for stock-trading firms

Securities companies that plan to participate in the upcoming Yangon Stock Exchange will have to apply for at least one three licences, as well as meet other licensing and legal requirements, according to the Daiwa Institute of Research Co Ltd.

Daiwa’s managing director said that besides needing to register under the Myanmar Companies Act, each securities firm must have the word “securities” included in its name, be a limited company and meet investment and asset requirements.

Licences can be obtained from the Securities Exchange Commission, which has yet to be established.

Once it is established it will offer three types of licence: securities exchange certificates trading licence, securities exchange certificates services licence and securities exchange certificates underwriting license.

A Japanese adviser helping to set up the exchange said a successful securities company depends on highly qualified staff and a high level of information technology.

Myanmar currently has just two securities firms: Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre Co. Ltd. and Daiwa. Both will need to re-register after the SEC is established. Some analysts say more than 20 securities firms are required for a viable stock exchange.

There are 186 securities companies in the Philippines, 125 in Indonesia, 102 in Vietnam and 38 in Thailand.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media

Foreign investment in commodity production rising

Cumulative foreign investment in the commodity-production sector reached more than US$4 billion at the end of May, according to the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration

DICA said the investment had gone into 357 companies.

These include manufacturers of beverages, electronic devices and construction materials.

Total FDI reached $46 billion at the end of May, with the lion’s share going into the energy sector.

DICA said FDI into agriculture, livestock and fisheries remained low.

Source: Elevrn Weekly Media

Myanmar reaps US$3 bln in taxes for 2013-14 FY

The government has received nearly US$3 billion, 4.4 percent of Myanmar’s GDP, in total tax revenue for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The amount is the lowest compared to other countries in the region, where Cambodia gets 11.6 percent of its GDP from tax, Thailand – 16.5 percent and Philippines – 12.9 percent respectively.

The internal revenue department was unclear how much tax was paid from state-owned firms, especially the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise and other mining companies and extractive industries.

According to a report by the Asia Foundation and the International Growth Centre (IGC), state-owned enterprises earning the most profit are still under the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Mining, and the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry.

The report said that it is difficult to gage the amount of natural resources left in Myanmar, what remains to be explored and what is running out due to excessive mining or illegal logging.

Over US$4 billion in tax was raised from oil and gas in 2013-2014, US$400 million from forestry and logging, US$ 300 million from mineral exploration, and US$1 billion from electrical energy.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media

Jul 1, 2014

Electricity Master Plan Hopes to Solve Myanmar’s Electricity Woes

Deputy Union Minister for Electric Power U Maw Tar Htwe said Myanmar plans to increase the country’s electricity reserves by 30 percent to combat nationwide power shortages.

Myanmar’s annual electricity consumption rate is expected to increase 13 percent per year, currently totaling 4,362 megawatts (MW).

The government’s Electricity Master Plan (EMP) aims to produce 23,594MW by the fiscal year of 2030-31 to meet the country’s rising power demands.

Currently, Myanmar’s electricity sector is unable to generate enough power with 70 percent of the country’s population deprived of electricity.

Hydroelectricity will produce over 37 percent of the plan’s power output, with 20 percent coming from natural gas, 33 percent from coal and more than 9 percent from other renewable energy sources.

Myanmar’s Electricity Master Plan includes over 40 projects spread throughout the country, according to the Ministry of Electric Power.

The World Bank will provide loans for the project in phases and estimates the cost of Yangon’s power infrastructure upgrade at around $214 million, according to U Khin Maung Soe, union minister for electric power.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Word Bank started assessing the government’s EMP in 2012 and have provided technical support to the project ever since.

U Khin Maung Soe said based on the banks’ evaluations, the government’s EMP will be unviable without investment from foreign companies.

“We have insufficient technology, funds or state budget to complete the EMP on our own, that’s why we invite investments,” he said.

Myanmar will implement electricity projects throughout the country in three ways – construction by state, local business and foreign firms.

The minister said more than 90 percent of international companies showing interest in the country’s Electricity Master Plan have come from China

“Many Chinese company’s have business interests in the country so we will work with these firms to implement the Electricity Master Plan,” he said.

The government has taken out $200 million in loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to address the country’s 15 percent decrease in nationwide electrical output this year.

Regions affected by the power shortages include Yangon, Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway.

U Maw Tar Htwe said Myanmar’s cheapest form of power, hydroelectricity, can’t always be relied on to meet the country’s power shortages.

“Hydropower supply increases in the rainy season but decreases in summer. We need to build up our coal and natural gas supplies to be able to deal with these changes inour water-based economy,” the minister said.

A 6,000MW dam project in Myitsone, Kachin state has been suspended for months due to public opposition, according to the Ministry of Electric Power.

However, authorities plan to sign off on four more projects, generating an extra 390MW, in hopes of securing the country’s Electricity Master Plan’s future.

Source: Myanmar Business Today