Feb 14, 2020

Industry Gathers to Discuss Scaling-up Financial Inclusion

The Greater Sub-Mekong Region is in the midst of a coordinated push towards inancial inclusion. In Myanmar, adults with access to at least one formal financial product increased from 30% in 2014 to 48% in 2018, surpassing the initial 2020 targets of 40%. Current figures on formal financial inclusion in Cambodia show an inclusion rate of 59%. More needs to be done to bridge the gap in the region. The 11th Mobile Money & Financial Inclusion Summit 2020 will be convening in Yangon, Myanmar on 18-19 February to discuss current and innovative developments in the digital transformation of payments and progress towards financial inclusion. Over the years the participants have contributed in a meaningful manner to help shape reforms and innovation. Special recognition and appreciation is extended to key supporters of the event over the years including the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), the Financial Regulatory Department (FRD), regional central banks, local and regional banks,technological innovators and developmental agencies. This 11th Edition will see the gathering of payments and banking players. Key speakers at the 2020 Summit include experts from AYA Bank, CB Bank, KBZ Bank, Yoma Bank, Wave Money, Asia Green Development Bank, UNCDF, Advanced Bank of Asia, Modusbox, CGAP, and many others. Highlights of key sessions include: the State of Financial Inclusion and Implications for Mobile Money;Digital payments Interoperability; Building Trust and Financial Literacy; Cyber Policy Issues and Regulatory Developments; the Financial Eco-system for SMEs; Agents Network at the Last Mile; and Innovative Financial Products for Women. One of the Summit Sponsors is MIBS/Tata Advanced Systems. They will be showcasing the critical operational capabilities required for handling cyber security. The 11th Mobile Money & Financial Inclusion Summit 2020 will be co-located with the 3rd Emerging Asia E-Commerce & Last Mile Logistics Summit 2020. Both events will be dedicated to explore the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly-changing landscape with emphasis on technology, innovation and shaping reforms for the benefit of the region. Conference organizer Magenta Global (Singapore)'s CEO, Maggie Tan, added: “Companies must adapt to the rapidly evolving geopolitical, banking and financial landscape. The journey to financial inclusion will require a continuous investment in technology, coordinated participation and strong collaboration among mobile operators, finance and payments companies, technology companies and government agencies. We are very excited to present the 2020 Summit which will provide an operationalization platform for the industry to share practices and innovation. We invite all companies in this whole new emerging ecosystem to join and engage the industry at this Summit.” The Summit will be held at the ParkRoyal Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar. Magenta Global Pte Ltd Contact: Jose Carpio International Marketing Manager DID: +65 6846 2366 Email: jose@magenta-global.com.sg Notes for Editor: About Magenta Global – Owner & Organizer Magenta Global Pte Ltd is a premier independent business media company that provides pragmatic and relevant information to government and business executives and professionals worldwide. The organization provides the opportunity to share thought- provoking insights, exchange ideas on the latest industry trends and technological developments with thought leaders and business peers. With a strong focus in emerging economies especially in Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, Magenta Global works in partnership with both the public and private sectors. www.magenta-global.com.sg.

Jan 30, 2020

Food delivery business available for sale in Myanmar

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

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