Jun 5, 2012

MVP group keen on telecoms, media in Myanmar

The Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) group of companies is interested in investing in telecommunications, media and mining in Myanmar, according to an official of Philex Mining Corp. (Philex).

Michael Toledo, Philex senior vice president for corporate affairs,  disclosed that  the MVP group of companies is “looking at all possibilities” in Myanmar, formerly Burma.
“Myanmar needs a lot of infrastructure like telecoms [telecommunications]. So we’re looking at all possibilities, not just in mining,” Toledo said in a recent interview.

Philex, the Philippines’s largest gold and copper miner, earlier said it is open to the possibility of forging joint-venture agreements with companies that are keen on mining in Myanmar.

Toledo said senior officials of Philex had visited Myanmar to explore possibilities for mineral development there.

Based on a report released by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2005, Myanmar produces copper, iron ore and precious stones such as sapphires in significant quantities.

Analysts said the victory of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in  recent elections for parliament will be viewed favorably by foreign investors and increase Burma’s attractiveness for those who wish to put up their business there.

Reported human-rights abuses of the military in Myanmar, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have scared off Western investors for decades.

Asean also groups the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Toledo said there has been no marked decline in China’s purchases of metals mined from the Philippines.

China is a big market for Philippine metals such as nickel. The boom in China’s economy in recent years  proved to be a boon for countries in Asia particularly the Philippines, which considers China as a major market for other exports.

Prior to a dispute between the Philippines and China over Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, Pangilinan called on MalacaƱang to consider accelerating the “development of natural resources” so the Philippines can take advantage of relatively favorable metal prices in the international market.

Source: ABS-CBN News