May 24, 2013

Myanmar's kyat plunged 7% over one month

The drop coincides with a construction boom in Myanmar's commercial capital, Yangon, which is fuelling demand for dollars as builders import equipment and materials, part of a scramble by investors to tap one of the world's last frontier markets after an easing of sanctions by Western countries.

Money changers such as Kyaw Naing say people are hoarding dollars, expecting further rises, in the first major bout of currency speculation since Myanmar emerged from military rule in March 2011 and introduced political and economic reforms.

"We are getting fewer customers now because people don't want to sell their dollars, because they know the value will rise even higher," Mr Kyaw Naing said, holding a fistful of the kyat currency in his hole-in-the-wall stall in Yangon.

Source: Reuters