Mitsui buys stake in Singapore-Yangon undersea cable

Mitsui & Co. will invest $20 million in a Singapore company that is laying undersea communications cable to Myanmar, a project seen giving telecom-related businesses there a boost after the 2020 completion.

In its first foray into seafloor cable operations, Mitsui will purchase a total 22% stake in Singapore’s Campana Group across a series of investments, with the funds going toward the effort. Costs are expected to reach around $90 million for laying the 2,200 km of cable from Singapore to near Yangon. Use of the link will be leased to international communications companies and others in the growing Myanmar market.

Mitsui is stepping up communications operations in Southeast Asia. It recently spent about 10 billion yen to double its stake in major Cambodian mobile provider Smart Axiata to 20%. Mitsui hopes that the undersea cable project will help connect it with companies in Myanmar and provide expansion opportunities there.

Fellow Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. is working with mobile provider KDDI, also of Japan, and the state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications on mobile operations in the country.

SOURCE: NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW

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