Investors expect growth to accelerate in Myanmar over next three years

Investors expect business to return to normal in Myanmar by the third quarter of this year. Many also reckon that the technology, media, and telecoms (TMT) sector would see the most investments or merger and acquisition activity in the next two years, according to polls taken at a conference held online by Ascent Capital Partners recently.
Indeed, the Myanmar economy is expected to recover and reach growth levels of as much as 7 percent this year, U Thaung Tun, Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, said during the conference.

U Thaung Tun said recovery will be backed by the government’s Myanmar Economic Recovery and Reform Plan (MERP), which will prioritize sectors like manufacturing and services in the year ahead. Measures such as civil service reforms and digital transformation will also be implemented by the government.

Stanley Kyaw Khaing, the managing partner of Ascent Capital, said the firm’s three-year outlook for Myanmar is one of “cautious optimism. Myanmar’s economy and business environment are still severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is unclear at this moment when full recovery will take place,” he said. He added though, that Ascent Capital focuses on longer timeframes and that government initiatives like the MERP “are important catalysts to drive growth in the economy over the next three years and beyond.”

“As a Myanmar-focused investor with long-term plans in the country, we certainly intend to raise future funds but do not have the immediate need to do so,” he said. In terms of exiting investments, “this would depend on the opportunities that present themselves at the right time. But our general outlook is for the long term, in the next seven to ten years,” he added.

Ascent Capital is a private equity firm registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The firm manages a Myanmar-focused investment fund which it says is the largest Myanmar-focused investment fund globally. The fund, which prioritizes the consumer, education, healthcare, financial services, logistics, and TMT sectors, closed in October last year with US$88 million in capital commitments. It is backed by the likes of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, the Asian Development Bank, and local drinks tycoon U Aung Moe Kyaw.

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Source: Myanmar Times

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