Myanmar’s economy opens doors to big brands

From fast food giants to coffee chains, tobacco companies and garment makers, Myanmar’s emerging economy is opening up to the world’s biggest brands It is just after 2pm at the newly built Pizza Hut on Yangon’s Dhammazedi Road. Clusters of staff throng around the entrance and waiters’ station as businessman Sein Min, who also goes […]

Doubts raised over Chinese oil refinery plan

A Chinese-led US$3 billion plan to build Myanmar’s largest oil refinery near the southern city of Dawei has raised questions about China’s strategic intentions in launching apparently commercially unviable projects, while local groups have already signalled their opposition. Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co, a Chinese state-controlled commodity trader, said the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) had signed its […]

From Oscars to Tuna Cans, Tin Gets More Expensive as Mines Quit

Smartphones, cars and a prolonged mining slump are creating tighter supplies of tin, a metal used mostly as solder for electrical circuits. Demand for tin remains strong from all sorts of manufacturers, from makers of food cans and building materials to iPads and Oscar statuettes. At the same time, big exporters like Indonesia and Myanmar […]

Currency depreciation, policy changes a barrier to motorisation

Myanmar will reach the income level required to become “motorised” before neighbours Laos and Cambodia, but policy changes and currency instability threaten to undermine the market. As incomes rise, new vehicle sales are likely to increase. Myanmar citizens will reach the level of income required for motorisation to take off by 2019. Laos will reach […]

For foreign lenders, Myanmar is no zero-sum game

SINGAPORE – A Foreign bank setting up a branch in Yangon must take its first step together with eight other lenders, all eager to tap a country that has been in isolation for more than 50 years. But international lenders noted that co-operation, not direct competition, will serve the greater good for now. “Competition among […]

Banks on charm offensive in Myanmar

FOREIGN banks venturing into Myanmar are expected to flex their muscles by investing in, and advising, the fledgling local financial market – and that includes efforts to lift standards of local bank staff. The charm offensive in recent years cannot be underestimated. Besides proving long-term commitment to this frontier market, international lenders need the blessings […]