Private banks hike lending to SMEs

SMALL and medium enterprises in Myanmar will soon get greater access to finance as private banks plan to extend more credit to boost the economy, according to speakers at the Amcham Financial Services Forum held last week. Zaw Lin Aung, managing director of KBZ Bank, the largest private bank in Myanmar with the largest retail […]

New Investment Law Authorises First Project Led by Japanese Hotel Chain

The Japan-based Hotel Okura will open its first hotel in Myanmar with the help of Japan’s government-private fund in 2020, according to the company’s press release dated July 28. Construction of Okura Prestige Yangon will commence this year and is expected to complete by 2020. Okura Prestige Yangon will be the company’s first project in […]

Japanese joint-venture plans Yangon hotel

Hotel Okura Co Ltd said it would develop the luxury Okura Prestige Hotel with Ayeyar Hinthar Holdings Co Ltd in Yangon by 2020, with five more hotels due in the next five years. The company expects to sign a contract with Yangon Technical and Trading Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Ayeyar Hinthar, in August, working […]

Government cracking down on illegal trading & smuggling

The Union government is planning to take stringent measures against illegal trading in order to prevent the smuggling of contraband, which causes a great loss of revenue, said U Kyaw Win, Union Minister for Planning and Finance. “It is essential for the nation to control contraband but it must be carried out in a systematic […]

Construction materials trade opened to local-foreign joint ventures

The Ministry of Commerce has further relaxed trade restrictions on foreign companies, opening onshore trade in construction materials to local-foreign joint ventures, according to a July 7 announcement. International firms were barred until last year from Myanmar’s import-export industry, which was tightly controlled until 2011 by companies with ties to the former military regime. Last […]

FMI swaps share certificates for digital accounts

First Myanmar Investment (FMI), owned by businessperson Serge Pun, has asked its shareholders to open digital accounts, ahead of the company’s planned listing on the new Yangon Stock Exchange later this year, officials said. It is working with two securities companies on its initial public offering – KBZ Stirling Coleman Securities (KBZSC) and Myanmar Securities […]

Rice sector faces long struggle

Whatever steps the incoming government may be contemplating to spur investment, agricultural experts see little improvement in the short term for rice cultivation. Even long-term development will be a drawn-out struggle, said Myanmar Rice Federation general secretary U Ye Aung. In a recent interview with The Myanmar Times, U Ye Aung said barriers to raising […]

Govt rejects China’s request for timber-based industrial zone in Myanmar

The Myanmar government has rejected China’s requests to purchase timber in log form under a tender system and to build a timber-based industrial zone in Myanmar, said Khin Maung Yi, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry. Rumours have circulated recently about Myanmar signing an MoU with China to facilitate the […]

In Muse, Promise and Perils of Development Redux

MUSE, Shan State — The Muse Central Economic Zone project, spearheaded by the Shan State government and a local private venture, is moving forward in an effort to boost commerce along the Chinese border, despite land grievances from some local residents. Located on the banks of Shweli River in Muse, a major trading hub on […]

Jade provides vital connection with Myanmar

Xue Hui has been involved in the jade trading business in Southwest China’s Yunnan province for 21 years. After quitting his job at a State-owned company in 1993 due to the low income it provided, he thought life would be better for the family trading in jade with Myanmar. Sharing a border of nearly 2,000 […]