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07 Aug

Manitowoc Cranes (USA) chooses Asiagroup Myanmar as distributor.

A joint venture has been announced between Manitowoc of Wisconsin, USA and Two Elephant Asiagroup, to distribute cranes in Myanmar. This includes the GROVE brand of mobile hydraulic cranes, which range from 8 t to 450 t. Full customer support facilities will be established. Other products include Lattice-boom crawler cranes, Articulating truck-mounted cranes and Tower cranes.

This is not the first agreement between the two companies as Asiagroup is a dealer for Manitowoc in Malaysia. Two Elephant Group has an established presence in Myanmar with a base of 40 cranes for rental.

The announcement confirms the consensus view of the huge potential in Myanmar with an increasing number of new construction project announcements. Asiagroup also has a finance division, Asiagroup Leasing Ptd Ltd, whose head office is in Singapore

Yangon to provide tram services from October with phase two due December
04 Aug

Yangon to provide tram services from October with phase two due December

Preliminary agreements that were signed in July between The Ministry of Transportation and West Corporation have allowed work to start to provide a new electric tram service in Yangon.

Phase One, due for opening in October will run on Strand Road from Pansodan, Pabedan Township, to Htor Li Kway in Ahlone Township.

Phase Two, due December will be from Pansodan to Botahtaung Township.

The project has a budget of $6m. West Corporation will provide the tram carriages. Work will also commence on the new electricity grid.

The new development will certainly now also focus on the known issues of continuity of electricity supplies that has been recognised by the Ministry of Transportation.

The route for the tram was chosen to avoid flyovers and bridges and will replace the existing train service on Strand Road. This is not the first time trams have been seen in Yangon, the first being installed in 1905.

New fuel port adds to terminal facilities in Thilawa to allow increase in fuel imports.
04 Aug

New fuel port adds to terminal facilities in Thilawa to allow increase in fuel imports.

Thilawa is a deep sea port 25 kilometres from Yangon. This third facility provides two 133 metre jetties and 6 storage tanks. Two with 4 million gallons capacity and four with 2 million gallons capacity for ships of up to 20,000 tonnes.

The Thilawa area of Than Lyin Township is in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone and is owned by the Myanmar Port Authority MPA. These new services will be operated by Green Asia Services under build-operate-transfer BOT terms. Green Asia Services was created by the Directors of Asia World.

Facilities already exist in the port with Myanmar International Terminals MITT and Myanmar Integrated Ports Ltd MIPL. The jetties are designed to comply with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code set out by the International Maritime Organization.

The MPA has leased 420 acres under other BOT schemes with 14 companies for development of fuel handling. Myanmar is well placed with access to the Indian Ocean coastline with a prime location in Southeast Asia leading to a natural development of port facilities.

There has been a sharp increase in demand for fuels that this additional facility will now help to address. The private sector has only been allowed to enter the fuel distribution business since 2012.

“68 Residence” a luxury residential and commercial development receives approval in Yangon.
27 Jul

“68 Residence” a luxury residential and commercial development receives approval in Yangon.

United GP Development has received approval for 68 Residence. A development project that will offer 222 residential apartments and 153 serviced apartments. The construction will be a residential tower and a serviced apartment tower, located in Kabaraye Pagoda Road in Bahan Township.

The location will be managed by the serviced apartment chain, Ascott Ltd and will open in 2019 under the name Somerset Kabar Aye Yangon. Ascott is a division of CapitaLand.

The location is approximately 15-minutes from downtown Yangon and 30-minutes from Yangon International Airport. United GP Development is part of the Golden Palace Gold and Jewellery Business Group.

Schindler wins the contract to install elevators in the Times City development of Yangon.
22 Jul

Schindler wins the contract to install elevators in the Times City development of Yangon.

The largest ever contract to-date in Myanmar to supply elevators has been won by the Swiss company Schindler. The contract is to supply and install 79 elevators and 24 escalators in the Times City project in Kamayut Township, Yangon. Planned completion date is 2017. The 27 and 23 storey towers will provide luxury space for offices, private apartments, a 5 star hotel with 500 rooms and shopping centres including the Yatanar Mall.

Schindler, with 54,000 employees, operating in more than 100 countries, is a leading provider of elevators, escalators and mobility solutions that include moving walkways; all with sophisticated monitoring and maintenance systems. International standards are demanding; Myanmar Jardine Schindler confirmed they had been working closely with the project developers, Crown Advance Construction over the last two years to create an advanced and highly efficient transportation plan for this prestigious site. The entire development, of which this order is part, is reported to have a total budget of Ks100bn according to the joint developers Crown Advance Construction and Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

United Overseas Bank (UOB) announces support for $300m new construction projects in Myanmar.
14 Jul

United Overseas Bank (UOB) announces support for $300m new construction projects in Myanmar.

The United Overseas Bank of Singapore (UOB) has announced approval, with their corporate clients, for investments totalling $300m. This will fund various projects in Myanmar over the next 12 months.

This provides the go ahead for construction of new commercial buildings, hotels and factories. This is a clear confirmation of their confidence in the long term opportunities for development in Myanmar. They emphasise that their focus is on Infrastructure, Hospitality and Manufacturing projects.

UOB Group is one of Asia’s leading financial institutions with a network of 500 offices spanning 18 countries and territories.

The bank estimates that Myanmar will attract $16Bbn in foreign direct investment over the next 15 years due to the changes that started three years ago. They predict 75% will be allocated to infrastructure projects, 13% manufacturing and 4% to tourism. UOB is the first bank to offer a foreign direct investment advice centre in Myanmar. In May, the bank opened its first Myanmar offices, at the Park Royal Hotel, Yangon.

UOB had already also confirmed funding for a French-Myanmar joint venture to redevelop a hotel in Yangon. Reports state this was the first overseas bank to offer support for a project within Myanmar.

The new hotel will be called The Rangoon Excelsior Hotel. The site being originally, the 5 storey building of the Trading Corporation at Bo Soon Pat Street, in Pabedan Township. The site, covering 0.3 acres, is owned by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC). The hotel will offer 76 rooms.

Bosch Group Myanmar report 70% increase in sales.
13 Jul

Bosch Group Myanmar report 70% increase in sales.

The Bosch Group, whose head offices are in Stuttgart, Germany, has reported an increase in annual sales of 70% for Myanmar, thanks to growing demand from the automotive and construction sectors. The company opened its Myanmar sales offices in 2013.

Across South East Asia they recorded 7% growth producing $893m. Bosch provides technology and services for Mobility Solutions, Energy and Building Technology, Industrial Technology and Consumer sectors.

Although no detailed figures were provided for sales in Myanmar it is understood sales also included supply to commercial construction sites, hotels, residential projects and airports.

The Charoen Pokphand Group of Thailand to purchase an 8 storey office building in Yangon.
05 Jul

The Charoen Pokphand Group of Thailand to purchase an 8 storey office building in Yangon.

The Charoen Pokphand Group Co. Ltd., of Thailand have announced they are to purchase an 8 storey office building in Yangon. The project has a reported value approaching $15m.

The group had noted the steady growth in demand for office space in Yangon, which prompted the investment. Company officials stated that they estimate the project will pay for itself in 5 years. The rental rates forecast are $60-80 per sq. metre per month. In Yangon, some rentals are already commanding $80 per sq metre. This is the first of a series of large international investments by the group, planned over the next 24 months.

Charoen Pokphand Group (CPF:TB Bangkok) is an industrial conglomerate, active in many sectors including, agribusiness and food, retail and distribution and telecommunications. The group has also announced plans to expand in other countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Europe. Annual revenue for the group in 2013 was US $ 41 Billion.

Joint Venture announced for a new hotel at Thandwe airport by The Department of Civil Aviation and Golden Hanthawaddy.
05 Jul

Joint Venture announced for a new hotel at Thandwe airport by The Department of Civil Aviation and Golden Hanthawaddy.

A new three star hotel is planned at Thandwe Airport. Thandwe is in Rakhine State, on the Western coast of Myanmar. Reports state the joint venture is between the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and Myanmar company, Golden Hanthawaddy.

Phase 1 of the hotel, providing 10 rooms, will be finished in December and a total of 98 rooms will be available upon completion. The aim of the project is also to provide more hotel rooms to serve the popular Ngapali Beach resort area. No figures were announced on the project budget.

This is the first commercial joint venture by the Department of Civil Aviation, who confirm they had purchased the land originally to provide offices for the national carrier. This is now re-allocated for the hotel. The national flag carrier for Myanmar is Myanmar National Airlines.

Myanmar Government announce new minimum daily wage between Ks3,200 and Ks4,000
29 Jun

Myanmar Government announce new minimum daily wage between Ks3,200 and Ks4,000

Although still awaiting approval, as at 24th June, the new minimum daily wage is expected to receive authorisation and be set between Ks 3,200 ($3) and Ks 4,000 ($3.7).

Discussions have been ongoing since 2013.  These were driven initially by the aim to reduce tensions between factory workers and owners.  This expanded to other sectors of industry and commerce.
Trade Unions requested Ks 4,000. Factory owners responded claiming any wage above Ks 2,500 would lead to factory closures. Further meetings have produced this announcement.

Whereas a factory worked may on average earn Ks 1,000 per day with bonuses, factory owners state the worker could earn per month from Ks 100,000 to Ks 150,000 when taking into account bonuses for the volume of work completed. A bonus system, they claim, is required to motivate staff. Wages tend to be higher in Yangon compared to elsewhere in Myanmar.