Gas exports reach 1.7 billion cubic feet

About 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas is being exported daily from four offshore blocks and about 400 million cubic feet of gas is distributed for domestic use, according to the Myanmar Global Investment Forum in Nay Pyi Taw.

The Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprises (MOGE) had offshore and inland blocks producing gas, with inland supplies usually used for the domestic market, Myo Myint Oo, the managing director of MOGE, told the forum.

Rice export licences to be granted

The Myanmar Rice Federation has announced that it will grant rice export licences for up to 500 tonnes and that 2 per cent of exports must be kept in reserve for six months. 

Companies can apply to the Ministry of Commerce in Nay Pyi Taw for a licence.

Investors warn of Myanmar challenges

International investors have told the Myanmar Global Investment Forum that even though Myanmar generates much interest, there are a multitude of challenges that foreign investors face.

The challenges, discussed on the panel held on the second day of the forum, were mainly a lack of transparency, unfinished ceasefire deals and other restrictions not limited to laws.

Weak kyat deters investors: bankers

The Myanmar Global Investment Forum says the weak kyat is hampering foreign investment.
“The kyat has been falling. The Thai baht, Japanese yen and the Malaysian ringgit are also weakening against the US dollar. This is a headache for investors. We are finding out how to stabilise matters. Myanmar’s trade deficit is one result of this,” said Dr Kobsak Pootrakool of Bangkok Bank’s International Banking Group.

JICA to offer Ks 50 billion in SME loans

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will offer Ks 50 billion in loans to small and medium sized enterprises in Myanmar through local banks.

“As the pilot project, a total of Ks 5 billion from that fund will be available to SMEs this December through the Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank (SMIDB). The rest of the fund will be available at the beginning of next year. That fund will be available through KBZ Bank and Yoma Bank,” said San Aung, the managing director of SMIDB.

MAI named best airline in Mekong-region

Myanmar Airways International (MAI) has been awarded Best Airline of the Year for 2015 by the Mekong Tourism Alliance, said Aye Maya Thar, the airline’s Head of Marketing and Public Relations.

MAI has won the award three years in a row. It also won the Asean Business Award in 2014 as it has spread its services across the Asean region.

MAI is owned by Kanbawza Group. Kempinski Hotel Nay Pyi Taw, another subsidiary of Kanbawza Group, was awarded Best Hotel of the Year.

Warning against illegal share sales

A warning against the sale of shares without permission will be issued, according to the exchange certificate supervisory commission.

Dr Maung Maung Thein, chairperson of the commission, said: “We will issue a warning against the illegal sale of shares when the stock exchange goes online. Under the Stock Exchange Law, an offender can be sentenced to five years in prison. Action will be taken against those who sell their stakes illegally.”

Four factories threaten to sack staff

Although some proprietors threatened to close their factories if the minimum wage was set at Ks3,600 (US$2.8) a day, there were only four businesses trying to issue redundancy notices, according to Myo Aung, the permanent secretary of at the Ministry of Labour.
Garment and commodity factory owners also gave a thumbs down to the salary and officials from the ministry are talking to businesses which have problems with the new rate.

Rice to be reserved

At least 50,000 to 100,000 rice bags will be kept in storage as reserve for emergency use, according to the Myanmar Rice Federation (MRF).

Illicit inflows grow under Thein Sein

Nearly half of total illicit inflows into Myanmar worth US$77.7 billion since 1960 occurred during the last four years, according to a report by Global Financial Integrity (GFI).
The Washington DC-based research and advocacy organisation finds that trade misinvoicing, the fraudulent over- and under-invoicing of trade transactions, accounted for the majority of the country's illicit financial outflows (59.6 per cent) and inflows (89.2 per cent) over the 54-year period analysed.