There is no investment decline, says MIC

YANGON- Due to the election, Myanmar has had no decline in investment and there are more than US$ 3 billion of investments within four months, including over USD 400 million allowed in Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The information came from Aung Naing Oo, Secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), met with the media at the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration on August 26.

JICA helps modernise customs system

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded over 3 billion yen and introduced the Myanmar Automated Cargo Clearance System (MACCS/MCIS) to the Customs Department, reports say.

The concerned officials clarified the basic principles of the system on Tuesday at the office of Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Myanmar expects $6 billion in foreign investment this year

A total foreign investment volume of US$6 billion is expected to enter Myanmar this fiscal year. In the first four months of this fiscal year, 16 foreign countries invested nearly $3 billion, according to the Directorate of Foreign Investment and Company Administration.

By the end of the July 2015-20116 fiscal year, the foreign investment volume had reached $2.6 billion and was invested in 64 businesses.

Trade declines at Myanmar-Bangladesh border

Landslides around Mayu Mountain have hampered border trade with Bangladesh in Maungdaw, reports say.

“Imports and exports have both fallen. Some areas around the mountain are impassable due to the mud slides,” said Htun Win, a merchant in Maungdaw.

There are no local boats from Bangladesh directly to Buthidaung; transportation fees for private boats have risen.

3 Japanese insurance companies eligible for permanent licenses

Although only one-year temporary licenses were given to three Japanese insurance companies, they will be given business license depending on capacity, according to Myanmar Insurance Business Supervisory Board.

The Myanmar Insurance Business Supervisory Board laid out the standards for foreign insurance companies to open insurance businesses in special economic zones, and three Japanese insurance companies were licensed initially.

Yangon’s property market remains subdued

Yangon’s property market remains subdued as investors monitor the country’s political situation, according to estate agents. 

Economist Than Soe said: “Who controls the property market? Some owners have been forced to sell up to get money. So the market remains subdued. Investment is waiting to see what happens. Small manipulators in the suburban townships have to sell off their land and homes. Some sell off a house which has an asking price of Ks10 million for Ks5 million.”

Fears rice output might slump

Cyclone Komen, according to the Ministry of Agricultural and Irrigation, has destroyed more than 0.9 million acres of farmland across the country.

Shell plans gas terminal

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has signed an agreement to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Dawei Special Economic Zone, Tanintharyi Region, in cooperation with the Italian-Thai Development Public Company Limited and LNG Plus International Company Limited.

Shell says it plans to sell gas throughout Myanmar. 

Roger Bounds, Shell’s LNG vice chairman, said Shell and its partners would bring global experience to Myanmar and fulfil the needs of the energy sector.

Yangon rents fall

Office rents in Yangon have begun to fall for the first time in four years as the general election approaches and the foreign firms wait to see the outcome, according to the property sector.

New Crossroad Asia (NCRA), a research company working for the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reported that Yangon rents had rocketed since 2011 and almost doubled in 2014.

It quoted Robin Aung Soe Naing, the manager of Pronto Services, saying that rates decreased in early 2015 by 20 per cent.

Kyat slumps again

The Central Bank of Myanmar has changed its official currency exchange rate again as it scrambles to close the gap with market traders.

Yesterday, the CBM raised its reference rate to Ks1,283 per US dollar and the exchange booths hit Ks1,305.

The CBM raised its reference rate last week in an attempt to match the market price.

The exchange rate has been rising steadily all year.