More low-cost housing under construction in Mandalay

Mandalay –Apartments are being built in six Mandalay townships to accommodate people currently squatting in temporary structures along the Ayeyawady River, according to the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC).

Local people will be hired to work on the construction and paid 20,000 kyats per month, according to MCDC joint-secretary ThetNaing.

Govt claims credit for microfinance boom

Since 2010, 17 foreign and 209 domestic organisations in the microfinance sector have circulated Ks56 billion (US$56 million), said Dr Maung Maung Thein, deputy minister of finance.

“We’re establishing democratic institutions in the microfinance sector. In doing so, we have given out banking and microfinance licences in accordance with the 2011 law,” he said.

He added that foreign firms were circulating Ks24 billion in microfinance, which was effective at alleviating poverty.

Myanmar hunts EU investment

Myanmar and EU countries are discussing the signing of an agreement on promotion and protection of investment, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).

A ceremony was held at the DICA office in Yangon attended by the Myanmar-EU Investment Coordination Team and DICA’s director general, EU ambassador to Myanmar Roland Kobia and a leader of the coordination team, Carlo Pettinato.

It is hoped an agreement will allow an influx of EU investment.

Low-cost flats to sell by instalment

Successful applicants can buy apartments from the Shwelinpan low-cost housing scheme through eight-year instalments being offered by the Construction and Housing Development Bank, according to the Ministry of Construction.

“Low-cost apartments are being sold by instalment through the CHDB. A total of 264 of the 272 applicants will be allowed to purchase a low-cost apartment via eight-year instalments,” said an official from the ministry.

Tax collectors find new sources

The Internal Revenue Department (IRD) has reported an increase of Ks800 billion (US$800 million) in tax collected per year, despite claims of tax evasion by big companies and wealthy businessmen.

Dollar rise increases budget woes

Myanmar will have to sell treasury bonds again due to the consecutive budget deficits, according to the Ministry of Finance. 

The government is looking to take loans from home and abroad to solve the deficit. All the regional and state administrations face similar problems as the union government struggles to devolve investment.

Eden Group signs MoU with two foreign companies to build gas power plant

Eden Group, a Myanmar company, signed memorandum of understanding with Japan-based Marubeni Corporation and Thailand-based Global Power Synergy Company (GPSC) to cooperate in the construction of a 400 megawatt gas-fuelled power plant in Thilawa Special Economic Zone. The MoU was signed at the Hilton Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday.

The three companies will construct the power plant in Thilawa SEZ in partnership with the Electric Power Ministry. 

BBL geared for June 2 opening

Bangkok Bank will become the fifth foreign bank to operate in Myanmar, once its branch opens doors on June 2.

The Thai bank announced yesterday that the Central Bank of Myanmar has granted it the permission to open a branch in Yangon to provide financial services to foreign-invested companies and domestic banks.

Bangkok Bank is the only Thai bank to receive a foreign bank branch license from Myanmar’s government.

Body aims to protect Myanmar shipping

Six domestically owned shipping companies, including the Myanma Five Stars Line, will form a trade body to boost economic opportunities when competing with foreign firms.

The Myanmar ocean-going ship owners’ association has got the green light to form this year from the Ministry of Transport.

It aims to transport imports and exports at full capacity, offer fair prices and help spur the country’s economic development.

Dealers stop selling dollars

US dollars are only available on the black market as domestic banks and official currency exchange counters with licences from the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) have stopped selling.