Dollar jumps over alleged rumour

An alleged rumour is circulating in Yangon that the dollar has strengthened because a private bank has been buying thousands of dollars.
As of yesterday, the exchange rate hit Ks 1,135 per dollar.
“I think the dollar rally is continuing because the private bank that has two alphabetic words in its name has been purchasing dollars,” a businessman said.

Rubber price at year high

Along with the increase in the world rubber price and the dollar appreciation, the domestic rubber price has jumped to Ks700 (US$0.7) per pound, a year high, according to Myanmar Rubber Planters and Producers Association.

The rubber price had been falling for the past two years to Ks500-600 a pound.

“In the past, the price rose only for one or two days. Now it remains steady at Ks700 per pound. The farms will reap a windfall. But there are only 20 or 25 days left to harvest,” said Khaing Myint, the secretary of the association.

30 million SIM cards in use

Since August 2014, SIM cards from Telenor and Ooredoo can be used in Myanmar and their combined users now outstrip MPT’s customer base.

Observers believe that people’s interest in MPT’s Swe Thahar programme has lowered and price charges have pushed customers elsewhere.

Condo buyers want guarantees before law enacted

Lawyers and experts from the property sector have warned that contractors must give guarantees to buyers concerning the systems of construction and ownership of condominiums, before the enactment of the condominium law.

BMW SUV comes to Yangon

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, which boasts low-fuel consumption, has been launched at the BMW showroom at the corner of Pyay and Nanattaw roads.

“The interior is spacious and comfortable and it can load many things,” said Chan Mya, managing director of Prestige Automobiles, the authorised BMW dealer in Myanmar.

It is 4.3 metres long, 1.8m wide and almost 1.6m high.

Korean insurance firm opens office

South Korean-based Dongbu Insurance has opened an office in Yangon with the opening ceremony taking place at the Sule Shangri-La Hotel.

“Myanmar will be a big insurance market with prospects for sustainability and market expansion. Our company will offer non-life insurance services,” said Kim Jeong Nam, president of Dongbu Insurance Co Ltd. 

It is 16th international insurance office to open in the country. 

Myanmar earns less from timber export

Myanmar earned US$94 million from timber product exports in fiscal year 2014-15, down significantly from the previous year, the Ministry of Commerce says.

The fiscal year's earnings were $854 million less than that of fiscal year 2013-14, which was the last year for raw log exports. The country officially ended raw log exports on March 31, 2014 at the conclusion of the fiscal year, and has only allowed finished timber products since.

The rise of the US dollar now over Ks 1,100

The US dollar continues it rise as it now costs about Ks 1,100 to buy a dollar with a selling rate of about Ks 1,105, according to the latest currency exchange information.

On 28th of April, an American dollar went for about Ks 1,090 and the following day, it was Ks 1,093. The exchange rate set by the Central Bank was Ks 1,070, a leap from the Ks 1,027 rate in March.

Hotels planned for untouched archipelago

The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) has given the green light for hotel projects in Kyunphila, Ngaman and Boywe islands in Myeik Archipelago, Tanintharyi Region, according to the Myeik Division of the Hotels and Tourism Ministry.

“The land measurement tasks are already taking place. The Myanmar company will operate in partnership with a foreign counterpart,” said an official from the Myeik Division.

Hotel investment reaches US$2.7bn

Foreign investment in the hotel sector has reached US$2.7 billion, Htay Aung, minister for hotels and tourism, said at a cooperation signing ceremony between Hoang Anh Gia Lai Myanmar and the Spain-based Melia Hotels International.

“There are 47 hotels receiving foreign investment,” he said.

Hotel investment is largely coming from Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the UK, Luxemburg and the UAE. There are other joint-venture operations with domestic businesses.