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Myanmar Business News in Brief

Property tax to be introduced to deter speculation

Arrangements will be made to levy property taxes on speculators after studying international practices and consulting experts, local authorities and businessmen, Soe Maung, a minister in the President’s Office, told the Parliament in response to a query. Property prices in Myanmar have reached record highs after the country launched sweeping economic reforms in 2012.

MOGE invites tender for consultancy services

State-run Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE), under the Ministry of Energy, announced that it is interested to establish joint venture or alliance projects for drilling, seismic acquisition and pipeline construction and maintenance services with a potential partner who is reputable and internationally recognised in the related field. The scope of the assignment, which is to commence around August 1, is to help in legal and technical assessment as required in JV processes, tender document preparation, inspection and prequalification of bidders, JV agreement and contract preparation, MOGE said. Duration of the assignment will be six months, but may be extended, MOGE added.

Cebu Pacific, Tigerair set sights on Myanmar flights

Philippine-based Cebu Air Inc, operator of budget airline Cebu Pacific, and subsidiary Tiger Airways Philippines intend to fly to Myanmar and have sought the approval of Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for a combined 2,520 seat entitlements per week to Yangon, Filipino media reports. Cebu and Tiger both want 1,260 weekly seats for a Manila-Yangon route. The Philippines and Myanmar signed a new air agreement on May 20, updating the pact that was signed in 1979 by increasing the flight frequencies and seat allocations as a way of improving trade and investments between the Southeast Asian neighbours. The new agreement allowed the designated airlines of each country a total of 3,780 seats per week or about three flights per day for each country between Manila and points in Myanmar.

Two more private banks to offer mobile banking

Two more private banks will be allowed to offer mobile banking services within weeks, bringing the total number of such providers to four, local media reported, citing a senior central bank official. The official said that Innwa Bank and Myawaddy Bank, both owned by the military, currently offer mobile banking services, and First Private Bank and CB Bank will be granted permission for mobile banking.

Myanmar to set up Credit Bureau

Myanmar is preparing to set up a credit bureau that will pave the way for some important steps forward in the country’s financial reforms, including the use of credit cards, a senior Central Bank official said. Credit Cards were first used in Myanmar in early 1990s but they disappeared when the banks that introduced them collapsed in 2003.

EU launches first national crisis management centre

Myanmar has launched the first national crisis management centre in Nay Pyi Taw in a bid to help local authorities react more quickly and effectively in face of emergencies, the European Union said. The EU-funded centre will be ready for 24-hour service and work together with the ASEAN Coordination Center for Humanitarian Assistance and other crisis management centres from member countries of the ASEAN in emergency situations.

NRL may export fuel to Myanmar

India’s Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) is now exploring opportunities to export its products to Myanmar and is understood to have initiated a process to ink a deal with the neighbouring country, according to Indian media reports. P Padmanabhan, managing director of NRL, said the firm has already started a discussion with the Ambassador of Myanmar to India and he is positive in that regard, Assam Tribune reported. According to a study, the demand for oil products in Myanmar is expected to reach 60,000 barrels per day.

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