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Myanmar Business News in Brief

Gov’t seeks Japanese loan for power project

The parliament is seeking a loan of ¥24.67 billion ($246.78 million) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for several power projects in central Myanmar. The 40-year, 0.01-percent-interest loan will be used in building two power stations in Meikhtila in Mandalay and Taungoo in Bago region.

Thai firm targets Yangon spa market

Siam Wellness Group Plc, Thailand’s one of the biggest spa chains, will launch its first luxury spa outlet in Yangon by the fourth quarter of this year. Assistant managing director Narun Wiattanakrai told The Nation that the company expects to sign a deal with an international hotel chain by mid-2015 before opening its spa outlet in the hotel. Investment in the outlet would require between $450,000 and $610,000, he added.

Scenic Tours to start new Ayeyarwaddy cruise ship

River cruise firm Scenic Tours has announced that the company is to launch a river cruise service on Ayeyarwaddy river from September 2016 with its new vessel Scenic Aura. The ship, featuring 22 cabins, will be Scenic Tours’ first entry into the Myanmar cruise market.

New local airline to fly in March

Private carrier Apex Airlines will begin its operations in March, TTG Asia reported. This will make the Naypyitaw-based airline the tenth local airline in Myanmar. Apex will initially operate to domestic destinations using an ATR 72-600 aircraft. The airline’s first ATR 72-600 will arrive in mid-February, the second by July, and a third aircraft will come by October, Selva Kumar, COO of Apex Airlines, was quoted as saying. The carrier aims to start flying internationally in 2016 to India and Bangladesh.

Kyaukpyu SEZ developers to be announced

The list of developers for Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone will be announced in mid-February, according to members of the tender invitation and scrutiny committee of the project, local media reported. The committee says discussions are now under way with companies initially selected for the SEZ. The committee also said preparation for infrastructural development at the SEZ would start this month.

BNI eyes expansion in Myanmar

Indonesia’s state-owned lender PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) is aiming to secure approval from the financial regulators of Myanmar this year to expand its international business, Indonesian media reported. BNI has proposed opening a representative office in Myanmar, according to BNI president director Gatot M Suwondo.

Amata to build industrial estate in Myanmar

Amata Corp Public Ltd, a Thailand-based developer and manager of factory estates, said it plans to establish industrial estates in Myanmar ahead of the expected economic growth when the ASEAN Economic Community launches later this year, according to Thai media reports. He said that details of the projects would be announced soon, adding that the investments have already made good progress.

Air KBZ eyes regional routes

Private carrier Air KBZ is to expand regionally with plans to launch flights between Yangon and Chiang Mai in May. The ATR72-600 service will start with two flights a week, according to Crystal Aung, assistant manager marketing and sales, Air KBZ, TTG Asia reported. The airline is working on a codeshare agreement with another Myanmar airline company to increase the number of frequencies, she said. The carrier, which is a sister airline of Myanmar Airlines International (MAI), said its second destination will be Mae Sot in Thailand.

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