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Myanmar Business News in Brief

Lippo Group looking to invest in Myanmar

Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group is studying a plan to invest between $600 million and $1 billion in the hospitality, healthcare and education sectors in Myanmar and Cambodia, the Investor Daily reported, quoting Chief Executive James Riady. Lippo's hospital operator unit, PT Siloam International Hospitals Tbk, plans to open 12 hospitals in Myanmar and has gained a licence to operate one, the report said.

APEX begins scheduled operations

Local carrier APEX Airlines started its scheduled operations on April 7 having secured its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Department of Civil Aviation late March. At present, the carrier operates XY-AJV, an ATR 72-600 which it has leased from Air Lease Corporation (ALC) to serve Dawei, Kawthaung, Myeik and Naypyitaw from its Yangon hub. According to APEX's chief operations officer Selva Kumar, the carrier’s second aircraft will arrive between June and July while a third is due between September and October. The additional capacity will be used to expand the network to include Sittwe, Myitkyina, Mandalay, Nyaung-U, Thandwe and Heho.

Phinma mulls nursing school in Myanmar

The education arm of Phinma Corp plans to build schools outside the Philippines – including a nursing school in Myanmar – to mark its Southeast Asian foray ahead of a planned listing in 2019, a company official said. Phinma Education Network (PEN) President Chito B Salazar said PEN is sending a team to Myanmar to talk to potential partners for the establishment of a nursing school, paving the way for its maiden venture overseas.

Russia, Myanmar in nuclear talks

Russian Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) is currently negotiating a possible cooperation with Myanmar over the supply of advanced nuclear technologies, Russian media reports. Rosatom’s Deputy Director General Kirill Komarov said Myanmar is interested in increasing its generating capacities and could resort to the construction of a nuclear power plant.

Myanmar hires lobbyists ahead of key elections

The Myanmar government has hired lobbyists in Washington for the first time in more than a decade, signing a contract worth $840,000 with the Podesta Group, the Hill reported. The contract comes ahead of crucial elections in the country later this year. The contract between Podesta Group and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, which has been signed by representatives at the embassy, will last 12 months. Podesta Group “will also assist in communicating priority issues in the United States-Myanmar bilateral relationship to relevant US audiences, including the US Congress, executive branch, media, and policy community,” according to a filing with Justice Department.

Samchem to tap Myanmar chemical products market

Malaysian chemical products distributor Samchem Holdings Bhd is looking to expand into Myanmar within the next three to five, Malaysian media reported. Samchem distributes a wide range of chemicals, such as polyurethane chemicals, intermediate chemicals, specialty chemicals and blends of customised solvents.

Thai event organiser suspends Myanmar projects

Thailand’s biggest event organiser Index Creative Village Plc has temporarily suspended its Myanmar projects citing “stricter licensing requirements”, Thai media reported. The move comes amid growing political uncertainty in Myanmar this year that has prompted the government to impose stricter guidelines against people gathering in a bid to prevent potential protests.

Ruili first city to trade kyat in China

Ruili became the first city in China to trade Myanmar’s local currency kyat through the opening of Ruili China and Myanmar currency exchange centre in the Jiegao Economic Development Zone in Yunnan province, Chinese media reports. Ruili-Muse border station sees the majority of Myanmar’s overland trade.

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