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Myanmar Business News in Brief

Central bank to change reserve requirement rules for private banks

At the suggestion of the IMF, the Central Bank of Myanmar will make some major changes concerning the reserve requirement for local private banks soon, local media quoted a senior Central Bank official as saying. “They will not be allowed to have reserve requirement in bond any more. They will be required to keep it in cash. And they will be required to have only 5 or 6 percent reserve requirement, down from 10 per cent at present,” the official said.

Bukit Asam may invest in Myanmar, Vietnam power plants

Indonesia’s state-owned coal miner PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam is considering investing $600 million to build two power plants in Myanmar and Vietnam, with a capacity of 200 megawatts each, said CEO Milawarma, according to Indonesian media reports.

Twenty-six Japanese firms invited to invest in SME

Myanmar has invited 26 Japanese companies to invest in small and medium enterprises in agriculture, manufacturing, telecom equipment and infrastructure development sectors, local media reported Myanmar Investment Commission Chairman Zeya Aung as saying. Japan has been implementing the Thilawa Special Industrial Zone project, outside Yangon, since 2013.

Aggreko gas engine deal for Myanmar

A rental deal to secure 20MW of on-site gas engine capacity for Myanmar has been signed by Aggreko plc. All Asia Asset Capital signed the deal for delivery by Andaman Power and Utility Company Limited (APU), a Myanmar and Thailand-focused power generation group. In turn APU, which has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Myanmar to act as an electricity and utility provider to Dawei – the capital city of the Tanintharyi region – and surrounding cities, signed a binding agreement with Aggreko.

Bridgestone establishes Myanmar branch office in Yangon

Bridgestone Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (BSCAP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Corp, announced the official opening of its Myanmar branch office in Yangon. The office will focus on gathering information on the truck, bus, car manufacturing industries and tire markets, as well as conduct related activities on behalf of the regional head office. “The easing of foreign investment laws has attracted many automobile companies to set up a presence in fast-growing Myanmar, where transportation infrastructures such as roads are rapidly improving,” said Kunitoshi Takeda, member of the Board and COO of BSCAP. Bridgestone has been offering its products in Myanmar since the 1990s via local channels.

Myanmar claims Facebook partnership after deadly riots

A senior government official said Myanmar is partnering with the social media site Facebook to monitor Myanmar language posts following concerns that a viral post sparked deadly sectarian clashes recently, VOA’s Burmese service reported. The unnamed aide to President Thein Sein said in an interview with VOA’s Burmese service the government and Facebook have a plan to manage a recurring issue in Myanmar – namely the intersection of internal conflicts and social media, according to the report. Facebook declined to comment on the claims. But a spokesperson for the US-based technology firm acknowledged in a written statement to VOA it has been in contact with the government of Myanmar.

Myanmar, Norway to cooperate in mangrove conservation

Myanmar and Norway are seeking cooperation in mangrove forest conservation and a conservation plan in this respect is being worked out between the two countries. At a meeting between minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry U Win Tun and visiting head of Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee for Energy and the Environment Ola Elvestuen, the two sides discussed cooperation with international non-governmental organisations in rehabilitation programs, mangrove forest conservation activities between the ministry and the Worldview International Foundation.  Norway has been helping Myanmar with the programs on conservation of biodiversity and forest resources.

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