Singapore-based United Overseas Bank Group (UOB) will help its clients to invest $300 million in Myanmar over the next 12 months in projects that will meet the country’s growing urbanisation and industrialisation needs.
The clients, which include multinational and regional companies based in Euorpe and Asia, namely Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, have said the investments will be directed mainly at building factories, hotels and commercial properties.
UOB said it will provide working capital and term loans for the various projects.
UOB has also provided offshore financing for several clients with projects in the energy sector, one of which was Asiatech Energy in early 2014 – the first Singapore company to build a combined cycle gas-fired power plant in Mon state.
Ian Wong, managing director, Group Strategy and International Management, UOB Group, said the bank is keen to support long-term strategic investments into Myanmar that will contribute to the country’s economic progress.
“Since the opening up of Myanmar economy three years ago, we have been helping our clients identify investment opportunities in the country, many of which have turned into business plans on the ground. Our clients tell us they believe in the economic future of Myanmar and are keen to make a long-term commitment to the country,” he said.
According to UOB’s research team, Myanmar will attract $163 billion in FDI over the next 15 years from companies keen to participate in the country’s economic transformation and liberalistion.
UOB said it will focus on helping companies make strategic long-term investment in three key sectors: infrastructure, manufacturing and hospitality. These are industries that have been identified by the Myanmar government as key to the country’s long-term economic development.
Currently, UOB is offering domestic and cross-border banking services through its Yangon branch, including corporate loans, trade financing, working capital loans and cash management solutions. Also, through its FDI Advisory Unit, set up in 2013, UOB connects its clients with business partners and government agencies in Myanmar.
Harry Loh, UOB Myanmar Country Manager, said that having the right on-the-ground support is important when expanding in Myanmar.
In April this year, UOB received the final approval from Myanmar Central Bank to open its first branch in Yangon.