June 18, 2019


Finance Ministry Cuts Microfinance Loan Interest Rates

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The Microfinance Business Supervisory Committee under the Ministry of Planning and Finance (MOPF) issued Directive (1/2019) to revise interest rate for microfinance loans and saving on June 5. The new rates are to take effect on June 1, but the announcement was released after four days of the effective date, causing microfinance institutions to be in a difficult position.

The committee amended the interest rate where a loan of K100 monthly will be charged K2.30 and the yearly maximum interest rate will be 28 percent. The previous rate was for K100 monthly at K2.50 and the yearly maximum interest rate is at 30pc. In comparison, the directive has decreased 2pc of the yearly interest rate. Furthermore, the new interest rate on compulsory saving will be for K100 monthly, it will be charged K1.20; while the annual minimum interest rate has been cut by 1pc to 14pc. The previous specification was for K100 monthly it will be K1.25 with the yearly minimum interest rate at 15pc.

Interest rate on voluntary saving remained the same. The directive designated that for K100 monthly, the amount charged will be K0.80 and the yearly minimum interest rate will be 10pc. Currently, the finance ministry in April 2019 has allowed microfinance licence to 3 INGOs, 16 NGOs, 47 foreign financial institutions, 110 local, and 5 partnership – a total of 181 microfinance providers.

Source: Myanmar Times 


KDDI, Sumitomo to enter Myanmar Mobile Game Market

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Japanese operator KDDI and conglomerate Sumitomo have revealed plans to jointly enter Myanmar’s mobile game industry through newly created joint venture Funcreate Myanmar.

Funcreate Myanmar, a subsidiary of the companies’ Singapore-based joint venture Funcreate, will localize and distribute mobile games from Japan and other countries throughout Myanmar.

KDDI and Sumitomo were selected in 2014 to partner with state-owned Myanmar Posts and Telecom to operate a joint venture providing fixed and mobile services in the rapidly developing local telecoms market.

Source: Telecom Asia

Two Japanese Electric Power Companies will invest in gas-fired power plant in Myanmar

Image result for chugoku shikoku electric power companyThe two regional utilities in western Japan Chugoku Electric Power Co and Shikoku Electric Power Co will invest in the operation of a gas-fired power plant in Myanmar in a bid to cash in on the growing electricity demand in the emerging economy.

They have sealed a deal on the acquisition of a 28.5 percent stake each in the operator of the Yangon plant via their subsidiaries, marking their first investments in Myanmar.

The Japanese power companies said they will provide expertise in operation and maintenance and expect to gain long-term stable investment revenue and the total transaction value is estimated at US$85 million (K130.4 billion).

Source: Myanmar Times

Fuji Xerox collaborates with two Myanmar companies

Image result for fuji xerox myanmarFuji Xerox company said that they have agreed on the local distribution of its products and services with Dagon Win Win Co., a firm under diversified business group Dagon Group of Companies, and Direct Channel Distribution Co., under major information and communication technology group KMD to expand sales of printers and multi-function copy machines as well as to provide consulting and solutions in the country.

A subsidiary of Japan’s Fujifilm Holding Corp., Fuji Xerox was the first Japanese office equipment maker in Myanmar since 2013.

Source: Myanmar Times

Ooredoo Myanmar sign agreement with ZTE for 5G development

Image result for ooredoo zte 5gOoredoo Myanmar has signed an agreement with ZTE to develop together on 5G network deployment as part of the operator’s network modernization program.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding that will cover Ooredoo Myanmar’s 5G evolution from trials through to commercial deployment.

During the first stage of the partnership, Ooredoo Myanmar and ZTE will evaluate potential test environments for Ooredoo’s 5G network. The network tests will be used to evaluate the performance of the 5G network ahead of commercial deployments. The company plans to arrange more 5G trials and commercial launches across its operating companies around the world over the next few months.

Source: Telecom Asia

Myanmar to buy power from China by 2021

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Myanmar will buy 1000 MW of electricity from China as a quick solution to an ongoing domestic shortage. “We will buy 1000 MW by 2021 but it is impossible to use all the electricity. We will resell the excess,” U Soe Myint, Deputy Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE), said.

The additional supply of electricity will be purchased in batches from China Southern Power Grid over the next two years, U Tin Maung Oo, permanent secretary of the MOEE, said at a press conference in Nay Pyi Taw.

The electricity will be transported from Dohon in China to Muse, Mine-ye, Hopone, Loikaw and Phayagyi. “Even if we are not able to buy the entire 1000MW, we will purchase at least 300MW,” said U Tin Maung Oo. While Myanmar and China have both signed an initial agreement for the purchase, the authorities still need to discuss pricing and whether the public can afford the additional supply of power.

Source: Myanmar Times


Japan’s largest retailer Aeon opens hypermarket in Thanlyin

Related imageJapanese retail giant Aeon opened a hypermarket in Myanmar with the aim of seeking to cash in on the growing retail sector in the emerging economy.

Aeon Orange Thanlyin Sakura opened in Thanlyin, Yangon, the country’s commercial capital, selling home electronics, clothing and other household products in addition to foods as they already offered at its existing 14 supermarkets.

Aeon Orange Co, its local joint venture, was established in 2016 with local retailer, Creation Myanmar Group of Companies and took over the 14 supermarkets in Yangon and Mandalay that had been run by Hypermart Asia Co, an affiliate of the partner.

The Japanese retail group’s operating profit earned outside Japan accounted for 16.8% of the total in the business year to February and it is trying to boost the ratio by stepping up business in Asia.

Source: Bangkok Post

Telenor Myanmar and CB Bank launch new Visa card

Image result for cb telenor new visa cardTelenor Myanmar, CB Bank and Visa last week launched a new CB-Telenor Visa card in Myanmar, days after the Central Bank of Myanmar raised annual credit card interest rates to 20pc from 13pc to put a lid on runaway credit card debt in April.

The CB Telenor Visa card is the first ever collaboration in Myanmar between a local bank and a telecom operator. The new credit card will also feature Visa’s contactless payment technology, which will encourage the use of electronic payments and and [drive] Myanmar towards a less-cash society, said Lillian Wang, Country Manager for Visa Myanmar.

Holders of the new credit card will be able to use it at more than 53 million merchant locations worldwide, including for online shopping and hotel bookings. The bank will decide on who qualifies for the new CB-Telenor Visa credit card based on each applicant’s eligible limit and in accordance with Central Bank guidelines.

 Source: Myanmar Times
Myanmar Tourism Bank opens to promote tourism sector

Image result for myanmar tourism bank yangonMTB is one of five sector-specific banks granted a banking license by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) in 2017. It is founded by a public tourism company. Initiated during U Thein Sein’s government, K2 billion was raised to finance the MTB to help promote the tourism sector, but it failed to get the necessary approvals from relevant authorities.

However, the first branch of Myanmar Tourism Bank (MTB) has started operation on Monday offering financial assistance to tourism companies 347 Pyay Road, Kamayut township, Yangon.

The Myanmar Tourism Bank will decide on the loans to extend depending on the nature of the business of the borrowers, said MTB’s managing director. The branches at Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw and other places will be open in next month, said U Yan Win, a shareholder of the bank.

Source: Myanmar Times

Telenor becoming largest 4G/LTE network in Myanmar

Image result for telenor 4gTelenor Myanmar is now the largest 4G/LTE network in Myanmar, covering more than 300 townships with over 6100 LTE sites nationwide, due to the telecommunications services provider from Telenor and that’s almost all the townships in Myanmar.

Telenor successfully conducted a joint network speed trial last year in collaboration with Ericsson and achieved the record-setting fastest internet speed ever in Myanmar, 1 Gbps, on its 4G/LTE network.

The collaboration with Ericsson had reached next level in late November 2018, as a pilot study of IoT technology for the first time in Mandalay city was successfully done showcasing Telenor’s commitment of 5G readiness in Myanmar.

Source: Myanmar Times



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