Hydropower, mining, oil and gas sectors cover 85 per cent of total investment

Investment sectors in hydropower, mining, oil and gas covered 85 per cent of total investment in Myanmar, said Aung Naing Oo, Director General of Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration in a conference held at Myanmar Investment Commission Office in July 25. (ELEVEN MEDIA)

“The main foreign investment in Myanmar is hydropower. The investment in hydropower sector has over 40 per cent of overall investment. Exploring oil and natural gas came second and has over 30 per cent of total investment. The third is the mining sector and has 7 per cent of total investment,” he said.

Myanmar has now over US$42 billion from foreign investment and China is top among foreign investors. China’s investment accounts for 34 per cent of total foreign investment. Although foreign investment in above sectors is up, investment in production and agricultural sectors has a little investment.

“Although foreign investment those three sectors are high, investment in agricultural which is the important sector for 70 per cent of total population and labour intensive industries which can create many job opportunities are low. We are trying to make investment increase in those sectors,” the director general said.

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Cambodian garment export up nearly 20 pct in 1st half

The garment industry, Cambodia’s largest income earner, reported 2.51 billion US dollars in export value in the first six months of this year, a 19.5 percent rise from $2.1 billion over the same period last year, the figures of the Commerce Ministry showed Wednesday.

Cambodian apparels are mostly sold to the United States and European countries, with some to Canada, Japan, South Korea and China.

The figures said that from January to June this year, the garment exports to the United States were valued at $1.02 billion, up 10 percent year-on-year. The exports to the European nations were 862 million dollars worth, up 27 percent, and the exports to other countries were $629 million, up 27 percent. (XINHUA)

“Our garment products are mainly reliant on the US and European markets, so our export growth demonstrates better economic situations in those countries,” Khuon Savuth, an official at the Commerce Ministry’s Import-Export Inspection and Fraud Repression Department, said Wednesday.

According to the figures, garment export accounted for 80 percent of the country’s total exports.

The industry is comprised of about 500 factories with some 510, 600 workers. A worker’s monthly minimum wage is 80 dollars.

In 2012, the impoverished Southeast Asian nation earned 4.6 billion dollars from garment exports.

Large banks focus on corporate bonds

HA NOI (VNS)— The total value of corporate bonds sold during the first six months of this year has reached VND15 trillion (US$707.5 million), equivalent to 88 per cent of last year’s total, according to a report from the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV).

Property developer VIDP Group issued VND7.6 trillion ($358.4 million) in corporate bonds, mineral giant Vinacomin raised VND2.5 trillion ($117.9 million) and HCM City Infrastructure Investment (CII) issued VND1 trillion ($47.1 million) worth of bonds.

The BIDV report recorded small scale issuance of under VND100 billion ($4.7 million) from other companies. “Most of the bonds belonged to real estate firms,” the report said.

Corporate bonds were favoured by commercial banks. BIDV and Techcombank bought VND500 billion ($23.8 million) and VND3 trillion ($141.5 million) worth of bonds in VIDP Group, while all the bonds issued by CII, totalling VND1 trillion ($47.6 million), were sold to Vietcombank (VCB).

“Attractive yields have brought banks with large cash reserves to corporate bonds,” the report said. “Despite the gloomy economic situation that made it for bond issuance more difficult, large corporations are still alluring to investors.”

The supply of corporate bonds is expected to continue to rise as companies take advantage of low interest rates to raise capital. “Along with increasing supply, demand will be large, especially for bonds from reputable businesses,” the report said.

Bond yields for three to five-year terms range from 13-15 per cent.

Meanwhile, Government bonds were less attractive, according to Viet Dragon Securities Co. Government bonds during the first six months yielded about 6-9 per cent. Declining yields discouraged investors, especially banks.

In June and the beginning of this month, foreign investors sold Government bonds with a net value of VND7.2 trillion ($339.6 million). — VNS

UK to invest in Myanmar’s oil, gas and travel sectors

The United Kingdom has pledged to invest over US$385 million in Myanmar in two years time, according to statistics of the Directorate of Investment and Company Registration. (ELEVEN MEDIA)

The UK invested over US$2659.954 million in March 2011, and the investment is increased to over US$3045.434 million in June 2013. China is still the biggest investor in Myanmar with more than US$14 billion. The UK is standing in 5th place behind China, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea.

The UK is making investment in nine sectors in 2013. On June 12 the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) gave permission to UK-based Leisure Holdings Asia Ltd. to organise river cruises between Yangon, Mandalay, Began, Banmaw, Mawlite and Homemalin. On May 10 the MIC is also allowed the joint venture of UK based HC (Asia) Holding Co. Ltd. and a Myanmar company to establish a production plant of plastic bottles in Mingalardon Industrial Zone.

During his trip to the UK, Myanmar President Thein Sein invited UK companies to invest more. Myanmar has plenty of natural resources and needs foreign investment to develop into an industrialised country like UK.

Vietnam’s economy ranks 42nd in the world

VietNamNet Bridge – With the gross domestic product (GDP) estimated from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations equivalent to $322 billion, Vietnam’s economy ranks 6th in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

According to the rankings announced last week by the World Bank, the U.S. remains the largest economy in the world with GDP last year reached $15.7 trillion. It is followed by China with about $12.5 trillion, India with $4.8 trillion and Japan with $4.5 trillion.

Russia overtook Germany to become the 5th largest economy in the world with $3.4 trillion. The figure for Germany is $3.3 trillion.

In Southeast Asia, the biggest economy is Indonesia (16th) with more than $1.223 trillion, followed by Thailand (21st) with more than $655 billion, Malaysia (26th), the Philippines (29th) and Singapore (39th). Vietnam ranks 42nd, behind Singapore, with more than $322 billion dollars.

The World Bank’s rankings of 177 economies is different from the rankings based on nominal GDP of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the IMF, the U.S. and China still top the list with over $15.7 and $8.2 trillion. The following economies are Japan, Germany, France, England, Brazil and Russia. Vietnam ranks 51st in the list with nominal GDP of over $141 billion.

Myanmar set for stock exchange

Deputy Minister for Finance and Revenue, Maung Maung Thein confirmed on 15 July that Myanmar will begin implementing a stock exchange market this year. (MIZZIMA)

Earlier announcements state the stock exchange market will be established by 2015, but preparations are already under way.

“Earlier we planned to begin in 2015, but it would be too late. So, we are beginning this year,” says Maung Maung Thein.

The Central Bank of Myanmar is cooperating with the Daiwa Research Institute and Japan’s Tokyo Stock Exchange to establish Myanmar’s stock exchange. Later this month, Maung Maung Thein says there will be a demonstration on the operation of the stock exchange with the help of a Myanmar IT company.

According to Maung Maung Thein, the “Security Exchange Law” has been put forward to the Lower House in the current ongoing parliamentary sessions. Shortly after the bill has been approved, the stock exchange will be established.

Maung Maung Thein says a relevant committee has been formed in order to ensure a smooth launch for the stock exchange.

“Myanmar needs a huge market to attract financial investments,” says Maung Maung Thein. “Myanmar did not have that market. To establish that market [stock exchange], we have prepared for many years.”

Hla Maung, an economist, says, “It’ll be surprising if the stock exchange can be established in late this year. The sooner the better. But it is a financial market, so we need to have public companies and corporations that can sell shares. If not, the market will be weak and unsuccessful.”

Public companies that will sell shares in the stock exchange have to submit the company’s real status to the supervising committee. However, experts say this will pose a big challenge to existing Myanmar companies as they deal with problems about tax affairs.

Dr. Aung Thura, chief executive officer at Thura Swiss Company, who provides economic research services for public companies in Myanmar, recently told Mizzima, “According to Daiwa, new emerging companies such as KBZ and AGD will enter into the stock market rather than the current public companies when the stock exchange is established in Myanmar.”

Currently, only two public companies have registered at the Myanmar Security Exchange Center [MSEC]. An international economic researcher told Mizzima that if experts spread knowledge about the stock market among Myanmar citizens beforehand, it is likely that the early stage of the stock market will run smoothly.

The stock exchange will be located near Bandoola Garden, where Myawaddy Bank currently stands. The building formerly owned by the Finance and Revenue Ministry is due to be returned to them later this year.