Business weekly 5 June

Business weekly 5 June

Ups and downs

The Burmese currency on Friday was valued at 1,105 kyat per US dollar; 1,238.6 kyat per Euro; 178.20 per Chinese Yuan and 32.721 per Thai Baht. Gold was buying at 39,539.57 kyat per gram and selling at 43,701.63 kyat per gram.

YSX due to open in October

The historic opening of the Yangon Stock Exchange is set to take place in October, the Bangkok Post cites Deputy Finance Minister Maung Maung Thein as saying. Applications to practice on the market opened earlier this year.

Plans for new Japan-Mekong aid strategy

Officials from the five Mekong states, including Burma, met in the Japanese city of Hamamatsu on 31 May to discuss a new Japan-Mekong aid cooperation strategy. The discussion focused on the need for ‘high quality’ growth in Mekong states, as members call for Japanese investment in green technologies and human resources development in addition to traditional infrastructure projects. Member states said they hoped further Japanese investment in less developed ASEAN countries will help boost regional connectivity for higher economic growth.

MPs discuss borrowing from CBM to fund agricultural loans

A number of MPs have discussed a plan to borrow 400 billion kyat from the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) for agricultural loans, state media reported. Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation Ohn Than and Deputy Finance Minister Dr Lin Aung presented plans to parliament on 4 June to deliver the loans to struggling farmers around the country.

Plant power offers hope for green energy in Burma

Dutch scientists have developed a revolutionary system that could one day help isolated villages in countries such as Burma steadily generate electricity from water-logged plants such as rice growing in paddy fields, according to AFP. The new technology harnesses the excess organic matter produced by the plant during photosynthesis, which is expelled through the plants roots and consumed by micro-organisms. All that the system requires to produce electricity is a plant growing in water, be it mangrove swamps or garden plants.

Read the full DVB story here.

High-speed internet ‘guaranteed’ for Burma by August

Local internet service provider Yatanarpon Teleport has offered its customers a “guarantee” of high-speed internet later this year following upgrades to its service, according to Myanmar Business Today. Shein Thu Aung, CEO of Yatanarpon Teleport said a better quality of service “will be operated in cooperation with international companies” as of August 2015.

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Burmese banks fear foreign rivals

Local banks are concerned that international competitors opening branches in Myanmar this year will put them out of business, according to the Myanmar Times. Nine global banks have been scheduled to open in Rangoon this year and, unlike local Burmese lenders, they are not restricted by the same mandates. International branches will be able to lend in both foreign and local currency, and at a higher rate, while Burmese companies are only permitted to lend in kyat. The most recent foreign bank to move into Rangoon was the Bangkok Bank, which opened on Tuesday 2 June.

Tourism in focus for Mekong countries

Tourism industry experts will gather in Vietnam later this month to study investment opportunities in Mekong countries, including Burma. The region’s tourism potential will be discussed at the Mekong Tourism Investment Summit, where CEOs of popular hotel brands, leaders from investment agencies and tourism money experts meet in Danang on 17 June. Other areas in focus include Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and two provinces in China.

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