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Ups and downs
Burmese kyat remained much the same this week, with US$1 buying 982 and selling 988 kyat. Gold is up at 662,000 kyat per tical (a 4,200 kyat rise from last week). Petrol is at 820 kyat, diesel 950 kyat and octane 920 kyat per litre (no changes since last week). High quality Pawsanhmwe rice sells for 1,200-1,300 kyat and low quality Emata at 850-900 kyat per basket. Watermelon exports to China are strong at Muse’s 105 border checkpoint, price standing between 3,500-5,500 Yun per a ton.
South Korea looks to Burma’s fields for food security
Burma has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to improve agricultural ties and expertise exchange, Korea’s Yonhap News reported on Sunday. The agreement reportedly aims to enrich South Korea’s food security program and increase export of farming equipment for use in Burma’s developing agricultural sector.
RC Cola to set up plant in Burma
The exclusive manufacturer and distributor of RC Cola in the Philippines says it plans to install plants in Burma and Thailand, the Philippine Star newspaper reported on 19 January, adding that construction may start this year. RC Cola joins soft drinks giants Pepsico and Coca-Cola in a market which has until recently been saturated only with domestic drinks firms.
Thai media firm to launch English daily in Burma
Thailand’s Nation Multimedia Group announced last week that it will launch an English-language daily newspaper in Burma in a joint venture with leading local publisher Eleven News Group. The new publication will be called Myanmar Eleven and will hit newsstands by mid-February, the Thai firm said.
UK software firm to provide logistics for Burmese census
British technology company DRS Data Services is to aid Burma in its first census for 30 years by providing design, printing and distribution services involving some 16 million specially formulated questionnaires. The census is due to be completed in April in the country which has an estimated population of some 60 million. DRS census specialist Ann Stewart-Baker said that paper was a more appropriate medium for a census in developing countries due to a lack of electricity and internet connectivity.
Mandalay to offer int’l flights to Thailand, Singapore
Burmese airline Asian Wings and Singaporean Silk Air will soon offer international flights to and from central Burma’s Mandalay City. Asian Wings sales department manager Myint Win Han said flights between Mandalay and Chiang Mai in northern Thailand will begin on 29 January, once weekly on Wednesdays. Tickets will be sold at US$346 round trip. Singapore-based Silk Air will offer flights between Mandalay and Singapore – three flights per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – as of 10 June 2014, with ticket prices yet to be determined.
Indian hydro projects stalled
An Indian governmental official said that the Tamanthi and Shwezaye hydro-electric projects have been suspended following a review of Detailed Project Reports, Indian business site Financial Express reported on Wednesday. According to the report, high tariffs and social and environmental impacts have rendered the projects unviable.
Thilawa pledges shares for rural public
The Myanmar Thilawa Special Economic Zone Holding Public Company Limited (MTSH) has pledged to make shares in the Thilawa SEZ Project more accessible to the rural public. MTSH chairman Win Aung said on Wednesday that the company plans to link up with domestic banks to increase market access. MTSH holds 51 percent of shares – 41 percent public sector and 10 percent government – in the Thilawa SEZ Project in joint-venture with Japan. Public shares will trade at 10,000 kyat per share.
Skynet to air Champion’s League, FIFA
Satellite television operator Skynet will broadcast Champions League and Europa League football through the 2017-18 seasons, according to Ye Min Oo, general manager of Skynet’s MNTV channel. The channel also won a contract last year to air all FIFA matches — plus the Premier League — starting from the 2013-14 season, as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The deal led to a sharp spike in the station’s viewership.