Ups and Downs
The Burmese kyat has plateaued, remaining at 1,286 kyat to the US dollar. Gold is selling for 771,000 kyat per tical, moving 1000 kyat from last weeks’ selling price of 772,000; while it is buying for 767,500, shifting from last weeks’ price of 770,000.
Plan Bee opens in southern Shan State
Residents in Pindaya, Danu Self-Administered Zone of southern Shan State can now try their hand at beekeeping, thanks to ‘Plan Bee’, opened by UK NGO Tag International Development.
The new initiative aims to lift people in rural parts of Burma out of poverty, by creating new training and employment opportunities through beekeeping, pollination services, and honey by-products, Myanmar Business Today reported.
“The Plan Bee Beekeeping Centre will not only represent a place to educate people about beekeeping and about honey. The centre will provide a place for beekeepers in the whole of Myanmar [Burma] that represents their interests,” Rabbi Yossi Ives, founder and chairman of Tag International Development, told Myanmar Business Today.
Rangoon Bus Rapid Transit system to commence services in December
The first two lines of the long-awaited bus rapid transit (BRT) system have been tipped to commence services in Rangoon as soon as this December.
Bus stops have been built on Kabaraye Pagoda road and Pyay road, according to Myanmar Business Today, with ticket centres and signposts next on the installation list.
Speaking to Myanmar Business Today, Dr. Maung Aung, an adviser to the Ministry of Commerce, said the traffic congestion in Rangoon meant cross-city trips can take up to two hours, but that the BRT would enable a faster travel time for commuters.
ANZ to open first branch in Rangoon
Australian New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) announced their first Burmese branch will open in Rangoon [Yangon] on Friday 2 October, after receiving the final regulatory approval.
In October 2014, the Burmese government granted nine foreign banks coveted licences to operate on a limited basis, the biggest move to date, bringing in much needed foreign capital to the fast-growing economy. Licencees are also expected to lend to domestic banks.
ANZ’s chief executive of international and institutional banking Andrew Géczy said the approval was the final step in the group’s plans to deepen its presence in the Greater Mekong region, following the recent branch opening in Thailand, Business Spectator reported.
Puma Energy joins state firm in jet fuel joint venture
Burma’s state-owned Myanma Petroleum Products Enterprise (MPPE) has agreed to a joint venture with Puma Energy Group Pte Ltd to distribute jet fuel, the state-owned Myanma Alinn daily reported on Saturday.
Last year, MPPE chose Puma Energy from a short list of four firms as its partner to distribute jet fuel amid a rise in demand from new airports and a boom in tourist arrivals.
MPPE and Singapore-based Puma Energy Group signed the agreement in Burma’s capital Naypyidaw on Friday, the daily reported.
Thai-Burma trade booms
Cross-border trade between Thailand and Burma through the Mae Sot-Myawaddy checkpoint totalled more than 60 billion in the fiscal year just ended, a rise of 12.3 percent over the 2013-2014 year, a senior customs official said on Thursday.
Kitti Sutthisamphan, chief of Tak’s Mae Sot customs checkpoint, attributed the increase to the opening of the Mae Sot-Myawaddy-Kawkareik route and preparations for the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community in December.