Economy March 01, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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About half of ASIAN businesses eyeing Myanmar


Half of Asian companies – or 51 per cent to be precise – with turnover of between US$10 million and $160 million views Myanmar as an opportunity for business expansion, according to a survey commissioned by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank.

Their preferred approach is to establish a local presence (14 per cent) and partner with local agents and businesses (11 per cent).

The survey result was announced on January 30, and covered 800 small and medium-sized enterprises in Asia.

Ian Wong, UOB’s managing director and head of international, said: “For Asian corporates and businesses seeking regional expansion opportunities, Myanmar is proving to be an exciting possibility.

“However, while many Asian companies are interested in Myanmar, they are unfamiliar with the business and regulatory landscape in the country.”

This month, UOB teamed with the APR Energy Company to sign a contract with the Myanmar government to build a power plant. – Myanmar Eleven

Foreign investors grab long-term bonds

Foreign investors shifted to three- to five-year bonds in anticipation of an interest-rate cut by the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee, the Thai Bond Market Association said.

Between February 1 and 21, about Bt7.2 billion worth of Thai bonds were sold by foreign investors, compared with Bt20 billion the previous month.

Suchart Thanathitiphan, the association’s deputy director, said long-term bonds would yield a good return if the MPC cut the policy rate.

An association survey found around 70 per cent of bond traders expected the MPC to trim the rate and 30 per cent expected it to be maintained at the current 2.25 per cent.

moody’s rates tHAIBEV ‘STABLE’

Moody’s Investors Service says Thai Beverage continues deleveraging and good liquidity supports its “Baa3” rating despite its weak earnings in 2013.

The rating outlook remains “stable”.

ThaiBev reported a 3.3-per-cent decline in sales in 2013 year on year, on lower volumes across almost all of its product categories – including spirits, beer and soft drinks.

The reduced sales volumes in the alcohol segment largely reflected lower consumption and, in turn, higher prices for spirits after an increase in excise taxes a year ago.

Design electrical contractors in trouble

Design electrical contractors have seen their revenue drop by as much as 50 per cent in the first two months of the year because of the political turmoil, Engineering Network Co chief executive Kacha Teerakomen said.

Kacha said public and private businesses were slowly launching new investments to build residential and commercial properties. As a result, he warned that some contracting firms would be forced to close.