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Agro exports surge by $781 mln as of 19 February

The agricultural exports have touched a high of US$2.25 billion as of 19 February 2021 in the current financial year since 1 October 2020 on the back of strong global demand for agricultural products amid the coronavirus impacts. The figures reflect a significant rise of $781.5 million this FY. According to the trade figures released by the Ministry of Commerce, the ago exports soared from $1.47 billion in the corresponding period of the 2019-2020 FY. Myanmar’s agricultural exports rose regardless of the coronavirus’s impact on foreign demand for other export groups. However, some ocean liners suspended cargo transport from Myanmar in recent days.

The cargo transport will double or triple if we conduct the trade with small ships. It could harm the export sector somehow, according to Myanmar Mercantile Marine Development Association. In the exports sector, the agriculture industry performed the best, accounting for over 22 per cent of overall exports. The agricultural industry’s chief export items are rice and broken rice, pulses and beans, and maize. Fruits and vegetables, sesame, dried tea leaves, sugar, and other agro products are also shipped to other countries. Myanmar agro products are primarily exported to China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

Sometimes, the export market remains uncertain due to unsteady global demand. The country requires specific export plans for each agro product, as they are currently exported to external markets based upon supply and demand. Contract farming systems, the involvement of regional and state agriculture departments, exporters, traders, and some grower groups, are required to meet production targets, said an official from the Agriculture Department. The Commerce Ministry is working to help farmers deal with challenges such as high input costs, procurement of pedigree seeds, high cultivation costs, and unpredictable weather conditions. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Myanmar pulls $672.59 mln in 2020-2021FY

Myanmar attracted foreign direct investment of more than US$672.59 million between 1 October and 31 January in the 2020-2021 budget year, including an expansion of capital by existing enterprises and investments in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). MIC intends to reach an FDI target of $5.8 billion for the current FY2020-2021. The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations has been inviting responsible businesses to benefit the country.

Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) ensures to approve the responsible businesses by assessing environmental and social impacts. The commission is working together with the relevant departments to screen the projects. Singapore is the top source of foreign direct investments into Myanmar in the first four months of the current FY, DICA’s statistics indicated. China stood as the second-largest investors this FY with an estimated capital of $139.354 million from 10 enterprises, followed by Hong Kong SAR investing $87 million in Myanmar.

Those enterprises listed from Thailand, India, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, UK, Viet Nam, Marshall Island and China (Taipei) also made investments this year. Of 38 foreign enterprises permitted and endorsed by MIC and the respective investment committees between 1 October and 31 January of the current financial year, 20 enterprises pumped FDI into the manufacturing sector. The power sector received six projects, and the livestock and fisheries sector attracted five projects.

Other service sector drew four projects while the agriculture sector pulled two projects, and one foreign enterprise entered the hotel and tourism sector. The FDIs stood at $6.9 million from 158 enterprises in the FY2016-2017, $6.119 billion from 234 businesses in the FY2017-2018, $1.94 billion from 89 projects in the 2018 mini-budget year, $4.5 billion from 298 enterprises in the FY2018-2019 and $5.689 billion from 253 businesses in the FY2019-2020, respectively, the DICA’s data indicated. Those enterprises have created over 96,000 jobs in the FY2016-2017, 110,000 jobs in the FY2017-2018, over 53,000 jobs in the 2018 mini-budget period, over 180,000 jobs in the FY2018-2019 and 210,000 jobs in the FY2019-2020, respectively.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Maritime trade decreases by $2.28 bln in 2020-2021FY

The value of Myanmar’s maritime trade for the period between 1 October and 12 February in the 2020-2021 financial year touched a low of US$7.997 billion, a drastic drop of over $2.28 billion compared to the year-ago period, according to the Ministry of Commerce. While maritime exports were valued at $3.28 billion, imports were registered at $4.7 billion. Compared to the same period in the 2019-2020 budget year, imports fell by $1.53 billion, while exports decreased by $751 million.

Meanwhile, the value of trade through the border this FY was estimated at $3.9 billion, a decrease of $56 million as against a year-ago period. Both sea trade and border trade dropped amid the coronavirus impacts. The neighbouring countries tightened border security and limited trading time to contain the virus’s spread. Pandemic-induced container shortage pushed up the freight rates to almost triple in Myanmar, causing delays for traders.

Additionally, according to the Myanmar Mercantile Marine Development Association, some ocean liners suspended cargo transport from Myanmar.
The halt of ocean liners will undoubtedly affect the maritime trade. The cargo transport will double or triple if we conduct the trade with small ships, said an official of the association. The country’s total external trade reached $11.987 billion, which plunged from $14.3 billion recorded in a year-ago period.

Myanmar’s sea trade generated $26 billion from an overall trade value of $36 billion in the last FY2019-2020, the Ministry of Commerce’s statistics indicated. Myanmar exports agricultural products, fishery products, minerals, livestock, forest products, finished industrial goods, and other products. At the same time, it imports capital goods, consumer goods, and raw industrial materials. The country currently has nine ports involved in sea trade. Yangon Port is the main gateway for Myanmar’s maritime trade. It includes the Yangon inner terminals and the outer Thilawa Port.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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AMATA puts off listing date in equity market

The listing date, before scheduled, of Amata Holding Public Co., Ltd. (AMATA on Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) would be postponed for a certain period. And the rescheduled listing date announced in due time, according to the YSX notification on 26 February 2021. After scrutinizing submitted application documents and a deliberate listing examination, YSX approved the Amata Holding Public Co., Ltd. (AMATA) to be listed on YSX under Section 41 (c) of the Securities Exchange Law and Section 7 and 8 of the Securities Listing Business Regulations, on 28 December 2020. Earlier, it was scheduled to debut on the exchange on 12 March.

AMATA is the very first hotels and tourism sector to be listed in the equity market. The base price of AMATA will be announced on the YSX website one working day before the listing date. On 18 July 2018, the company issued a prospectus in which 596 investors held 497,598 shares at an offering price of K5,000 per each unit. AMATA would be the seventh public company to list on the exchange. As per the company’s profile, AMATA is a public holding company and operates a resort in Ngapali Beach, Inle Lake and Bagan, and a hot-air ballooning business with 15 balloons in six cities. AMATA owns 99.99% share from United International Group Co., Ltd and 51% shares from Myanmar Ballooning Co., Ltd.

At present, shares of six listed companies — First Myanmar Investment (FMI), Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings (MTSH), Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB), First Private Bank (FPB), TMH Telecom Public Co. Ltd (TMH) and the Ever Flow River Group Public Co. Ltd (EFR) — are being traded on the exchange. On 26 February 2021, the share prices of FMI were closed at K9,300 per unit, MTSH at K3,500, MCB at K8,200, FPB at K22,000, TMH at K2,800 and EFR at K3,350, respectively. Usually, over K60 million worth of shares were traded on the exchange every day. The COVID-19 impacts cooled down the market. The stock markets worldwide have reported their largest declines since the 2008 financial crisis.

Similarly, the local equities market is also scared by the COVID-19 crash, a market observer points out. At present, people are keeping emergency savings rather than investing amid the COVID-19 crisis and current political conditions, he added. Next, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) has allowed foreigners to invest in the local equity market from 20 March 2020. Furthermore, YSX launched a pre-listing board (PLB) on 28 September 2020 to provide unlisted public companies with fund-raising opportunities and build a bridge toward listing on YSX, YSX stated. The YSX was launched four years ago to improve the private business sector.

It disseminates rules and regulations regarding the stock exchange and knowledge of share trading through stock investment seminars. The stock exchange has also sought the government’s support to get more public companies to participate in the stock market and help more institutional investors, such as financing companies, investment banks, and insurance companies, to emerge. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Myanmar’s securities market has been able to continue operating without stopping trading. According to the annual report released by the exchange, a total of K12.6 billion worth of 1.87 million shares by six listed companies were traded on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) in 2020, a significant drop compared to 2019. Over 2.4 million shares from five listed companies, valued at K13.39 billion, were traded on the exchange in 2019. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar