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Inflation rate stands at 2.28 per cent in March

The annual rate of inflation in Myanmar, based on the Consumer Price Index, fell to 2.28 per cent in March 2021 amidst the depreciation in Kyat value and high fuel price, according to the inflation report released by the Central Statistical Organization, under the Ministry of Planning and Finance. The Kyat weakened in the local forex market in March. Consequently, the imported oil price also surged, causing the price index in the transportation group to rise, the inflation report showed. The consumer price fell in other commodities, tobacco and beverages and clothing groups. At the same time, the CPI spiked in food, non-food, household goods and maintenance, rent, transportation, recreation and culture. The price index of education, health and telecommunication went stable amid the COVID-19, the report stated.

The annual rate of core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, was six per cent in March 2021. The yearon- year inflation rate stood at 2.64 per cent in March, the inflation data indicated. During the one-year period from April 2020 to March 2021, the inflation rate stood at 6.61 per cent during the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020 owing to the weak demand of consumers and a sharp drop in fuel price. The coronavirus impacts triggered the decline in the consumer price index. It continued slipping to 5.21 per cent in October 2020, 4.6 per cent in November, 3.87 per cent in December, 3.18 per cent in January 2021, 2.61 per cent in February and 2.28 per cent in March, respectively.

In March 2021, Ayeyawady Region recorded the highest inflation rate at 5.99 per cent, followed by Kayin State at 4.37 per cent and Nay Pyi Taw at 4.29 per cent. The rate fluctuated with a maximum rate of 5.57 per cent in the Bago Region and a minimum deflation rate of -0.59 per cent in the Mandalay Region. Earlier, the inflation rate was calculated based on a 2006 survey. The base year was later changed to 2012. The Central Statistical Organization conducted a Household Income and Expenditure Survey in 82 townships in November 2012. The authorities concerned have been making efforts on the basis of policies on finance, currency, trade, and foreign currency control in order to reduce the inflation rate, in keeping with the second five-year National Development plan (2016-2017FY-2020-2021FY).

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Dollar exchange rate falls by K10 after CBM sells $3 mln

The US dollar exchange rate fell by K10, following the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) selling 3 million US dollars, according to the local foreign exchange market. The US dollar exchange rate dropped when the CBM started to sell 3 million dollars at an auction rate for the first time on 7 June. The dollar exchange rate against Myanmar Kyat stood at K1,590 per dollar on 7 June. The rate directly fell to K1,577 per dollar on 11 June.

On 12 May, the dollar exchange rate hit a high of K 1730 per dollar in the local foreign exchange market. Consequently, the CBM has been selling dollars at an auction rate since 12 May, resulting in the exchange rate falling to K 1,580 per dollar this month. CBM is selling the US dollar at an auction rate, intending to keep the exchange rate stable. In the domestic market in 2021, the highest and lowest exchange rate is currently fixed around K1,327-1,345 in January, K1,335-1,465 in February, K1,420-1,550 in March, K1,550-1,610 in April and K1,585-1,730 in May.

In 2020, the exchange rate moved in the range of K1,465-1,493 in January, K1,436-1,465 in February, K1,320-1,445 in March, K1,395-1,440 in April, K1,406-1,426 in May, K1,385-1,412 in June, K1,367-1,410 in July, K1,335-1,390 in August, K1,310-1,355 in September, K1,282-1,315 in October, K1,303-1,330 in November and K1,324-1,403 in December. Last year, the rates are pegged at K1,508-1,517 in July, K1,510-1,526 in August, K1,527- 1,565 in September, K1,528-1,537 in October, K1,510-1,524 in November and K1,485-1,513 in December. On 20 September 2018, the dollar exchange rate hit an all-time high of K1,650 in the local currency market.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Paddy price remains high, hitting around K650,000 per 100 baskets

The price of paddy remains high, hitting around K650,000 per 100 baskets (one basket is equivalent to 46 pounds), said U Than Oo, the secretary of Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Centre.cCurrently, the paddy is no longer in the hands of the farmers, and it is stockpiled in the warehouses. The paddy traders are calling for a high price to sell the paddy. Consequently, the price of paddy remains high, he added. The price of paddy has mounted mostly in the regional market. Earlier, the paddy was sold directly from the farmland.

Now, the paddy is being sent to the warehouse to stockpile. So, the warehouse owners will sell the stored paddy at their calling prices. Besides, the price of milled paddy to export abroad has risen, but the price of rice has not gone up. Thus, the millers who will buy paddy to mill will not be convenient. There are only a few companies that buy rice to export. The rice trading has also dropped because the rice traders are not buying the rice with cash down payment. The traders could not make trading with cash down payment because the bank could not fully operate in money withdrawal-like previously.

Currently, the price of milled paddy exported abroad hits around K600,000 per 100 baskets while the price of rice for domestic consumption moves in the range of K650,000-700,000 per 100 baskets, Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Centre reported. On 23 July, the Committee for Farmers Rights, Protection and Interests Promotion fixed the basic price of paddy at K 520,000 per 100 baskets if the paddy meets the prescribed criteria—14-per-cent moisture content and a fixed percentage of impurities such as sand, weed, and small stones. In accordance with the Farmers Rights, Protection and Interests Promotion Law, the committee has fixed the basic price of paddy for the local farmers to be able to sell at a fair price and search the market for their produce. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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The average inflation rate for February 2021 was 2.61 percent, the lowest since March 2020

The average inflation rate for February 2021 was 2.61 percent which has been falling steadily since March 2020, according to the consumer price inflation and inflation rate released by the Central Statistical Organization. The average inflation rate rose for 18 consecutive months from April 2018 to September 2019. It was slightly lower in October and November 2019 and it rose again in December of 2019, January and February of 2020. But it fell again in March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December and January and February of 2021.

If we look at the national annual inflation rate for the one-year period from February 2020 to February 2021, based on the 2012 , the inflation rate was 8.36 percent in February 2020, and in March 2020, when COVID-19 began in Myanmar 2020, it caused household consumption fell and a decline in fuel prices with an inflation rate of 1.51 percent in February 2021. For the country as a whole, the average inflation rate, based on the 2012 base year consumer prices, averaged 2.61 percent year-on-year in February 2021, down 0.57 percent from 3.18 percent year-on-year in January 202.

From 9.20 percent in February 2020, since March 20, the impact of COVID-19 has been declining in Myanmar, and consumer inflation has slowed and the average inflation rate has risen to 2.61 percent until February 2021. Region Consumer prices and average inflation in the three states and cities were the highest in Ayeyarwady Region at 6.49 percent. In the Union Territory, it is the second highest with 4.67%. Kayin State is the third highest with 4.48%. Annual inflation was highest in Ayeyarwady Region at 4.39 percent and in Mandalay at -19.29 percent, according to the report.

Source: Daily Eleven

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Domestic rice prices up by K2,000 per bag

The rice prices in domestic markets have increased by K2,000 per bag, said U Than Oo, secretary of Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Centre. At present, rice worth K32,000-35,000 per bag is highly demanded in the market. The prices of high-quality rice move in the range of K27,000-35,000 per bag. The figures show an increase of K2,000 per bag.

It is expected that the rice fetches at a lower rate before Thingyan Festival (Myanmar New Year Festival in April). Shortly after that, the price usually goes up. During the early monsoon, the rice stocks are commonly found in the hands of millers instead of farmers. Consequently, the price hike occurs amid low supply. The rice prices usually hit a peak in Thadingyut and Tazaungdaing festivals (Oct-Nov). When the newly harvested rice enters the market, the price declines.

The price is unlikely to fall this month, Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Centre reported. The price possibly remains high for now. The farmers also set the rice crops higher. The demand in the retail market is not that good. The export is not strong as well. As a result, the sharp price hike is not expected amid the low demand. About 80,000 rice and broken rice bags were earlier traded per day at the Bayintnaung Rice Wholesale Centre. In contrast, the trade volume plummeted to about 30,000 bags at present.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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CBM sells $3 million for first time in June

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) sold US$3 million on 7 June for the first time this month at an auction market rate of K1,590. The CBM reportedly sold $24 million at an auction rate in May. The CBM’s move aims at governing the market volatility, the CBM stated. The bullish hard currency gained in the local forex market, reaching the peak of K1,730 on 12 May from K1,330 in January-end. In a bid to control the sharp daily gains of the US dollar, the CBM reportedly sold about 6.8 million dollars on 3 February 2021, 6 million dollars each on 22 and 27 April and $24 million in May in the auction market.

Consequently, the exchange rate dips to K1,590 at present. The CBM trades the foreign currency with the authorized private banks under the rules and regulations of the FX auction market. The local forex market’s data showed that the dollar exchange rate touched the maximum of K1,345 and the minimum of K1,327 in January 2021. The rate moved in the range of K1,335-1,465 in February. It reached the lowest of K1,420 and the highest of K1,550 in March. The rate fluctuated between K1,550 and K1,610 in April. Last month, the rate fluctuated between K1,585 and K1,730.

In 2020, the exchange rate moved in the range of K1,465-1,493 in January, K1,436-1,465 in February, K1,320-1,445 in March, K1,395-1,440 in April, K1,406-1,426 in May, K1,385-1,412 in June, K1,367-1,410 in July, K1,335-1,390 in August, K1,310-1,355 in September, K1,282-1,315 in October, K1,303-1,330 in November and K1,324-1,403 in December. In 2019, the rates are pegged at K1,508-1,517 in July, K1,510-1,526 in August, K1,527-1,565 in September, K1,528-1,537 in October, K1,510-1,524 in November and K1,485-1,513 in December. On 20 September 2018, the dollar exchange rate hit an all-time high of K1,650 in the local currency market. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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MADB to disburse K5 bln monsoon crop loans for over 6,000 farmers in Myeik District

The Myanma Agricultural Development Bank (MADB) (Myeik branch) of the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry is implementing to provide K5 billion worth of agricultural loans for the monsoon rice crop season in order to cover 6,122 farmers in five townships in Myeik District. The MADB Myeik branch will disburse a total of 6,122 farmers (36,671 acres) monsoon crop loans, paying out K150,000 per acre.

The growers can take out loans for a maximum of ten acres. The interest is set at 5 per cent like the rate of the previous years. The respective township branch will pay out the loan. The loans will cover 3,141 farmers in Myeik Township, 1,194 in Kyunsu Township, 1,651 in Taninthayi Township, 42 in Bokpyin Township, and 94 in Kawthoung Township.

Those farmers who have already paid off the previous loan will be prioritized in the loan application process. The MADB Myeik branch has provided K34.2 million worth of loans to the farmers with 228 acres so far. MADB provides annual agricultural loans to small-scale farmers, intending to have food self-sufficiency and export competitiveness for Myanmar’s agricultural products in order to boost exports, promote the interests of the farmers and enhance their socio-economy. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Stocks on YSX inch up in May

The number of shares traded on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) climbed to 78,642 shares in May 2021, generating the trading value of K432.448 million, the YSX’s monthly report indicated. In February 2021, K442 million worth of 77,388 shares were traded on the exchange. The figures extended further drops to K110 million worth of 19,816 shares in March 2021. Then, the market slightly rose in April with K280 million worth of 42,964 shares. The stocks maintained in the bull market in May as well. 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 in the COVID-19 crisis and current political conditions, he added. In May, the 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) were traded in the equity market. The share prices per unit were closed at K9,100 for FMI, K3,500 for MTSH, K7,800 for MCB, K19,500 for FPB, K2,750 for TMH and K3,100 for EFR, respectively. Amid the COVID-19 crisis and political changes, Myanmar’s securities market has continued operating without stopping trading.

In 2020, the value of stocks traded on the exchange peaked at K1.48 billion in February. In contrast, trading on the exchange registered an all-time low of K552.9 million in November due to the COVID-19 resurgences in Myanmar, the exchange’s monthly report showed. A total of K12.6 billion worth of 1.87 million shares by six listed companies were traded on the exchange 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, according to the annual report released by the exchange. Additionally, Amata Holding Public Co., Ltd. (AMATA) was listed on the exchange on 3 June, with an introductory price of K4,500.

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 in order 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.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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YGEA strives for gold market stability

Myanmar gold market has risen along with the dollar gain in the local forex market. Yangon Region Gold Entrepreneurs Association (YGEA) reportedly decided not to sell the gold to those who influence and manipulate the gold market. The decision was made at the monthly meeting of the YGEA held May-end. The main point is not to sell those traders who practise market manipulation. Only gold retailers and gold shops from regions and states are available to buy the gold.

It’s an attempt to control the price as well, U Win Myint, general secretary of YGEA, pointed out. The precious yellow metal fetched K1,568,000 per tical (0.578 ounces or 0.016 kilograms) in May-end. The price of pure gold slightly increased to K1,573,000 per tical on 1 June. The price will not fluctuate widely on account of the concerted efforts. The domestic gold market was bullish, tracking the dollar gains in the local forex market.

The price reached an all-time high of K1,706,000 per tical on 12 May, while the dollar exchange rate against Kyat strengthened up to K1,760. The rate is recorded as the highest in history. At the monthly meeting, U Myo Myint, chair of YGEA, delivered an opening remark, and the patron U San Lwin also remarked. Secretary U Win Myint discussed ways to stabilize the gold price with the members of the YGEA. The association concluded to avoid bulk sale with gold shops and stop selling them to those traders who purposely manipulate the market.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Amata Holding Public Company debuts on YSX today (3 June)

The Amata Holding Public Co., Ltd (AMATA) is listed on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) on 3 June 2021 at the base price of K4,500 per unit. Its share trading is made on the same day, according to the recent notice released by YSX. The upper limit price is set at K5,500, while the lower is at K3,500. If investors place a market order, it can be matched between the upper and lower limit price based on the balance of supply and demand. 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 earlier scheduled to debut on the exchange on 12 March.

YSX has postponed the scheduled date of listing of the Amata Holding Public Co., Ltd. (AMATA for a certain period, according to the YSX notification dated 26 February 2021. AMATA is the very first hotel and tourism business to be listed in the equity market. The base price of AMATA will be announced on the YSX website one working day prior to 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 unit. AMATA would be the seventh public company to list on the exchange. AMATA is a public holding company as per the company’s profile. It operates resorts in Ngapali Beach, Inlay 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 traded on the exchange. On 2 June 2021, the share prices of FMI were closed at K9,000 per unit, MTSH at K3,500, MCB at K7,800, FPB at K19,000, TMH at K2,750 and EFR at K2,950, respectively. Usually, over K60 million worth of shares were traded on the exchange every day. The COVID-19 impacts cooled down the market.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar