Sales slump at gem auction

The 52nd Gem Emporium’s central committee says sales dropped significantly to 944 million euro (Ks1,2 trillion) from last year’s 2.6 billion euro.

“We saw fewer bidders as well as lower bids this year,” said Than Zaw Oo from the central committee for the emporium. “But the buyers and the prices don’t drop for the proper merchants. This shows the actual sales to the real gem merchants. The bidders of the previous years were not real merchants.”

Independent firms to get more loans

The Small and Medium Industrial Bank (SMIDB) says it will grant a further Ks20 billion to small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs).

“We will lend out our remaining funds to SMEs. The loan disbursement in the previous fiscal year amounted to Ks14.75 billion. With the aim of ensuring the development of SMEs, the SMIDB will scrutinise entrepreneurs who apply for the loans,” said an official from the SMIDB.

The bank was largely established to serve SMEs.

Labour organizations: don't view Myanmar workers as slaves

As well as setting a minimum wage of Ks.3600 (U.S $ 3.2) per day, other benefits obtained by workers are needed in order need to see Myanmar workers as human beings instead of being seen as slaves, according to labour organizations at a news briefing on July 3.

IMF gives advice on upcoming economic growth and inflation

The IMF(International Monetary Fund) has released a statement regarding the predicted 8.5 percent growth and upcoming inflation issues in Myanmar.

According to the statement, IMF has advised that a careful reassessment of the taxes and government spending is required, as well as the need to reduce the amount of budget deficit, reconsidering many tax rebates and exemptions when collecting taxes, better instilling tax responsibility and the creation of more taxes for information industry services and trading services.

A pair of rough rubies sold for 800,000 euros

A local gem merchant successfully bid 801,000 euros on a pair of rough rubies valued at 600,000 euros at an auction at the 52nd Gems Emporium on Naypyitaw, according to Win Hlaing, the deputy assistant director for the department of gems and jewellery sales centre.

“A Mongshu ruby was bought for 370,000 euros, making it the second-highest bid price,” the deputy assistant director said.

KFC becomes first US fast-food chain in Myanmar

KFC – an American fast food restaurant best-known for its fried chicken – opened its first outlet in Myanmar yesterday.

“Yoma Strategic Holding Limited (Yoma) and KFC signed a bilateral agreement in October 2014, making Yoma the country’s first authorised franchiser for KFC,” said Yoma spokesperson Ann-mon San.

JR Ching, the managing director of KFC Myanmar, said the company is planning to open more restaurants across the country this year.

JICA to loan $210 million for Thilawa SEZ development

The Japan International Cooperation agency signed loan agreements worth US$210 million on June 30 to fund three projects of the Ministry of Electric Power, the Myanmar Port Authority and Ministry of Finance and Revenue. 

Thailand’s CP Land to invest in commercial office building

CP Land Plc, the property arm of agribusiness conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, plans to spend 500 million baht this year to take over an office building in Yangon, according to the Bangkok Post.

Vice-president Naravadee Waravanitcha said soaring demand for office space in Yangon prompted the company to invest in Myanmar's commercial capital.

SMIDB to provide Ks 90 bn in loans

The Small and Medium Industrial Development Bank (SMIDB) is preparing to provide local SME owners with Ks 90 billion (US$90 million) in loans.

The bank obtained the money from the Myanmar Economic Bank and will lend it to entrepreneurs at an interest rate of 8.5 per cent per year. The loans will be given preferentially to the industrialised businesses.

SMIDB earmarked Ks 20 billion for loans last year, but only Ks 14.75 billion were lent. The remaining money will remain available for loans this fiscal year.

SMEs get more foreign loans

Minister for industry Maung Myint says he is planning to take a total of US$50 million – US$20 million from Singapore and US$30 million from Vietnam – to disburse soft loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“Taking foreign loans is ongoing. The ministry will disburse soft loans to SMEs when we receive them,” said the minister.

Further loans are planned from Japan although the details are yet to be released.