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Blacklisted Myanmar tycoon seeks salvation in Singapore

Published on Sep 19, 2012 3:22 PM

YANGON (REUTERS) - As Myanmar implements reforms and foreign investors jet in, most find precious few ways to make money. There is no stock market. A new foreign investment law is delayed. And the biggest local companies are entangled in United States (US) and European sanctions.

Mr Zaw Zaw, one of Myanmar's most powerful businessmen, wants to change that in a complex transaction in Singapore that would blaze a path for foreign investors into a company at the heart of Myanmar's economy - and help Myanmar's sanctions-hit tycoons rebrand themselves.

In an interview in his Yangon office, he said the transaction - a planned S$70 million reverse takeover of Singapore bed linen maker Aussino Group - was moving forward and he expects Singapore regulators to complete a review of his books in three to six months, clearing the way for Aussino's transformation into a Myanmar-backed company harnessed to Mr Zaw Zaw's energy division.

Few tycoons in Myanmar are more powerful than Mr Zaw Zaw, whose holdings range from timber, gems and rubber plantations to construction, luxury resorts, petrol stations and banking.

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