Golden Glory plans IPO to fund Myanmar projects

A construction site in Yangon. New laws and eased foreign sanctions in Myanmar are attracting overseas investors to an economy the IMF estimates will grow 8.6 per cent this year, the most in Asia.
A construction site in Yangon. New laws and eased foreign sanctions in Myanmar are attracting overseas investors to an economy the IMF estimates will grow 8.6 per cent this year, the most in Asia.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Developer raising $110m-$138m worth of funds in Singapore

YANGON • Golden Glory Group, a developer of Myanmar real estate, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in Singapore this year as the opening of the market spurs property demand in South-east Asia's fastest-growing economy.

The Singapore-based company is targeting an US$80 million to US$100 million (S$110 million to S$138 million) initial share sale, raising capital to help fund land bank acquisitions in Myanmar, said CEO Christopher Wu in an interview.

Myanmar's economic opening is creating opportunities for property developers like Golden Glory, whose fundraising efforts could also offer foreign investors a way to participate in the country's growth.

Golden Glory is developing a mixed-development project in Yangon and an industrial park about 20km from the capital Naypyitaw.

Mr Wu, 53, said the property market is "picking up speed" following last year's elections. Separately, new laws and eased foreign sanctions are also attracting overseas investors to an economy the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates will grow 8.6 per cent this year, the most in Asia.

"The door has opened," Mr Wu said. "More foreign companies are setting up offices," strengthening demand for residences as well as office premises while more and more people are looking for investment opportunities to beat the rate of inflation, he said.

Inflation in Myanmar is projected to be the highest in South-east Asia over the next two years, coming in at 9.5 per cent this year and 8.5 per cent in 2017, according to the Asian Development Bank.

The IMF said last month it considered Myanmar's inflation rate an economic vulnerability as domestic demand continues to be strong and supply bottlenecks remain.

The country's currency, the kyat, has also become Asia's top currency of 2016, up more than 10 per cent since last year's elections - a clear sign the nation is starting to emerge from decades of isolation.

It has rebounded from a 21 per cent loss in 2015 and a record low of 1,344 per US dollar reached on Jan 25 this year. Malayan Banking sees the kyat gaining as much as 19 per cent towards a two-year high of 1,000 per US dollar by early 2017, from 1,186 on Tuesday.

Golden Glory's Yangon project will include hundreds of high-end residential units, service apartments, a hotel, shops and offices, according to the company's website. Its industrial park will focus on light industries, including garments and textiles, as well as paper and pulp.

It would join listed companies in Singapore with exposure to Myanmar such as property developer Yoma Strategic, controlled by businessman Serge Pun, and petroleum explorer Interra Resources.

The company's chairman and shareholder is Khin Maung Aye, who is also the chairman of Myanmar conglomerate Lat War Group.

The conglomerate was established in 1999 as a garment and textile contract manufacturer, and has since expanded into real estate, paper and pulp, and power generation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2016, with the headline 'Golden Glory plans IPO to fund Myanmar projects'. Print Edition | Subscribe