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An Investor’s Trek Up To Myanmar

Credit: Daniel Julie

Myanmar seems to be the final frontier for Southeast Asia. The previously isolated nation has been reforming itself and opening up its economy to the world in recent years.

There may be immense opportunities. For some perspective, Myanmar had a population and gross domestic product (GDP) of 53.4 million and US$64 billion, respectively, in 2014, according to data from the World Bank. South Korea meanwhile, had a similar population of 50.4 million but a GDP of US$1.41 trillion in the same year.

Put another way, South Korea’s economy is over 20 times the size of Myanmar’s despite both countries having nearly the same population.

But, without thoroughly understanding what is happening on the ground in Myanmar, the risks for an investor in trying to ride the growth of the country is perhaps just as high as the opportunities to be found.

One company listed in Singapore that has a strong focus on Myanmar is Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd (SGX: Z59). The ccompany does not have a huge market capitalisation – S$884 million at the moment – but it has wide business interests in the country. To the point, the company’s businesses in Myanmar deal with real estate development, agriculture, construction, tourism, automobiles, and even retail.

But for many investors, not much may be known about Yoma Strategic given that its businesses are mainly located in Myanmar. The company, in conjunction with its 10-year anniversary of being a listed firm in Singapore, is organizing a shareholder’s trip to Yangon – a big city in Myanmar – over this weekend to give its investors a chance to view its businesses up close.

The company’s investor relations officer, Jane Kwa, as well as Cogent Communications, had extended an invitation for the trip to my colleagues and I at The Motley Fool Singapore. I’ve packed my bags and will be making the trek up to Myanmar to take a deeper look at the opportunities that lie await in the country.

The weekend trip would consist of visits to Yoma Strategic’s various property development projects. We would also get to take a look at some of the company’s other businesses such as its vehicle and agriculture distribution centers and its flagship KFC store.

Hopefully, the trip would give me good insight on what is happening in Myanmar at the moment and how the future might unfold for both the country and Yoma Strategic. So, stay tuned at the Motley Fool Singapore as I’d be bringing you updates about the trip real soon!

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore writer Stanley Lim does not own shares in any companies mentioned above.