atans1

Asean round-up

In Indonesia, Malaysia, Private Equity on 19/01/2013 at 1:21 pm

Almost about the telco market in Burma, but there’s more after this Burmese stuff.

Taiwanese smartphone company HTC has become the latest to enter the largely untapped Burmese market, as the country opens up to foreign firms. HTC launched its smartphones in Burma on Monday. The phones will come with a Burmese language on-screen keyboard, which the company says is the most advanced available. Burma has one of the lowest mobile phone ownership levels in the world: in 2011, only 3% of the population had a mobile phone.

HTC is not the first smartphone maker to try to tap into the Burmese market. Samsung and Huawei lead the market with their low-cost devices. However, HTC is hoping to attract consumers with what it calls one of the most advanced Burmese language keyboards in the country.

Burma is also planning licence four more telco operators: invitations have been made to tender for two. The existing is govt-owned.

The expected bidders are: Russia’s VimpelCom, among the world’s top 10 mobile network operators in terms of subscribers; Telenor of Norway, a major shareholder in VimpelCom; Vietnam’s VNPT-Fujitsu, a joint-venture between Vietnam and Japan’s Fujitsu; Malaysia’s Axiata; and Digicel, the largest mobile operator in the Caribbean.

Local listco and mobile phone distributor mDr Ltd has incorporated a subsidiary in Burma. Itholds a 51% stake in MDR Myanmar while its local partners, Be-Well (Myanmar), Be-Well Corp and Avitar Enterprises, will hold 20, 20 and 9% respectively.

The new company, with a paid-up and issued capital of US$50,000, will provide after-sales services of telecommunication devices to consumers. It will also be involved in the mobile devices and accessories distribution and retail businesses via its provision of exclusive consultancy and retail franchisee procurement services to Myanmar-based Golden Myanmar Sea Co Ltd (GMS).

Thailand: a cheong too far? http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2013/01/16/thailands-unsustainable-boom-is-piling-up-risks/

Indon private equity firm on a roll: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-15/saratoga-seeks-consumer-deals-with-480-million-war-chest.html

Flooding caused by days of heavy rain has hit parts of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, forcing businesses to close and blocking roads. Areas including the central business district (CBD) were inundated and traffic was grid-locked as residents struggled to move around the city.

Meanwhile there is a water shortage just south of KL.

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