MON STATE GOVERNMENT TO SELL AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS

NEWS

Department of Urban and Housing Development, Mon State will sell 256 housing units from the Banyar Dala affordable housing project in Mawlamyine, they announced that interested ones can buy the application form from April 22 to May 10. The apartments from the housing project where implemented using state government funds, they will be sold to retired and active civil servants, some will be sold to private buyers. “Buyers must first pay a 30 percent down payment to the government, and the rest must be paid through the banks under an installment payment program,” said an official from the department. Pricing for the Banyar Dala affordable housing are K23.5 million for ground floor apartments, K20 million for first-floor apartments, K19.5 million for second floor apartments and K18 million for third floor apartments.

(Source: Myanmar Business Today, May 01, 2019)

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RESEARCH VIEW

The housing projects implemented with government funding will now be available not only to retired and active civil servants but also to private buyers. Over the years, several affordable housing projects with long term repayment plans have also become available in many states across the country. Given the gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas, the demand for affordable housing is expected to increase further in major cities and public sector alone will not be able to fulfill the growing housing need. As Colliers views it, developers should implement more modern but low-cost housing projects targeted towards low as well as middle-income families to meet the increasing housing demand.  

CHINA-MYANMAR RAILWAY MAKES SIGNIFICANT BREAKTHROUGH

NEWS

Construction of the China-Myanmar railway is expected to speed up as a vital segment within Myanmar saw a positive breakthrough during the just-concluded Belt and Road forum in Beijing. During the opening day of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Thursday, Li Changjin, chairman of the China Railway Group Company (CRGC), handed over a feasibility report on the Muse-Mandalay Railway project to Myanmar's Minister for Transport and Communications U Thant Sin Maung. The railway starts from Muse, a major land port of Myanmar that borders the southwestern Chinese city of Ruili, and stretches southward to Mandalay, the second largest city of the country. The 410 kilometer-long project will connect the Chinese rail network through Ruili and serves as an important part of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

(Source: CGTN, April 28, 2019)

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RESEARCH VIEW

Since China has decided to drop the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) from the list of projects under Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Myanmar railway is expected to become a major thoroughfare that connects China’s Yunnan Province and Indian Ocean. Linking the border town Muse and the second largest city Mandalay, this project will play a major role in logistics and transportation infrastructure of Myanmar while boosting the border trade with China. Given the limited supply of modern commercial real estate in Myanmar, Colliers recommends developers to channel more of their investment into major cities along the railroad and bank on the long-term demand prospects as economic reforms eventually come to fruition.

JAPAN INSURERS ENTER MYANMAR IN JOINT VENTURE FRENZY 

NEWS

Five Japanese insurers have teamed up with local players to enter Myanmar's fledgling insurance market, looking to provide such products as annuities and automobile policies to a largely uninsured population. The Myanmar government announced in January that foreign insurance companies would be allowed offer products in the country, either on their own or through joint ventures, after multiple delays in freeing its almost completely closed market. The application period for companies seeking to form joint ventures ends Friday for nonlife insurers and May 3 for life insurers. Shortlisted applicants will be announced in May.

(Source: Nikkei Asian Review, April 26, 2019) 

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RESEARCH VIEW

More recently, the government has rigorously endeavored itself on further stimulating foreign investments, taking a concrete turn with the introduction of newer policies and reforms. Following the Ministry of Planning and Finance’s official announcement earlier this year, life insurance providers have finally been given the go-signal to operate in the country. As an industry practice, majority of these companies are expected to occupy a whole office building dedicated for staffing, and are usually located in central business districts or dedicated finance hubs. Colliers anticipates both multinational and local insurers to add their spot to the Yangon office landscape and urges developers to expect the rise in office space requirements in the years to come as more sectors experience easement from restrictions.