Thai Firm Partners With Myanmar Tycoon for Financial Services Expansion

Thailand’s SET-listed digital finance firm Group Lease PCL (GL) has formed a strategic partnership with Myanmar tycoon U Aung Moe Kyaw and other investors at AMK Consortium to launch financial services in the country.

Under the new partnership, GL will set up a joint venture company with AMK Consortium, which will support Century Finance Company Limited, a Myanmar finance company owned by AMK, to provide a range of financial services, especially for people in the rural countryside.

GL, through its holding company in Singapore GL Holdings (GLH), will hold 57 percent in the new JV company while AMK Consortium will take up the other 43 percent.

The new company is expected to be established by the end of this year or in early 2017, the company announced.

“We are very pleased to enter into this collaboration with U Aung Moe Kyaw and his partners,” GL Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mitsuji Konoshita said at the MoU signing ceremony in Bangkok.

“This is a win-win partnership because our expertise and efficiency in digital finance will combine and complement with U Aung Moe Kyaw’s extensive network throughout Myanmar,” he added.

According to GL’s official filing with the SET on October 13, AMK Consortium is currently controlling approximately 65 percent in the whisky distribution and managing more than 22,000 grocery shops in Myanmar, including 1,400 wholesale shops, some of which are already operating pawnshop businesses.

This distribution network is the biggest in Myanmar in terms of number of outlets, which is expected to match with GL’s digital finance platform.

Konoshita noted that as GL has already proven in Cambodia with True Money, GL’s digital finance business model will be able to utilise the benefits of AMK Consortium’s big agent network.

The company said its business model in Myanmar will be a mixture of the ‘Channelling Services’ model in Indonesia where GL partners with Bank JT and the ‘Agent’ model in Cambodia with True Money.

“These business models are quite new, unique and innovative. Combining them together, we shall be able to effectively provide a wide range of financial services for the benefits of the Myanmar people, especially those in the rural grassroots areas,” Konoshita said.

Century Finance, one of Myanmar’s 15 non-bank finance companies licensed by the Myanmar central bank, currently provides car leasing services.

With GL’s inclusion, its range of financial services will now broaden to cover the leasing of motorcycles, agricultural machinery and solar panels and other consumer finance credit under ‘channelling services’ managed and provided by the new joint venture company.

GL’s latest partnership with AMK Consortium comes after its recent take-over of BG Myanmar Microfinance (BGMM). The new joint venture company completes the full range of financial services and products that will be offered to the Myanmar market – from small microfinance loans through BGMM to big-ticket items like rice-harvesting machines through Century Finance.


Source: Myanmar Business Today


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