Tracking the Tycoons
covering burma and southeast asia
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COVER STORY

Tracking the Tycoons


By THE IRRAWADDY SEPTEMBER, 2008 - VOLUME 16 NO.9


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(Page 6 of 7)

Aung Ko Win
(Illustration Harn Lay/
The Irrawaddy)
In July, Aung Ko Win and his managing director, Zaw Win Naing, came under investigation for suspected money transfer irregularities.

Aung Ko Win is a patron of the national football squad and has donated large sums of money to the team, in addition to contributions of more than $2 million to various public projects.

 

 

 


Serge Pun
(aka Theim Wai)
Serge Pun & Associates (Myanmar) Limited

Serge Pun left Burma for Beijing in 1965 and spent many years in China and Hong Kong, where he began a business career in real estate.

He returned to Burma and founded the multinational Serge Pun & Associates (Myanmar) Limited in 1991. He established Yoma Bank the following year.

SPA Myanmar is a successful conglomerate of some 40 business enterprises with interests in financial services, manufacturing, technology, construction, real estate, the automotive industry and health care.

Foreign joint venture partners include multinational corporations such as the Nissan and Suzuki automobile companies and Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, as well as international private investment companies and investors from North America, Europe and Asia.

He is also chairman of First Myanmar Investment Co Ltd, a publicly traded company holding a 35.6 percent stake in Yoma Bank. Rumors circulated last September that the regime revoked the banking license for his bank and that it was subsequently unable to complete money transfers. However, the rumors proved to be untrue.


Kyaw Win
Shwe Than Lwin Company

Kyaw Win is the chairman of the Shwe Than Lwin Company, which imports vehicles, construction materials and heavy machinery to Burma. He also engages in business with ethnic insurgent groups, especially the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, which has reached a ceasefire agreement with the regime.

Shwe Than Lwin is one of the few companies allowed to import coconut cooking oil. It is also involved in cement and agricultural projects in Irrawaddy Division and is the sole distributor of tires from Thaton Tire Industry, under the Ministry of Industry (2).


Win Aung
Dagon International Ltd

Win Aung
(Illustration Harn Lay/The Irrawaddy)
Win Aung (better known as “Dagon” Win Aung) is the CEO of Dagon International Ltd.

He co-founded the company with former army captain Win Thein in the early 1990s to invest in construction projects in Rangoon.

Dagon International Ltd was granted a construction license to upgrade the Rangoon-Mandalay highway and extension, as well as several agricultural and irrigation projects across the country. He is also involved in the timber trade, construction and import-export. His business licenses and contracts are usually approved without delay as he has close connections with the ruling generals.

Interestingly, his partner, Win Thein, was involved in a failed assassination plot against former dictator Gen Ne Win in 1976. Win Thein became a government witness in the case against Captain Ohn Kyaw Myint, who was later sentenced to death as the leader of the would-be assassins.

In recent years, Dagon International Ltd has made its mark on Rangoon with the construction of a modern shopping complex, the Dagon Center, in the main commercial district of the city. Win Aung also invests in tourism and has opened resorts at Ngwe Hsaung beach in Irrawaddy Division.


Aung Myat
Mother Trading Company Ltd

(Photo: AFP)
The founder of the Mother Trading Company Ltd, Aung Myat, has invested heavily in the country’s cement industry. The young Chinese businessman embarked on building his cement empire in the early 1990s, and is now assured of lucrative construction projects from government ministries.

He is said to be a welcome visitor at the homes of Snr-Gen Than Shwe and Minister of Industry (1) Aung Thaung.



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