Tycoon Turf
covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Magazine

COVER STORY

Tycoon Turf


By Aung Zaw SEPTEMBER, 2005 - VOLUME 13 NO.9


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(Page 8 of 14)

Following the 1989 coup that toppled Ne Win, and the establishment of an open market economy by Rangoon’s new dictators, Serge Pun returned to Burma and founded SPA Myanmar in 1991.

 

SPA Myanmar has since become a successful conglomerate of some 40 business enterprises with interests in such areas as financial services, real estate development, manufacturing, technology, construction and real estate, the automotive industry and healthcare. The group’s flagship company, the publicly-owned First Myanmar Investment Co, has 3,500 shareholders.

 

A keen businessman with a knack for identifying lucrative new markets, Serge Pun is said to have developed the successful Pun Hlaing Golf Club after learning that Burma’s ruling generals were avid golf fans. SPA Myanmar’s most recent venture—Pun Hlaing International Hospital—is poised to exploit another propitious market. Burma’s first privately-owned general hospital, the US $21 million 95-bed facility became fully operational in June 2005. Bangkok’s highly respected Bumrungrad Hospital oversees the management of Pun Hlaing Hospital, and though the enterprise has yet to turn a significant profit, business sources in Rangoon suggest that it will in the future. A growing number of foreign residents and well-to-do Burmese currently seek medical treatment in Thailand and Singapore.

 

Apart from his considerable business ventures in Burma, Serge Pun and SPA maintain a number of overseas operations, including branches in Hong Kong and Thailand. SPA Thailand was a major player in the Thai real estate boom in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during which it developed the Bangkok landmark Abdulrahim Place. Other international projects include the popular Sand River Golf & Country Club in Shenzhen, China, and real estate projects such as the Steward Terrace on the Peak and the Village Gardens in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

 

The chief executive officer of SPA, Martin Pun—Serge’s brother—also chairs numerous non-profit organizations such as the Business Coalition against AIDS and the Tuesday Club, an informal organization comprising foreign businessmen in Burma. The brothers also sponsor the SPA Foundation, a charitable organization that provides assistance to Burmese students for their undergraduate and post-graduate studies.



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