The Irrawaddy News Magazine [Covering Burma and Southeast Asia]
Burmese Tycoons Part III
AUGUST, 2000 - VOLUME 8 NO.8

This is the last installment of our Burmese Tycoons series.

We hope it has provided a useful overview of the Burmese business environment.

Peace Myanmar Group (PMG) Co., Ltd

Myanmar Drinking-water,

Myanmar Whisky, UPG Paints

PMG Company is one of the biggest and most successful businesses in Burma. It was founded in July 1993. U Tun Lin serves as its managing director. However, Yang Mao-liang, a Kokang warlord and head of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) controls the company.

PMG has enjoyed success in the beverage industry and runs a distillery of popular spirits. Myanmar Rum and Myanmar Dry Gin were introduced in 1993, followed by drinking-water in 1995 and, most recently, Myanmar Whisky in 1998.

It also runs a paint production company—United Paint Group, headed by U En Saw. Its factory is located in No. 1 Industrial zone in Hlaing Tharyar Township.

Besides the Peace Group, Yang Mao-liang and his clan are reportedly involved in narcotics trafficking. In 1994, Yang Mao-liang’s younger brother, Yang Mao-xian, was arrested and executed in China for smuggling heroin. In Kokang, the Yangs maintain a military headquarters in Xi-ou and a heroin refinery. Yang is believed to be a major supplier of heroin smuggled into China.

Mr. Serge Pum

The First Myanmar Investment Company Limited (FMI)

FMI Co., Ltd. is a company that has attained rare success and popularity in Burma. The company was founded on July 3, 1992, and is chaired by U Hla Kyi whereas Mr. Serge Pum is Managing Agent. FMI is involved in many lucrative and diverse enterprises in the banking, motorcycle, housing and hotel sectors. Its subsidiaries include: Yoma Bank, Myanmar Nissan, Pagan Inn, FMI Variety City, Shine Laundry, Suzuki Motorcycle, Suzuki Assembly Plant, and FMI Center.

Yoma Bank is Burma’s second biggest bank (after Asia Wealth Bank) with 38 branches throughout the country. According to the deposit account of the bank’s clients, it has 28 billion kyat in deposits. It was the first bank in Burma to introduce the Hire-Purchase Loan System and now the computer transaction system has been under trial in Mandalay. The bank also issues pay orders for winning state lottery tickets.

FMI City, located 9 miles from the heart of Rangoon on 500 acres of land in Hlaing Tha Yar Township, has single-unit houses, condominiums, swimming pools, sports facilities, a supermarket, bazaars and regular bus-lines.

U Shwe, U Kyi Sein

Shwe Thazin Syndicate Ltd, Fuji Soap

The Shwe Thazin Syndicate was founded around 1990-1 and is managed by Chairman U Shwe. It has many branches including: Shwe Myanmar International, Shwe Tha Zin Package, Shwe Tha Zin Yuzana, Shwe Tha Zin Investment, Shwe Tha Zin Plastic, Shwe Tha Zin Super Soap and Miwon Shwe Tha Zin.

Its other businesses include Trading, PP Woven Bags, PVC Pipe and High Standard Plastic Seals, the hotel and tourism industry, investment businesses, Fuji-brand soap cream, and international standard sweaters. It also runs Burma Pharmaceutical Industry in cooperation with No 1 Industry Ministry. They produce medicine and Deik U seasoning-powder through an arrangement with the Industry Ministry in which the former supplies the raw materials to the latter and collects the finished product.

Arrangements are underway to establish a paper crockery industry through the purchase of the necessary machinery from China. But it is being held up by a lack of paper, which must be imported.

Dr. Sai Sam Tun

Loi Hein Company

Duya Cigarette, Fantasy Soft Drink

Loi Hein Company is run by Dr. Sai Sam Tun and works in collaboration with No.1 Industry Ministry in a joint-venture agreement. Founded on August 12, 1993, it produces soft drinks including Fantasy Orange, Fantasy Lychee, Fruito, Vinto, Sparkling, Fantasy Sunkist, and Sport Plus. It also produces consumer goods such as beverages (Royal Lippo), cigarettes (Duya, Kha-baung), feminine hygiene products (Loitex), and drinking water.

In an arrangement with No. 1 Industry Ministry, the company reportedly provides modern machinery for the ministry and receives the products.

Daw San San Yee

Super One Group of Companies

Super One Department Store, Mingala Cinema House

Super One Group (SOG) was founded in 1989 and is comprised of 19 companies. It is under the management Daw San San Yee, who is also the vice-chairperson of Traders Hotel.

The main business concerns of SOG include department stores, supermarkets, foreign exchange services, photo developing services, export of various beans, tourism, movie theaters, export & import and eye treatments.

SOG also manages Mingalar, President and Leading movie theaters in Rangoon and Win Light and Myoma in Mandalay.

Super One Group of Companies enjoys international business contacts with companies in Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, India, Pakistan, Japan, England, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

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