Philippine corporate powerhouse invests in $238 million deal in Myanmar

Including real estate in a country that has always struggled to attract foreign investments

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar. ESBProfessional/Shutterstock

Ayala Corp., one of the Philippines’ biggest and most diversified business groups, has planned to invest USD238 million in two Singapore-listed businesses based in Myanmar, reported Nikkei Asian Review.

Ayala wanted to acquire a 20 percent stake in First Myanmar Investment and Yoma Strategic Holdings, both led by Myanmar tycoon Serge Pun.

“Myanmar is one of the fastest-growing economies in the [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], with very similar potential to the Philippines regarding consumer [products], real estate, and financial services,” explained Jose Teodoro Limcaoco, Ayala Chief Financial Officer.

“Yoma group has interests in those areas.”

More: Thai property developer eyes Myanmar for next investment project

Limcaoco said that Ayala will be financing the two deals from the USD400 million bonds they floated a month ago.

“While the price we are paying is at a premium to the current market price of their shares, Myanmar-related shares have taken a big beating of late,” he further added. “Our purchase is at close to a 20 percent discount to our internal valuations.”

Last month, Ayala and Yoma signed a deal for 200-megawatt renewable energy in Myanmar costing at least USD30 million.

A Yoma official, who declined to be named, said that the latest deals would pave the way for a “long-term, strategic partnership” with the corporate powerhouses as they work together on several projects, including real estate.

Ayala revealed their intent to collaborate with Yoma “across the board,” which also includes electronic payments.