Financial services investments, an area to tap to improve cash flow across Myanmar

Thura Ko Ko, managing director of MPE&VCA founding member YGA Capital recently talked about the potential sectors that investors should be keeping an eye on during these months with a pandemic impact.

Ko said his interest for investment lies in banking, non-bank financial institutions, and microfinance that could boost the cash flow, talking at a panel that took place at the World Bank’s virtual event introducing its Myanmar Economic Monitor December report.

“We are also interested in micro insurance. It would help the cash flow within the country and reach people at the lower end of the socio-economic hierarchy in Myanmar,” said Ko. He emphasises the need for the government’s support in driving Myanmar towards a more digitalized economy that covers both the rural and urban areas.

He finds that sectors such as infrastructure, transport, energy are the vital sectors in which the government could take the lead in attracting investments to help people get back jobs.

The World Bank says investments in priority public infrastructure would bolster aggregate demand and increase the productive capacity of the economy in the longer term.

Myanmar’s economy has taken a beating during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a wave which is likely to reinforce the preceding severe impact on the country’s economy.

The World Bank mentioned that growth is projected to remain relatively low at 2 percent in FY 2020-21. The FY 2019-20 is estimated to have grown by 1.7 percent. It is estimated that Myanmar’s poverty rate could see an increase by almost 10 percentage points in FY 2020-21 compared to what it would have been in the absence of the Covid-19.

As an investor Ko showed his increased interest in investments in the country going forward, giving the reasons for the country’s need to attract more investment to address the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.

He said there would be a lot of investment opportunities that come along with this downtime coupled with the private businesses’ interest to get financed. Moving forward, with the government kicking off its second term in office, Ko is positive that policymakers would undertake policy reform steps efficiently and quickly.