Ayala makes landmark investment in Myanmar
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ayala Corp. has forged a new deal with the Yoma Group, led by the Pun family, in a milestone transaction touted as the biggest ever investment by a Philippine conglomerate in Myanmar.

The Yoma Group sold 20 percent interest in each of Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. (YSH) and Myanmar-listed First Myanmar Investment Public Co. Ltd. (FMI), to Ayala for up to $237.5 million.

The investment makes Ayala the second largest investor in both holding companies.

“Our partnership with the Yoma Group gives Ayala a unique opportunity to participate in Myanmar’s growth story. We could not imagine a better way to do this than with the Pun family, whose solid, decades-long reputation as a business house has cemented their expertise in multiple sectors such as real estate, banking, automotive, healthcare, power, and tourism, among others,”said Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala, chairman of Ayala.

Ayala Corp. chief finance officer TG Limcaoco said Myanmar is one of the fastest economies in ASEAN and has similar potential to the Philippines in the areas of consumer, real estate, banking and telco.

“They have significant interests in real estate, banking and e-money as does Ayala. We have common partners and investors,” Limcaoco said.

Ayala president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said with the investment, Ayala could further expand in Myanmar.

“We are confident that by leveraging our own capabilities and experiences over the last 185 years, Ayala’s partnership with the Yoma Group could certainly help improve the lives of people in Myanmar through purposeful business.

In October 2019, Ayala’s energy unit, AC Energy, together with YSH, announced its plans to help develop around 200MW of renewable energy in Myanmar, sustainably powering up 70 percent of its population mostly in rural areas,” he said.

Myanmar tycoon Serge Pun, executive chairman of YSH and FMI, said:  “I am extremely pleased and honored to have Ayala become one of our most important strategic partners, a partnership that reflects their faith in the future of Myanmar, and validates the Yoma Group’s business model.

Ayala is one of the foremost conglomerates in the Philippines; a family business that has endured generations of change, while maintaining a stellar track record in many sectors across the economy. We have much to learn, and they have much to teach us. We look forward to leveraging their expertise and experience to strengthen our existing businesses, and to explore potential new opportunities in Myanmar.”

 Ayala is the country’s oldest conlomerate with investments in banking, telco, power, infrastructure, fintech, healthcare, and automotive among others.

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