Yangon Govt Leases $750M of Land to Malaysian Conglomerate

By The Irrawaddy 10 February 2020

YANGON—BDS Smart City Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Berjaya Land Berhad (BLand), one of the largest conglomerates in Malaysia, signed a concession agreement worth nearly $750 million on Friday with the Yangon regional government to develop a housing and mixed-use project in Yangon city, Myanmar’s commercial hub.

According to a press release, BDS will undertake the project on 74 hectares of land worth an estimated $746.08 million in Yangon’s Dagon Seikkan Township. The project will include affordable housing, medium-range apartments, high-end condominiums, commercial units, hospitals, schools and community centers.

BDS will own exclusive rights to the land for 50 years, extendable for two additional terms of 10 years each. The company won a tender for the project last May.

The project is expected to roll out in three phases over a period of nine years, according to the company.

According to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), the BDS project has not yet been approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC).

Yangon regional Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein (middle), Berjaya HT Eco Co., Ltd director U Kyaw Nay Win (right) and other representatives from the Yangon government and BDS at the signing of the lease agreement on Feb. 7. / Yangon regional government

In 2017, the Union government announced that regional and state governments would be allowed to approve investments worth up to $5 million. For projects worth more than this, regional and state governments need to solicit approval from the Union level.

According to a government state-owned newspaper, Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said that the government selected BLand from three companies that submitted proposals.

The director of BLand subsidiary Berjaya HT Eco Co. Ltd, U Kyaw Nay Win, is also the grandson of former military dictator Ne Win. At the signing ceremony on Friday, he sat next to Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein.

U Kyaw Nay Win told the government state-owned newspaper that the project is the very first affordable housing project backed by foreign investment.

He said that the Yangon government will own over 240,000 square meters of floor space for the project.

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