YANGON - A multimillion-dollar urban development project financed by international aid agencies and overseas partners, including two Mitsubishi group firms, has got off the ground in the business district of Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon in what is billed as the country's largest real estate investment involving foreign stakeholders.
A group of investors led by Singapore's Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd held a groundbreaking ceremony last week for the $700 million-plus Yoma Central project -- formerly known as the Landmark Development project -- calling for the construction of multiple buildings, including two office towers, a serviced apartment complex and a luxury hotel.
At the ceremony held on Thursday, Aung Naing Oo, secretary of the Myanmar Investment Commission, said the project will be the largest foreign investment in Myanmar's real estate sector presenting exciting opportunities for businesses.
The project covers a 10-acre site, including the compounds of the iconic former headquarters of Burma Railway Co which is to be restored as part of the planned hotel. The project is expected to be completed in 2020.
"This is just the beginning, and we are very excited to play a role in the transformation of Yangon into a truly international city which will continue to serve as the gateway to the rest of Myanmar," said Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic and First Myanmar Investment Co, the first company listed on Myanmar's burgeoning stock exchange.
Yoma Strategic will hold a 48% equity stake in Yoma Central's mixed-use components except for the hotel portion, Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsubishi Estate Co (30%), First Myanmar Investment (12%), and International Finance Corp and Asian Development Bank (5% each).
Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd will control 70% of the projected Peninsula Yangon hotel, Yoma Strategic (24%) and First Myanmar Investment (6%).