A Chinese consortium aims to take a stake of up to 85 percent in a strategically important sea port in Myanmar, according to documents reviewed by Reuters, which could heighten tensions over China’s growing economic clout in the country. China has been pushing for preferential access to the deep sea port of Kyauk Pyu on the Bay of Bengal, as part of its ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative to deepen its links with economies throughout Asia and beyond…Full Article: The Global Times May 2017

Key Point

  • The consortium, spearheaded by China’s CITIC Group, has proposed investing a 70% to 85% stake in Myanmar’s USD 7.3 billion Kyaukphyu port. In 2016, CITIC Group rejected a 50/50 joint-venture offer by Myanmar.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In January 2017, McDonald’s announced it would sell 80% of Chinese operations (including Hong Kong). As a result of the US$2.08 billion deal, China’s CITIC will have a 52% stake while USA’s Carlyle Group will have a 28% stake. McDonald’s will retain a 20% stake.
  • In July 2016,
  • In April 2016, Myanmar rice traders expected rice exports to China to increase following the country’s Thingyan Water Festival (aka Burmese New Year).
  • In August 2015, in the wake of severe flooding, Myanmar rice traders temporarily suspended Chinese exports for one and a half months in order to safeguard domestic supply. Shipments were expected to resume in mid-September 2015 after the monsoon paddy harvest.
  • In July 2015, according to the Joint Secretary of the Myanmar Rice Federation, 59 Chinese rice traders were arrested for tax evasion in China, causing exports to slow. China reportedly accounts for half of Myanmar’s rice exports.
  • In March 2015, Myanmar’s Rice Federation selected nine rice milling companies to legally export rice to eastern China’s coastal ports. However, non-licensed rice exports will likely continue overland via Muse (northern Shan State, Myanmar) – Ruili (Yunnan Province) border crossing.
  • In 2014, China banned Burmese rice imports in order to institute new safety and quality control regulations. According to the Chairman of the Myanmar Rice Federation, China will begin importing rice legally in January 2015 (i.e. at least 1 million MTs of Burmese rice at US$400 per MT).
  • During the 2013 to 2014 fiscal year, more than 60% of Myanmar’s border trade occurred via the Muse checkpoint with China.
  • In 2012, Boyu Capital, China Investment Corp. (CIC), Citic Capital and China Development Bank bought a 5.6% stake in Alibaba, an e-commerce platform.
  • In December 2012, China established its first state-backed agricultural fund. The fund reportedly received CNY 1 billion (US$160 million) contributions from the Ministry of Finance, CITIC Group, China Agricultural Bank and Cinda Asset Management.
  • Founded in 1979 and headquartered Beijing, CITIC Group (formerly CITIC Pacific; HKG:0267) is a state-owned conglomerate. Dah Chong Hong Holdings (Hong Kong listed) and Citic Guoan Wine (Shanghai listed) are subsidiaries of CITIC.

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