13 Oct 2016
SET-listed digital finance firm Group Lease Public Company Limited (GL) is taking another important strategic move by partnering with U Aung Moe Kyaw (AMK) and other investors (AMK Consortium) to launch a major expansion of financial services in Myanmar.
Under the new partnership, GL will set up a joint venture company with the AMK Consortium. . This joint venture will support Century Finance Company Limited, a Myanmar finance company owned by AMK, to provide a broad range of financial services to the booming Myanmar markets, especially for people in the rural countryside.
GL, through its holding company in Singapore GL Holdings (GLH) will hold 57% in the new JV company while AMK and Consortium will take up the other 43%. The new company is expected to be established by the end of this year or in early 2017.
“We are very pleased to enter into this collaboration with U Aung Moe Kyaw and his partners,” GL Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mitsuji Konoshita stated at an MOU Signing Ceremony with U Aung Moe Kyaw in Bangkok on October 13. “This is a win-win partnership because our expertise and efficiency in digital finance will combine and complement with U Aung Moe Kyaw’s extensive network throughout Myanmar,” he added.
According to GL’s official filing with the SET on October 13, AMK Consortium is currently controlling approximately 65% in the whisky distribution and managing more than 22,000 grocery shops in Myanmar, including 1,400 wholesale shops some of which are already operating pawnshop businesses. This distribution network is the biggest in Myanmar in terms of number of outlets, which will perfectly match with GL’s digital finance platform.
Mr. Konoshita noted that as GL has already proven in Cambodia with True Money, GL’s digital finance business model is the only model that can utilize 100% benefits from AMK Consortium’s extensive agents network.
Therefore, the business model in Myanmar will be a mixture of the “Channeling Services” model in Indonesia where GL partners with Bank JT and the “Agent” model in Cambodia with True Money. “These business models are quite new, unique and innovative. Combining them together, we shall be able to effectively provide a wide range of financial services for the benefits of the Myanmar people, especially those in the rural grassroots areas,” Mr. Konoshita stated.
Century Finance, one of Myanmar’s 15 non-bank finance companies licensed by the Myanmar central bank, currently provides car leasing services.
With GL’s expertise and support, Its range of financial services will now broaden to cover the leasing of motorcycles, agricultural machinery and solar panels and other consumer finance credit under “channeling services” managed and provided by the new joint venture company.
GL’s latest partnership with the AMK Consortium comes after its recent take-over of BG Myanmar Microfinance (BGMM). The new joint venture company, therefore, completes the full range of financial services and products that will be offered to the Myanmar markets – from small microfinance loans through BGMM to big-ticket items like rice-harvesting machines through Century Finance.
The full-scale expansion into Myanmar comes in the face of a booming local economy following the lifting of US economic sanctions after extensive local political reforms. For GL, the latest partnership with AMK Consortium has also come following its successful expansion from its home base in Thailand into neighboring Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
The successful expansion has resulted in steadily increasing revenue and profitability. For instance, its Q2 net profits of 255.85 million baht nearly doubled from the same period last year and represented the seventh consecutive quarter of new record highs. Company executives have expressed confidence that profits will continue to scale new heights in the medium and longer-term future.