Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings
မြန်မာ့ စီးပွားရေး ဦးပိုင် လီမိတက်
|Founder||Ministry of Defence (Burma)|
|Owner||Burmese military personnel (60%)|
Directorate of Defence Procurement (40%)
Myawaddy Tours & Travel
Myawaddy Enterprises Group
Pyininbin Industrial Park
The Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (Burmese: ပြည်ထောင်စု မြန်မာနိုင်ငံ စီးပွားရေး ဦးပိုင် လီမိတက်; also called Myanma Economic Holding and abbreviated UMEHL or UMEH) is one of two major conglomerates run by the Burmese military (through the Ministry of Defence), the other being the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC). In May 2012, when the United States suspended sanctions against Burma (Myanmar), sanctions against UMEHL were kept in place, because of its affiliation to the Burmese Tatmadaw.
UMEHL was established in February 1990 under the Special Companies Act as the economic arm of the Burmese military, during a period of privatisation and transition from a socialist command economy, with an initial capital of $1.6 billion USD. UMEHL was established to generate profits from light industry and the trade of commercial goods.
In the 2000s, several state-run enterprises including sugar factories were transferred under the control of UMEHL and MEH. By 2007, UMEHC wholly owns seventy-seven firms, nine subsidiaries and seven affiliated companies. Its shares are available to military units, active duty and retired military and veterans' groups, returning a 30% profit since 1995.
The UMEHL conglomerate is jointly owned by two military departments; 40% of shares are owned by the Directorate of Defence Procurement while 60% of shares are owned by active and veteran defence personnel, including high-ranking military officials of the former ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and veterans organisations. UMEHL is exempt from commercial and profit taxes.
In 2010, UMEHL opened Ruby Mart, a 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) 5-storey shopping complex in Yangon's Kyauktada Township, in a building that once housed the Ministry of Commerce's Myanmar Agricultural Produce Trading.
The conglomerate has also been involved in lucrative partnerships with drug lords.
UMEHL has a monopoly on the country's gems sector and also has a significant portfolio in various industries including banking, tourism, real estate, transportation, and metals. With its affiliation to the Burmese military, which directly ruled the country for almost 50 years, UMEHL has exclusive access to secure preferential contracts with foreign firms. Most FDI in Burma is done through joint ventures with UMEHL.
- Bandula Transportation
- Parami Bus
- Myawaddy Trading
- Five Stars Ship Company
- Myawaddy Bank
- Virginia Tobacco Company Limited
- Myawaddy Tours & Travel
- Myawaddy Enterprises Group
- Pyininbin Industrial Park (in North Yangon's suburbs)
- UMEH Textile
- Jade mines (in Kachin State)
- Ruby and sapphire mines (in Shan State)
UMEHL has a 45% share in Myanmar Brewery Limited (MBL), which manufactures Tiger Beer, Myanmar Beer, ABC Stout and Anchor Beer. Myanmar Brewery Limited is a joint venture between UMEHL and Japan's Kirin Company, which bought the 55% stake of Fraser and Neave Ltd in 2015. Prior to the acquisition, UMEHL was involved in a controversial attempt to acquire a majority stake in Myanmar Brewery, which controls over 2/3 of the country's beer market.
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