Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.The Gallery of Crowd Behavior: Goodbye Stock Market All Time Highs - Doug_Wakefieldth
2.Tesco Meltdown Debt Default Risk Could Trigger a Financial Crisis in Early 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
3.The Trend Every Nation on Earth Is Pouring Money Into - Keith Fitz-Gerald
4.Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Stock Market Crash? - 26Mike_Whitney
5.Could Tesco Go Bust? How to Save Tesco from Debt Bankruptcy Risk - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Gold And Silver Price - Respect The Trend But Prepare For A Reversal - Michael_Noonan
7.U.S. Economy Faltering Momentum, Debt and Asset Bubbles - Lacy Hunt
8.Bullish Silver Stealth Buying - Zeal_LLC
9.Euro, USD, Gold and Stocks According to Chartology - Rambus_Chartology
10.Evidence of Another Even More Sweeping U.S. Housing Market Bust Already Starting to Appear - EWI
Last 5 days
US Mortgages, Risky Bisiness "Easy Money" - 30th Oct 14
Gold, Silver and Currency Wars - 30th Oct 14
How to Recognize a Stock Market “Bear Raid” on Wall Street - 30th Oct 14
U.S. Midterm Elections: Would a Republican Win Be Bullish for the Stock Market? - 30th Oct 14
Stock Market S&P Index MAP Wave Analysis Forecast - 30th Oct 14
Gold Price Declines Once Again As Expected - 30th Oct 14
Depression and the Economy of a Country - 30th Oct 14
Fed Ends QE? Greenspan Says Gold “Measurably” “Higher” In 5 Years - 30th Oct 14
Apocalypse Now Or Nirvana Next Week? - 30th Oct 14
Understanding Gold's Massive Impact on Fed Maneuvering - 30th Oct 14
Europe: Building a Banking Union - 30th Oct 14
The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America's Grasp - 30th Oct 14
Don't Get Ruined by These 10 Popular Investment Myths (Part VIII) - 29th Oct 14
Flock of Black Swans Points to Imminent Stock Market Crash - 29th Oct 14
Bank of America's Mortgage Headaches - 29th Oct 14
Risk Management - Why I Run “Ultimate Trailing Stops” on All My Investments - 29th Oct 14
As the Eurozone Economy Stalls, China Cuts the Red Tape - 29th Oct 14
Stock Market Bubble Goes Pop - 29th Oct 14
Gold's Obituary - 29th Oct 14
A Medical Breakthrough Creating Stock Profits - 29th Oct 14
Greenspan: Gold Price Will Rise - 29th Oct 14
The Most Important Stock Market Chart on the Planet - 29th Oct 14
Mysterious Death od CEO Who Went Against the Petrodollar - 29th Oct 14
Hillary Clinton Could Be One of the Best U.S. Presidents Ever - 29th Oct 14
The Worst Advice Wall Street Ever Gave - 29th Oct 14
Bitcoin Price Narrow Range, Might Not Be for Long - 29th Oct 14
UKIP South Yorkshire PCC Election Win is Just Not Going to Happen - 29th Oct 14
Evidence of New U.S. Housing Market Real Estate Bust Starting to Appear - 28th Oct 14
Principle, Rigor and Execution Matter in U.S. Foreign Policy - 28th Oct 14
This Little Piggy Bent The Market - 28th Oct 14
Global Housing Markets - Don’t Buy A Home, You’ll Get Burned! - 28th Oct 14
U.S. Economic Snapshot - Strong Dollar Eating into corporate Profits - 28th Oct 14
Oliver Gross Says Peak Gold Is Here to Stay - 28th Oct 14
The Hedge Fund Rich List Infographic - 28th Oct 14
Does Gold Price Always Respond to Real Interest Rates? - 28th Oct 14
When Will Central Bank Morons Ever Learn? asks Albert Edwards at Societe General - 28th Oct 14
Functional Economics - Getting Your House in Order - 28th Oct 14
Humanity Accelerating to What Exactly? - 27th Oct 14
A Scary Story for Emerging Markets - 27th Oct 14
Could Tesco Go Bust? How to Save Tesco from Debt Bankruptcy Risk - 27th Oct 14
Europe Redefines Bank Stress Tests - 27th Oct 14
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Underway - 27th Oct 14
Why Do Banks Want Our Deposits? Hint: It’s Not to Make Loans - 26th Oct 14
Obamacare Is Not a Revolution, It Is Mere Evolution - 26th Oct 14
Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Stock Market Crash? - 26th Oct 14
Has the FTSE Stock Market Index Put in a Major Top? - 26th Oct 14
Christmas In October – Desperate Measures - 26th Oct 14
Stock Market Primary IV Continues - 26th Oct 14
Gold And Silver Price - Respect The Trend But Prepare For A Reversal - 25th Oct 14
Ebola Has Nothing To Do With The Stock Market - 25th Oct 14
The Gallery of Crowd Behavior: Goodbye Stock Market All Time Highs - 25th Oct 14
Japanese Style Deflation Coming? Where? Fed Falling Behind the Curve? Which Way? - 25th Oct 14
Gold Price Rebounds but Gold Miners Struggle - 25th Oct 14
Stock Market Buy the Dip or Sell the Rally - 25th Oct 14
Get Ready for “Stupid Cheap” Stock Prices - 25th Oct 14
The Trend Every Nation on Earth Is Pouring Money Into - 25th Oct 14 - Keith Fitz-Gerald
Bitcoin Price Decline Stopped, Possibly Temporarily - 25th Oct 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stocks Epic Bear Market

"If I Could Put All My Money in Myanmar, I Would"

Stock-Markets / Emerging Markets Dec 07, 2012 - 12:56 PM GMT

By: DailyWealth

Stock-Markets

Chris Mayer writes:

The Governor's Residence in Yangon is a richly restored teak mansion set in the leafy embassy quarter of the city. Now a luxury hotel, it was once the home of the governor when the British ruled Burma.

I met Mai Nguyen on the verandah for breakfast, under lazily spinning ceiling fans, amidst lush gardens and lotus pools. Mai is a Vietnamese transplant from Saigon. She is also an associate director at Yoma Strategic Holdings. Listed in Singapore, Yoma is a direct proxy for Myanmar's booming property market and one of the key opportunities I wanted to vet while I was here.
 
As regular readers know, I traveled the Golden Land, visiting Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, and Ngapali. Mai was my first meeting in the country, and what follows is another glimpse at the extraordinary opportunities here.
 
Mai works for Serge Pun, who owns 50% of Yoma and is one of Myanmar's famous dealmakers. Pun left Myanmar in 1965 and spent nearly 30 years in Hong Kong and China. He came back to his home country in 1991 to found businesses in real estate, agriculture, automobile dealerships, and more. Yoma is primarily a real estate play with an enviable land bank of 12 million square feet in Yangon.
 
Just how valuable that land bank might be is easy to guess: very. There has been practically no development for 50 years in Yangon. This is the largest city in Myanmar, with a population of 4 million. The first chart of the nearby pair shows you how Yangon stacks up in population against its fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
 
 
The second chart shows you something of the growth potential of the city. It shows you the amount of office space in Yangon compared with regional peers. Consider that Hanoi, a city with half the population of Yangon, has nearly 17 times as much office space.
 
 
As Myanmar has opened up, prices have spiked. Through September, the average rental rate for office space per square meter is up 55% on the year. Vacancy is virtually nothing. For this example, I chose office space. But I could just as easily have picked hotel rooms, apartment units, or retail space. They all tell the same story. For Yangon, or Myanmar as a whole, these markets barely register as flyspecks. For developers of new properties – if you have the land – there is a fortune in the offing.
 
Mai helped fill in some details over hot bowls of mohinga. (This is a classic Burmese dish of fish soup and rice noodles, topped with split pea fritters, boiled egg, coriander leaves, dried chilies, and a squeeze of lime juice. You find it everywhere in this country.)  
 
She also shared valuable research with me about Myanmar and anecdotes about what it was like to live there.
 
Mai told me about Yoma's signature Pun Hlaing Golf Estate development. Pun Hlaing has over 600 acres of prime real residential estate. It sits on a peninsula between the Hlaing and Pan Hlaing rivers, about eight miles west of Yangon. Mai promised to arrange a tour of the property for me. I thanked her and dabbed at my forehead with a napkin. The spicy hot mohinga and humidity were making me sweat. I was often sweating in Myanmar.
 
When I got to see it, I was not disappointed. Pun Hlaing Golf Estate is gorgeous, an oasis from the traffic and noise of the city outside its gates. An 18-hole Gary Player golf course wends it away around high-end bungalows. There is a lot of water – 18 lakes, the brochure says. The grounds are immaculate and you can see the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in the distance. Next time, I'll bring my clubs.
 
Tun Tun Lin, the sales director for the project, showed me around. There are 326 properties already built, and 220 families reside on the estate year-round. We looked in a number of these – villas, condos, and apartments. They would be high-quality anywhere in the world. There are also tennis courts, a swimming pool, a spa and salon, a gym, and a comfortable clubhouse overlooking the 18th green where we had dinner.
 
It's good to visit places like this, to see the best that one can achieve in a country. I would see the full spectrum while in Myanmar. In the big-picture sense, the country is poor. Per capita income is only $900. Compare that with $1,400 in Vietnam and $5,000 in Thailand.
 
As I've mentioned in other places, this disparity is due to 50 years of evil dictatorial oppression. Go back before World War II. Myanmar (then Burma) was perhaps the richest country in Southeast Asia. I see no reason why, as long as the country continues to move toward freer markets, it can't again at least move closer to neighboring Thailand. This "catching up" idea is at the heart of my book World Right Side Up: Investing Across Six Continents.
 
There are plenty of risks. Myanmar's economy is not an inevitable sunrise. The thuggish generals and their cronies still have power. And there is ongoing ethnic and religious violence in the west between Muslims and Buddhists. Other parts of the country have similar troubles.
 
In reading as much about Myanmar's history as I could get my hands on, it's worth remembering that it has often been a fractious country with chieftains holding sway over areas as large as Scotland or strongholds as small a single hilltop. There are a bewildering number of tribes beyond the Irrawaddy River Valley, from the "giraffe women" of Padaung to the former headhunting Wa. But in terms of pure upside potential and size (with a population of about 60 million), there is nothing like Myanmar in the world.
 
It seems like people are interested in the story. When I got home, I sat for an interview with Lauren Lyster on the TV show Capital Account in Washington, D.C. And I also did a 40-minute interview with one of Myanmar's English-language business magazines, MZine+. People wanted to know what I thought and what my impressions were.
 
Later, I saw Lauren interview Jim Rogers, the prescient globe-trotting investor and author. In that interview, he said: "If I could put all my money into Myanmar, I would." 
 
Unfortunately, for a public stock market investor, it isn't easy to invest in Myanmar. Jim Rogers admitted as much, which made me feel better about my inability to turn up a good actionable idea despite my best efforts. (At least, not yet.) Yoma is really it – and its price, I have to say, reflects that.
 
Still, the market has a way of manufacturing what people want. And already I've had brokers and promoters send me information on tiny mining or oil and gas companies trying to raise money and do something in Myanmar. I'd avoid these. But good funds and ideas will come.
 
Regards, 
 
Chris Mayer

Editor's note: Chris Mayer is the editor of Capital & Crisis, a monthly advisory considered required reading around the DailyWealth offices. Chris consistently provides contrarian investment ideas you won't find anywhere else. Click here to learn more.

Further Reading:

It's not easy to invest in Myanmar just yet. But earlier this year, "the Tokyo Stock Exchange announced it would help Myanmar develop its stock market," Chris writes. "Many companies are already trying to elbow their way in Burma." Get the full story here: The Next Big Story in Asia.
 
"China affects so much of the world economy, especially as it relates to commodity prices – and your commodity stocks," Chris wrote a few months ago. Learn what he calls the two most important questions every commodity investor must ask here.

http://www.dailywealth.com

The DailyWealth Investment Philosophy: In a nutshell, my investment philosophy is this: Buy things of extraordinary value at a time when nobody else wants them. Then sell when people are willing to pay any price. You see, at DailyWealth, we believe most investors take way too much risk. Our mission is to show you how to avoid risky investments, and how to avoid what the average investor is doing. I believe that you can make a lot of money – and do it safely – by simply doing the opposite of what is most popular.

Customer Service: 1-888-261-2693 – Copyright 2011 Stansberry & Associates Investment Research. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. This e-letter may only be used pursuant to the subscription agreement and any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, LLC. 1217 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21202

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Daily Wealth Archive

© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014