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Banking & Finance

Dragon Capital sets foot in Myanmar

Released at: 14:43, 11/04/2017

Dragon Capital sets foot in Myanmar

Photo: Dragon Capital

Investment company agrees to terms with Myanmar's Loi Hein Group to establish Ruby Hill Microfinance.

by Doanh Doanh

Dragon Capital Group in Vietnam and the Ruby Hill Financial Company, a member of the Loi Hein Group in Myanmar, have agreed to subscribe to shares, 49 per cent and 51 per cent respectively, in Ruby Hill Microfinance, a new microfinance institution based in Yangon, Myanmar.

Ruby Hill Microfinance will commence with initial capital of $5 million and will focus on promoting inclusive loan products and services to the burgeoning workforce driving Myanmar’s rapid economic development.

It will be strategically led by the Chairmen of both Loi Hein, Dr. Sai Sam Htun, and Dragon Capital, Mr. Dominic Scriven, who will directly chart the business course from its board of directors. Ms. Trinh Proctor, Loi Hein Group’s Chief Strategy Officer and formerly with Standard Chartered Bank, has been appointed CEO. She has extensive experience in the fields of formulating bank strategy, risk management/processes, and human capital development.

“The success of Ruby Hill Microfinance is of paramount importance to the Dragon Capital Group, as it is our first investment in Myanmar,” said Mr. Scriven. “We have been offered a tremendous opportunity by Dr. Sai and the Loi Hein Group to jointly establish and develop Ruby Hill Microfinance with a local partner of means and conscience.”

Loi Hein is a leader in the fast-moving consumer goods segment in Myanmar and its products, such as Alpine water and a wide range of carbonated soft drinks, are known for their superior quality. “With Loi Hein diversifying into financial services, we have found that we are like-minded with regard to the operational and financial goals for Ruby Hill Microfinance, and the contribution that it must make to the betterment of people’s lives,” Mr. Scriven added.

The formation of Ruby Hill Microfinance will marry the banking and microfinance expertise developed by the Dragon Capital Group in Vietnam and the Greater Mekong Sub-Region with the local presence and knowledge of the Loi Hein Group, one of Myanmar’s largest and most respected business conglomerates.

According to the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNDCF), more than 50 per cent of Myanmar’s 60.9 million population had no access to financial services in 2013 and a further 30 per cent of the population accessed unregulated services. This imposes significant costs on poor people. Total unmet financing demand in the country is estimated at around $1 billion.

“It is vital for the economic prosperity of Myanmar that we channel the financial resources we have to productive purposes,” said Dr. Sai. “We know that Dragon Capital has experience in successfully implementing microfinance services in the region, and we have chosen them as our partner in Ruby Hill Microfinance because we have confidence that they will work hard with us to deliver the means for wealth creation in Myanmar.”

Founded in 1994, the Dragon Capital Group is an integrated investment company based in Vietnam. Together with its affiliates, it manages some $1.5 billion in assets spanning public equity, private equity, fixed income, and property. Its primary shareholders are its founders, management, and staff.

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