DTAC’s parent company Telenor sells Myanmar operations

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Telenor, the Norwegian parent company of the well-known DTAC brand in Thailand, has reported that it has completed the sale of its Myanmar operations marking a final exit from the country.

The proceeds from the transaction will, in part, be paid in instalments over the coming years.

The company was quoted as saying, “Telenor has received $50 million at closing. The remaining $55 million shall be received in equal instalments over the coming five years,” adding, “Due to the uncertain situation in Myanmar, the deferred payment will not be recognised in the accounts at closing.”

The company had written down the value of its Myanmar business by US$751 million.

The business was sold to a partnership made up of local entity Shwe Byain Phyu and Lebanese investment firm M1.

Singapore and Cambodia embracing digital currencies

Singapore and Cambodia are amongst several countries in South East Asia leading the push for adoption of digital currencies by looking at the creation of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Both countries have a relatively young population and a high penetration rate of mobile phone subscribers who use their phones for e-commerce and crypto currency transactions.

Benedicte Nolens, head of the Hong Kong centre of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, was quoted as saying,” Southeast Asia has been a very fertile ground for digital payment innovation,” adding, “When you see online e-commerce growth, typically it goes fairly well with new payment mechanisms.”

Digital currencies have been growing in Asia and governments do not want to be seen to be behind the curve.

Serey Chea, assistant governor of the National Bank of Cambodia was quoted as saying, “There is a lot of room to grow in the internet economy in Southeast Asia.
Cambodia is a small country of 16 million people, where we have about 20 million mobile phone subscriptions,” adding, “It is almost like you know, a baby is born and they are already given a mobile phone subscription … some have two or three mobile subscriptions.”

Online shopping in the Covid-19 era has had the effect of boosting interest in e-commerce and crypto currencies in the region. Banks and crypto exchanges have seen new crypto account openings flourish of late.

PTTEP to increase Exploration in Malaysia

PTT Exploration and Production Plc. (PTTEP) is set to expand exploration in Malaysia by taking on a new large offshore oil block called SB412 which covers 15,914 square km. This oil block lies just off the coast of Sabah. Exploration rights were awarded by Malaysia’s Petronas, under a production sharing agreement.

Montri Rawanchaikul, chief executive of PTTEP, was quoted as saying, “We are delighted to expand our growth in Malaysia through this new PSC. The investment follows through with our Coming Home Strategy which earmarks investments for Southeast Asia.”

Exploration of the new block is in line with PTTEPs drive to increase its footprint in Malaysia and brings the total number of deals in progress in the country to twelve.