BRT Lite share sales re-start

The Myanmar Times - - Business - AYE NYEIN WIN ayenyein­win@mm­times.com

YAN­GON Pub­lic Bus Com­pany – op­er­a­tor of the new Bus Rapid Tran­sit (BRT) Lite bus routes – has started a sec­ond round of shares sales, while the govern­ment has ex­tended the ap­pli­ca­tion dead­line for firms in­ter­ested in rolling out the BRT sys­tem city-wide.

The govern­ment set up Yan­gon Pub­lic Bus Com­pany last year, us­ing a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP) struc­ture, to run a BRT sys­tem on two routes. New ve­hi­cles, ded­i­cated lanes and air con­di­tion­ing are among the fea­tures dis­tin­guish­ing BRT Lite from the chaos that is the Yan­gon pub­lic bus sys­tem.

The govern­ment then held a ten­der ear­lier this year for new PPP firms in­ter­ested in op­er­at­ing bus lines as part of a planned city­wide BRT sys­tem.

The Yan­gon Re­gion Pub­lic Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity Group (PTAG) re­ceived 21 ap­pli­ca­tions by the ini­tial Au­gust 31 dead­line, in­clud­ing Mit­tar Hlaing and a firm owned by mil­i­tary con­glom­er­ate Myanma Eco­nomic Hold­ings Lim­ited.

But U Maung Aung, the PTAG’s sec­re­tary, said that sev­eral lacked suf­fi­cient cap­i­tal, and the group is analysing ap­pli­ca­tions again be­fore an­nounc­ing re­sults. The PTAG has also re­sponded to re­quests from com­pa­nies for a dead­line ex­ten­sion, and will re­ceive ap­pli­ca­tions un­til Oc­to­ber 14.

U Maung Aung is also chair of Yan­gon Pub­lic Bus Com­pany, which has restarted sell­ing shares to fund its two-route op­er­a­tion. The govern­ment has in­vested K10 bil­lion in the PPP, and five pri­vate firms – Cap­i­tal Di­a­mond Star Group, Shwe Taung Group, Shwe Than Lwin Com­pany, Za­yar and As­so­ci­ates, and Fish­eries and Ma­rine Prod­ucts 2000 – in­vested K500 mil­lion each.

U Maung Aung said that share sales to the pub­lic are ex­pected to raise a to­tal of K5 bil­lion, of which K2.4 bil­lion was raised dur­ing a first round of sell­ing in Novem­ber 2015, he said.

The com­pany started sell­ing shares in Novem­ber 2015 at K100,000 per share, and sus­pended sales in Fe­bru­ary 2016. U Maung Aung would not dis­close why.

In or­der to raise the re­main­ing K2.6 bil­lion in eq­uity the firm be­gan a sec­ond round of sales on Oc­to­ber 4. The shares will pay dividends an­nu­ally equat­ing to a re­turn on in­vest­ment at least as high as the Cen­tral Bank rate, which is now 10 per­cent, he said.

BRT Lite is also plan­ning to ex­tend is most popular route – Pyay Road and Kabar Aye Pagoda Road. Some 700,000 com­muters take that route ev­ery day across cars, taxis and pub­lic bus, ac­cord­ing to U Tha Aung, from the Yan­gon Re­gion Su­per­vi­sory Com­mit­tee for Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles.

Photo: Aung Khant

Com­muters queue to board a BRT Lite bus.

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