BRT Lite share sales re-start
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.
Commuters queue to board a BRT Lite bus.