India’s Adani Ports may abandon Myanmar project if found to violate US sanctions

Visual from Adani Ports website

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd said on Tuesday it could abandon a Myanmar container terminal project and write down the investment if it is found to be in violation of sanctions imposed by the United States.

“In a scenario wherein Myanmar is classified as a sanctioned country under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or if OFAC opines that the project violates the current sanctions, (Adani Ports) plans to abandon the project and write down the investments,” the company said in a filing to exchanges on Tuesday.

OFAC, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on the country’s foreign policy.

A military coup in Myanmar on Feb. 1 and an ensuing crackdown on mass protests in which hundreds have been killed has drawn international condemnation and sanctions on military figures and military-controlled entities.

Adani Ports last year won a bid to build and operate Yangon International Terminal, which it has said is an independent project fully owned and developed by the company.

An Australian human rights group in March released a report citing documents purporting to show that an Adani unit will pay up to $30 million in land lease fees for the project to the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), one of two military-controlled conglomerates sanctioned by the United States.

Adani did not comment on the lease payments detailed in the report at the time.

Adani Ports has a zero-tolerance policy on sanctions and will ensure that there is no contravention of the US and other sanctions,” it said on Tuesday, adding that it has engaged U.S.-based law firm Morrison Foerster to ensure compliance.

It said it has invested $127 million, including a $90 million upfront payment for leasing land, and employs about 300-350 people at the site directly and through sub-contracts.

A write-down would not have a material impact as the project accounts for only about 1.3% of the company’s total assets, it said.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.