Japanese trading house Marubeni “deeply concerned” but not giving up on Myanmar

Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp has no plans to book impairment losses on its Myanmar business this financial year, but is “deeply concerned” over the situation in the country and has halted a feasibility study on power projects, its CEO said on Thursday.

Since the military seized power in a Feb. 1 coup and ousted an elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar has seen daily protests and a surge of violence with security forces killing hundreds of civilians.

“We are deeply concerned over the situation in Myanmar,” Marubeni CEO Masumi Kakinoki told an earnings news conference.

The company has halted its feasibility study on the projects to build a hydro power station and a gas-fired power plant.

However, it is continuing an operation at the Thilawa industrial park, near Yangon, with peers Mitsubishi Corp and Sumitomo Corp.

“We don’t want to give up and we want to continue our businesses in Myanmar, while we also need to think about protecting the safety of the people involved,” Kakinoki said.

On Tuesday, Norway’s Telenor wrote off the value of its Myanmar operation because of the country’s deteriorating security and human rights situation, sending its shares lower.

Marubeni reported a net profit of 225 billion yen ($2.1 billion) for the year ended on March 31, against a loss of 197 billion yen a year earlier as higher prices of iron ore, copper and grains boosted earnings of its metals, food and agri segments, including its U.S. grain unit Gavilon.

It forecast its profit would grow by only 2.1% this year.

“We made a conservative prediction…as grain prices are not likely to continue their rally like the previous year,” Kakinoki said. Marubeni estimated an average copper price for the current financial year of $8,000 a tonne, below the current level of around $10,000 a tonne.

In India, where COVID-19 is surging, Marubeni said it was considering sending home its expatriate workers. It did not disclose how many there were.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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.

Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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.