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Magazine

COVER STORY

Tracking the Tycoons


By THE IRRAWADDY SEPTEMBER, 2008 - VOLUME 16 NO.9


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(Page 5 of 7)

In 1997, he hired an American PR company, Bain and Associates Inc, to improve relations with the US. However, in 2007, he was placed on the US sanctions list for his close ties to the regime.

Khin Shwe is an active supporter of the regime’s “road map” and attended the National Convention to draft a junta-friendly constitution. His daughter is married to the younger son of Gen Thura Shwe Mann, the country’s third most powerful general.


Htay Myint
Yuzana Company

Htay Myint, who founded the Yuzana Company in 1994, started out in business with investments in a fisheries venture in Mergui. He later entered Rangoon’s residential and commercial property markets, embarking on his biggest project, the Yuzana Garden City, a suburban housing development, in the mid-1990s.

The Yuzana Company has interests in a number of industries, including transportation, construction, hotel and tourism, palm oil production and rubber plantations. The company also owns the Yuzana Supermarket and Yuzana Hotel in Rangoon and has established an oil refinery in Rangoon’s Thaketa Township.

Htay Myint is also chairman of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation, president of the Construction Owners Association and president of the Fishing Vessel Owners Association. He is now on the US sanctions list.


Eike Tun
Olympic Construction Co

The managing director of Olympic Construction Co and vice president of Asia Wealth Bank (AWB), Eike Tun is an ethnic Kokang-Chinese from Shan State. He was one of the first to establish a private bank in Burma after the ruling regime introduced limited economic reforms allowing private investment in the financial sector in the early 1990s.

AWB suffered a major blow in 2003 when a banking crisis hit the country and the bank came under scrutiny from the US Treasury Department. The US imposed special sanctions on AWB because of its alleged involvement in money laundering. In March 2006, the Burmese regime forced the bank to close for failing to abide by currency regulations.

Eike Tun’s other major operation, the Olympic Construction Co, continues to thrive, however. The company invests heavily in residential property and hotel development in Rangoon. Olympic is also involved in hydroelectric projects and plans to build the Baluchaung 3 hydropower dam in Karenni State.


Chit Khaing
Eden Group

Chit Khaing
(Illustration Harn Lay/The Irrawaddy)
Chit Khaing, a leading property developer, is the managing director of Eden Group, a major player in the construction industry in Rangoon, Pagan, Naypyidaw and Kachin State.

The regime has granted him lucrative construction projects, including government buildings. Eden Group owns the Aye Tha Yar Golf Resort in Taunggyi and numerous hotel complexes in popular tourist spots around the country.

Chit Khaing’s name rarely appears in the local media. Business sources in Rangoon claim that he is involved with Russian companies exploring for uranium and minerals in Mandalay Division and Arakan and Kachin states.


Aung Ko Win
Kanbawza Bank

Aung Ko Win is the president of Kanbawza Bank, one of the largest private banks in Burma. He also heads several other successful enterprises, including Myanmar Billion Group Co Ltd, Nilar Yoma Co Ltd, Kanbawza Hospital in Taunggyi and Shwegonedaing Specialist Client in Rangoon.

Nilar Yoma Co Ltd operates gold and gem mines in Mong Hsu in Shan State. Aung Ko Win also has a stake in a cement factory in Pimpet in southern Shan State.

Aung Ko Win, sometimes known as “Saya kyaung,” once taught the daughter of Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye and is still believed to be close to the junta’s second most powerful general. His decision to move to Taunggyi in Shan State earlier this year fuelled speculation that Maung Aye’s influence was on the wane.



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