Supermarket group Myanmar City Mart Holding Company (CMHL), the nation’s largest private retail group, is borrowing $25 million to finance a nationwide expansion.
With more than 150 retail outlets in Myanmar, the company plans to build 20 more supermarkets and hypermarkets over the next three years.
It plans a sixfold increase in its purchases from domestic suppliers to reach around $150 million by 2021, and create nearly 4000 jobs, half of which will be for women, reports Deal Street Asia. CMHL’s financing is in the form of a loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank Group.
IFC hopes that CMHL’s expansion will not only help create jobs, but also develop supply chain and logistics infrastructure as well as support smaller businesses. “With our global expertise and industry knowledge, we will be delighted to work with CMHL to improve efficiency and standards to become a model retailer in Myanmar,” says IFC regional director Vivek Pathak.
CMHL’s shareholders are Win Win Tint, the founder and MD, and her relatives.
“IFC’s investment is a sign of confidence in our business plan as well as in Myanmar’s retail sector potential,” says Win Win Tint.
“In addition to funding, IFC’s expertise and advice on food safety, good social and environmental practices and corporate governance will also help us take the company to the next level.”
Myanmar’s $12 billion retail sector is predominantly informal, with formal retailers holding less than 10 per cent of the market, according to the loan documents. It is the second such loan extended by the IFC to CMHL. In October, IFC had already extended a $25 million loan for a $46 million retail expansion plan.
IFC is supporting reforms and investments in Myanmar with the aim of strengthening the private sector, creating jobs for poverty reduction and boosting shared prosperity.