Source of wealth: International Group of Entrepreneurs (IGE) and United Amara Bank (UAB)
Address: No.27/B, Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd, Bahan Tsp, YANGON
Business: Banking, Construction, High-Way Construction, Gas & Mining, Trading, Telecommunication, Infrastructure Developers, Timber Extraction and Processing, Fuel Stations, Natural Gas Pipeline Communication Project, Exploration of Oil & Gas, Hotels
The business empire of former minister’s son Nay Aung is based on a series of interconnected firms. He has amassed tens of millions of dollars running Myanmar’s second-largest timber company, exporting rice and winning contracts to explore for oil and gas.
“Running a business is similar to running a marathon; it’s not a short term endeavor but requires commitment and dedication.”
Myanmar business magnate Nay Aung is the chairman of International Group of Entrepreneurs (IGE) and United Amara Bank (UAB). His business empire is founded on a series of interrelated companies, notably UNOG and IGE. Tycoon Nay Aung is the son of a former junta general, Aung Thaung (who served 1997 to 2011). He became a multimillionaire by using his father’s position to advance his business interests.
Nay Aung founded his first company, Aung Yee Phyoe (AYP), in 1994 to deal in cement import and distribution. Currently, AYP is a core arm of his IGE group with extensive business presence, ranging from trading in forestry and agriculture products to construction.
In 1999, Nay Aung independently established IGE and registered it in Singapore in 2001. It has more than 10 subsidiaries and firms and employs more than 4,000 people. IGE Group of Companies is among the biggest entrepreneur ventures in Myanmar, managing a business empire characterized by a broad portfolio of businesses in sectors such as timber, telecommunications, oil and gas, electricity, banking, hospitality and construction. IGE Group of Companies is a compound of many business, subsidiaries and firms. Some prominent subsidiaries are Myanmar Rice Trading (MRT), Premium Petroleum, Amara Communication, Future Creator Group of Construction (FCGC) and Amara Investment Securities (AIS).
In oil and gas, IGE has established compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations as part of government projects. The group is among the prominent local companies that have been licensed to open petrol retail stations and import petroleum and diesel products.
IGE exports products such as rice, while importing machinery, fertilizer and chemicals, steel and spare parts for electricity generating projects.
Following a short venture in the media sector, in 2015, IGE pulled the plug on “The Trade Times,” its weekly business-focused publications in both the Myanmar language and English.
Together with a Chinese company, Nay Aung’s business was contracted to construct Thanlwin (Mongton) hydropower plant along Thanlwin River. The two firms were also contracted to construct four hydropower plants along Nawchakha River, in the state of Kachin. Nay Aung’s company was also contracted to construct a commercial housing in Yangon’s Hsinphyushin Yeiktha.
IGE was one of the eight companies that constructed Naypyitaw and was granted several car import licenses. IGE ranks second by size in the list of timber companies in Myanmar. In 2007, IGE had an average annual revenue of over US$75 million. Aung Yee Phyo an affiliate of IGE, is also owned by Nay Aung. This smaller firm deals in timber trading and agricultural production.
Nay Aung is also the single largest shareholder of Myanmar United Amara Bank (UAB), formed in 2010. Its holdings at the Central Bank of Myanmar as of 2014 were K40 billion. It has cooperated with Commerz Bank (the largest in Europe) and works with more than 70 banking service providers to serve 23 countries within Asia and the Middle East.
In 2011, IGE obtained government permits through the Trade Policy Council (TPC) to import pipeline materials for the Shwe pipeline project, designed to transport fuel between the Rakhine coast and China’s Yunnan Province.
United National Oil and Gas (UNOG), a strategic subsidiary of IGE, was founded in 2000 and (as with IGE) is registered in both Myanmar and Singapore. It is involved in the trading of chemical, plastics, steel, electrical and power generating products.
In 2007, UNOG teamed up with Rimbunan Petrogas to sign a production sharing deal with Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). A Norwegian company, Seadrill, was hired to complete the drilling work in M1 offshore block, which was co-owned by UNOG. In 2012, UNOG and Petronas Carigali (part of a state-owned energy firm in Malaysia), was given rights for two onshore blocks.
In construction, Future Creator Group of Construction (FCGC) is one of the strategic business unit of IGE and a ‘national entrepreneur’ in the construction industry. Although it started its business in 1996, it only formed as a company in 2008. IGE Land is Myanmar’s leading provider of urban solutions and was independently formed in 2016. IGE Land, as part of FCGC, built a series of high profile projects in Naypyitaw including the planetarium, safari park and zoological garden. It offers comprehensive real-estate solutions, from development, construction to facilities and estate management.
Nay Aung’s group has gained control over some of Myanmar’s previously stateowned businesses by buying a 50% stake. These businesses included three up-scale hotels in Thammmada, Dusit Inya Lake and Yangon-Strand. Nay Aung now also owns five-star Grand Amara hotel and The Hotel Amara in Naypyitaw, where most of Myanmar’s international conferences are held.