Myanmar

Myanmar's foreign exchange hit a record low of 1,660 kyat on the dollar on Monday, according to state media. Despite continuous efforts by the junta, the currency has lost 20% of its value since a military coup on Feb. 1, Nikkei Asia reported. The previous record low was 1,650 kyat on the dollar in September 2018 when the China-U.S. trade war led to a fall in the value of the yuan. That also brought down the kyat. The drop results from growing distrust in the national currency that has prompted many to turn to money changers in search of hard currencies.
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A key transit project on the India-Myanmar border, Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport (KMTT), has been delayed due to bankruptcy and ongoing insolvency proceedings against one of the contractors before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the Union home ministry informed a parliamentary panel, the Economic Times reported. The project is considered crucial for improving connectivity.
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People marched through Monywa, in the heart of Myanmar, and Mawlamyine, on the eastern coast, demanding an end to military rule, the New York Times reported. They refused to disperse in the casino town of Myawaddy, even when the police fired warning shots. In Sagaing Division, in the foothills of the Himalayas, a man from the Naga ethnic group wearing a fur hat garnished with hornbill feathers and boar tusks raised his arm in a defiant salute. And in Yangon, the largest city in the country, columns of red-clad protesters surged toward Sule Pagoda from as far as the eye could see.

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Financial Reforms Seen in Myanmar

Myanmar's government is likely to allow foreign banks into the country by 2015 and to also give Myanmar's central bank more independence in setting rates, a senior official at Myanmar's biggest commercial bank said Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Myanmar's financial system remains primitive by international standards. The country only recently got its first ATMs, and credit cards aren't widely used.
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Myanmar's financial system and economy are largely cut off from the outside world -- but not the global economic crisis, The Wall Street Journal reported. As the country's military junta wraps up its trial of dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, conditions in the capital and rural areas illustrate the effects of the slowdown on this isolated nation's already-tenuous economy. Key sectors such as agriculture and tourism are reeling, and business in the commercial center of Yangon has dwindled, residents and economists say.
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