Yoma Strategic Holdings says most of its businesses have resumed operations, following a coup in Myanmar on Feb 1. However, the company warns of a potential “change in business sentiment”.

The company, based in Myanmar but listed on the Singapore Exchange, says that cities in Myanmar remained calm and its business services including Wave Money, the KFC and YKKO restaurants and logistics businesses have resumed operations.

“The business heads are working closely with the frontline staff to monitor the situation closely,” says CEO Melvyn Pun in an SGX announcement, adding that the Yangon Stock Exchange, which halted trading since Feb 1 2021, is expected to reopen on Feb 3.

“As the situation evolves, there could potentially be a change in business sentiment,” warns Pun. 

He says that Yoma has been closely in touch with its international partners and banks, and wants to express its appreciation for their continued support. 

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“As at the date of this announcement, it is still too early to ascertain the longer term impact to the group’s businesses,” he adds.

The Myanmar military, citing electoral fraud, took power from the ruling National League Democracy on Feb 1. 

Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar and other top government leaders from the NLD party in Myanmar have been detained. 

SEE: Capital Group raises Nanofilm stake; Aberdeen trims holdings in Yoma Strategic

A one-year state of emergency under military rule has been declared, and the military has pledged to hold new elections after one year and operate in line with existing laws.

“The political situation in Myanmar continues to evolve and remains unclear at this stage,” says Pun. 

“The company will continue to closely monitor the political developments in Myanmar and provide further updates as and when there are material developments,” he adds.

Memories Group, a separately listed company linked to Yoma, made a separate but similar announcement. 

The tourist attraction operator is already affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and while it tried to focus its sales and marketing efforts towards the domestic market, many travel restrictions are still in place and some of its hotels are shut.

Memories Group’s CEO Cyrus Pun says it is still too early to ascertain the financial and operational impact of the “political developments” on its business, “although it could be reasonably assumed that interest of tourists from Western countries would be dampened in the near future.”

“The outlook on the tourism sector in Myanmar would largely depend on how long it would take for Myanmar to return to normalcy,” he adds.

Yoma called for a trading halt of its shares after news of the coup broke in the early hours of Feb 1. It last traded at 28 cents. 

Memories Group last traded at 4.1 cents.