Tokyo Century enters car leasing business in Myanmar

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YANGON, NNA - Leading Japanese leasing firm Tokyo Century Corp. is partnering with Myanmar conglomerate Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. to tap the Southeast Asian country’s budding auto leasing and sharing market in a bid to expand its operations abroad.

Tokyo Century said Monday it will acquire a 20 percent stake in Yoma Fleet Ltd., a subsidiary of the local partner, for $26.6 million to provide expertise to help Yoma Fleet expand its vehicle leasing operation.

In a bid to achieve further growth overseas, the Japanese company is stepping up efforts to form alliances with local firms in auto leasing, electronic payments, point reward programs and car sharing services in other Asian countries.

Yoma Fleet, founded in 2014 as a unit of the conglomerate’s financial services business, rents vehicles mainly to multinational corporations operating in Myanmar and is also engaged in car sharing services. Its rental business arm, Yoma Car Share, has 16 branches and hubs in 11 cities across the country.

It is also teaming up with Myan Shwe Pyi Tractors Ltd., an exclusive distributor of Caterpillar machinery in Myanmar, to provide firms with heavy equipment financing solutions in the infrastructure, construction, mining and agricultural sectors.

Yoma Fleet now operates with over 1,100 vehicles and targets a boost in its total assets from the current $40 million to more than $200 million by fiscal 2023, according to a joint statement by Tokyo Century and Yoma Strategic.

Yasushi Yoshino, senior managing executive officer of Tokyo Century, said in the joint statement, “We will contribute to the further development of Myanmar’s fast-growing automotive market through the know-how and knowledge of auto leasing that Tokyo Century has cultivated in Japan and Southeast Asian countries.”

Yoma Strategic CEO Melvyn Pun said the new partnership will benefit Yoma Fleet’s growth thanks to Tokyo Century’s international expertise in nonbank financial services.

“Given Myanmar’s low vehicle penetration, we believe there is significant growth ahead for Yoma Fleet in automotive and heavy equipment leasing,” he said. “The partnership will also explore other nonbank financial opportunities to better service this huge, underserved market in Myanmar.” (NNA/Kyodo)