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Rangoon’s iconic former British Burma Railway Company headquarters, one of the city’s oldest colonial-era buildings, is on track for a makeover that will leave it looking a lot more like a luxury hotel.
Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd (YSH) and Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd (HSH) announced on Monday that they will partner on the development of the Peninsula Yangon [Rangoon], a five-star resort that will incorporate the 1880s structure into a more modern type of travel hub.
“We believe that working with one of Asia’s most established hotel owner-operators and creator of world-class experiences will be invaluable in restoring the building to its former glory,” said Serge Pun, Chairman of YSH, “as well as bring to Yangon a new luxury experience.”
Pun’s new partner, HSH Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Clement K.M. Kwok, shared the enthusiasm, calling it “a privilege” to work with those “who share our long-term vision for the success of this project and have a proven track record of successful investments in Myanmar [Burma].”
Over the past week, YSH has unveiled a deluge of project plans for the rapidly transforming country — several in Rangoon, the nation’s gracefully dilapidated former capital.
The company has recently announced a 10-acre development site surrounding the British Burma Railway Company building. The project is backed by the International Finance Corporation and will include two office towers, a commercial centre and several other buildings.
YSH, which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, is the largest investment firm in Burma and permeates nearly every industry in the newly accessible market, with a major foothold in the real estate, agriculture and automotive industries.
As that hold becomes exponentially stronger throughout Burma’s reform process and Rangoon’s urban renaissance, Kwok said that HSH are “delighted” to enter “one of the world’s most exciting emerging markets”.