According to the Pwintthitsa Report published by Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB), Serge Pun and Associates (SPA) have surged to the top of the list of Myanmar companies in the year 2015. The report reflects the transparency of businesses in Myanmar and is compiled by UK and Denmark based Human rights and Economics organizations. KBZ, which topped the list in the inaugural report in 2014, slipped down to third while Max Myanmar climbed a spot to second.
Ms. Vicky Bowman, the former UK ambassador to Myanmar and the Director of MCRB said that the data was based on the list of 100+ companies published by the Internal Revenue Service and the information available on these companies official websites, not based on a field survey research. The table topper SPA's website displays information on governmental contracts, the investments by the BOD and the sundry activities of the company.Some of the most notable investments are: the Star City Housing Project, FMI center, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchising, import of motor vehicles, healthcare and related businesses, finance, and banking.
The most puzzling point is in the case of Jade mining companies where most of them do not disclose how many plots have been staked and claimed, which year were the (mining)licenses granted, and how much tax have been paid, Ms. Bowman further stressed. Moreover, 39 of the 100 companies surveyed did not even have a website.
Most of the companies in the top half of the Pwintthitsa Report’s list disclose their financial statements and EIA/SIA reports. Some heavy players that frequently received major government sanctioned projects such as Htoo Group of Companies (41), Shwetaung(7), Capital Diamond Star (16), IBTC(45), and IGE(54) were also in the list.
Economist U HlaMaung commented that, "Many Myanmar companies pay little heed to transparency but care more about being close to the government, and thus there would be little information when measured by such International Business standards. One businessperson from the Construction Industry also stated his opinion, "Since many foreign companies have their cache of advisers and consultants, it would be more sensible to draw comparisons with them instead of just doing so among local companies. The PwintthitsaReport was first published in 2014, and this is the second one. There are plans to continue publishing once every year.