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HK investment bank withdraws from M

Subject: HK investment bank withdraws from Myanmar (The Asian Age, 6/1/97)

HK investment bank withdraws from Myanmar
The Asian Age, 6/1/97 (New Delhi)
Hong Kong, Jan. 5: A Hong Kong investment bank announced Saturday it has 
decided to stop its operations in Burma, where a privatisation programme 
has "not materialised" and its operations have been dogged by controversy.
Peregrine Capital Myanmar Ltd, a subsidiary of Peregrine Investment 
Holdings Ltd, will close down its office in Rangoon this month, the 
company said in a statement from its Hong Kong headquarters.
"Unlike other Asian countries, particularly China, a privatisation 
programme has not materialised in Myanmar (the official name for Burma) 
and there is little evidence to suggest when it will take place," the 
company said.
"Furthermore, the anticipated establishment of a securities market has 
not taken place". The Burma company was also dogged with problems 
relating to its former executive chairman Miriam Segal.
Mr Segal was ousted on July 10 after the Hong Kong-based investment bank 
accused her of trying to set up a competing venture in Burma.
She was sued for breach of contract and Peregrine was awarded $4.1 
million in New York on October 10. That court success allowed the company 
to begin operating "free from the external interference that had dogged 
it," company director Alan Mercer said.
But chairman Judd Kline, in the same statement, said that "putting 
emotions aside, a dispassionate analysis of the financials meant that 
remaining in Myanmar did not stack up".
Peregrine is still pursuing recovery in Burma of $1.5 million in loans 
made to Myanmar American fisheries, a joint venture body controlled by 
the country's ministry of fisheries.
The company is also pursuing "substantial financial claims" against 
another former board member.
Peregrine has also started proceedings to enforce its 4.1 million US 
Federal Court Judgement. Peregrine said it would maintain "Formal 
representation: in Burma." (AFP)