The family-run holdings company behind Yangon luxury developments Pun Hlaing Estate, StarCity and Yoma Central announced on June 26 that the real estate portion of their business dealings will be rebranded under the name Yoma Land and that they will also be delving into “mass market product offerings.”
While Yoma Land Managing Director Cyrus Pun said that the new umbrella brand – operated by First Myanmar Investment Co. and Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings – would serve the Yangon region, he did not specify potential sites, saying that announcements would be made in the coming months.
“We're not going to do low-quality housing. For each price segment, we want to deliver the best possible quality,” Pun said.
Whereas most of Yoma's real estate portfolio has been more along the lines of what Pun has previously described as “true luxury and exclusivity,” he said on Tuesday that Yoma Land's affordable housing ambitions are about “empowerment of the people.”
“We'll look at first of all reducing the sales price of the units and also coming up with better or easier financing terms for homebuyers,” Pun responded when asked to comment on the 30 percent down payment and seven-year mortgage arrangements that are typical in Yangon.
Despite its new name, Yoma Land is a continuation of nearly two decades of involvement in the Yangon real estate scene, including the establishment in 2000 of the 652-acre Pun Hlaing Estate on the western edge of the city featuring an 18-hole golf course, international school and affiliated hospitals.
On the opposite side of the city across the Bago River sits the 135-acre StarCity, the only large-scale residential development in close proximity to the Thilawa Special Economic Zone and planned to eventually encompass 10,000 new homes and 1.7 million square feet of commercial space.
As for centrally located development, nothing could be more so than Yoma Central, situated adjacent to Bogyoke Aung San Market and scheduled for completion in 2021 at a total cost of more than $400 million. In addition to the ongoing construction of ground-level retail spaces, two office towers, a business hotel, and a luxury hotel bearing the facade of the historic Myanma Railways building, the site's Peninsula Residences tower has begun selling a total of 96 units – with the most inexpensive starting at $1.2 million.
Given what appears to be a very full plate for Yoma Land going forward, Pun said that the brand aims to be a “pure-play company … able to meaningfully service and eventually take a leadership position in every segment in the real estate market.”
Cyrus Pun is the son of Serge Pun, who after migrating to Beijing in 1965 and making a name for himself in real estate there and in Hong Kong, returned to Myanmar in 1991 a to lead his namesake company, Serge Pun & Associates, to become one of the country's largest conglomerates. According to Forbes, the elder Pun was worth $800 million as of 2017.
According to Yoma Strategic, Cyrus Pun cut his teeth in China working to develop the export and trading market for building materials, and in 2007 joined his father's company, where he played a leading role in an real estate project in China's Liaoning Province and was appointed to head Yoma's Real Estate Division in 2012. His elder brother Melvyn Pun serves as Yoma Strategic CEO.