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POSCO sells stake in Myanmar military company, which fell under US sanctions

Asia

POSCO's largest shareholder, the National Pension Service, is pressuring the steel giant to sever ties with the Myanmar military.

POSCO sells stake in Myanmar military company, which fell under US sanctions

The world's fifth largest steel company, South Korean steel giant POSCO, is considering selling its 70% stake in Myanma Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL) in connection with the ongoing killings of protesters by the country's national guard.

MEHL is one of Myanmar's military companies that have recently come under US and UK sanctions. POSCO has previously stated that its business will not be affected by the sanctions and that it will only take action if it finds that MEHL is directly involved in the coup.

International pressure on the armed forces and companies associated with them has been steadily increasing since February: the death toll in the two months since the generals overthrew the elected government of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi stood at about 550 people.

POSCO's profits from its steel business in Myanmar - about 2 billion won ($ 1.77 million) last year - are negligible compared to the company's gas projects in Myanmar.

About two-thirds of Posco International's operating profits were generated last year - approximately 300 billion won ($ 265.5 million) - in partnership with the local state-owned energy company, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE).

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