Htun Myint Naing aka Steven Law

Htun Myint Naing aka Steven Law

Htun Myint Naing aka Steven Law

Birth:  15 May 1958
Source of wealth:  Asia World Group

Type:   Private
Founded:   1992
Address:  No.61/62, Bahosi Development, Wadan St, Lanmadaw Tsp, YANGON
Business: Airport and Seaport Service, Real Estate Developer, Banking, Insurance, Construction, High-Way Construction, Agribusiness, Gems & Jewellery Mining, Trading, Timber Extraction, Beer Agent, Hotels, Fuel Stations

Htun Myint Naing’s Asia World Company (AWC) is Myanmar’s largest conglomerate, with interests ranging from transport to construction and retail. He is among Myanmar’s most powerful and well-connected businessmen, particularly known for his involvement in mega-projects run by Chinese state-owned corporations.

“We (Asia World) have streamlined our business to focus on infrastructure, energy and property projects.”

Htun Myint Naing is a reclusive figure with 24 known aliases including Steven Law. He is managing director of Asia World Company (AWC), which employs more than 9,000 people. He is among the most powerful and well-connected businessmen in Myanmar, with close ties to China.

Steven Law, a Kokang Chinese, is closely involved in several mega-projects that are managed by Chinese state-owned corporations, including the Myitsone and Tasang hydropower dams, Sino Burmese oil and gas pipeline project, and the Kyaukpyu deep-sea port.

AWC was founded in 1992 and is today among Myanmar’s largest business conglomerates, dealing in sectors such as transport, retail and construction. Government contracts implemented by AWC include the construction of toll highways and deep-water ports, roads and the renovation of Yangon’s international airport.

Steven Law is renowned as the son of Lo Hsing Han, the deceased drug kingpin and is one of the most vilified associates of the military rule which governed Myanmar until 2011. Steven Law and his companies (Asia World Port Management, Asia World Light Asia World Industries and Asia World) were among those sanctioned by the US treasury, from 2008 to 2016. Like Tayza and Zaw Zaw, Steven Law is commended for his role following the 2008 Cyclone Nargis, one of the deadliest storms in recorded history. After Nargis, his company received multiple government contracts to reconstruct the Ayeyarwaddy Delta.

In 1996, AWC participated in the construction of ex-trader’s Hotel (now Sule Shangri-La Hotel) as a sub-contractor and built the first wharf of Asia World Port Terminal, which became operational in 1997.

AWC’s subsidiary Gold Energy Company built the Thaukyegat (2) Hydropower Project, the fourth largest hydropower plant in Myanmar. AWC was also involved in the construction of Naypyitaw, especially the National Landmark Garden and owns two luxury hotels in Naypyitaw (Horizon Lake View Resort and Myat Taw Win). The group’s infrastructure subsidiaries not only build, but also manage, prominent infrastructures such as Asia World Port Terminal (Myanmar’s largest and busiest port), Naypyitaw International Airport (commissioned in 2011) and Yangon International Airport. AWC manages the terminal facilities at Yangon International Airport and was granted control over the passenger services operations at the airport in 2010. The government also granted Asia World a contract to advance Thilawa and Yangon ports, by constructing 13 jetties.

Steven Law’s group also operates paper mills, beer production (Tiger Beer), garment industries, infrastructure development and palm oil. In 2012, Asia Mega Link ventured into telecommunications, signing a joint venture with the Port and Telecommunication Department of Myanmar to distribute SIM Cards.

Since 2000, Asia World has been operating a port in Yangon’s Ahlone Township. The group is one of the 18 Myanmar companies tasked with developing a 50,000 acre Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Yangon.

In 2016, AWC announced they will focus on its infrastructure, energy and property development business by dropping its toll road, coal-plant, petrol station, jade and mining interests.

AWC or Steven Law owns over 50 % in at least 20 companies, including: Green Asia Services; Shwe Nar Wah Global World Insurance; Pioneer Aerodrome Services; Asia Mega Link Services; Asia Mega Link; Yadana Taung Tann Gems and Jewellery; Leo Express; and T&C Agriculture.

In addition to business through his flagship company, Steven Law has also personally invested extensively in Singapore. His wife is a Singaporean national, Cecilia Ng (Ng Sor Hong). There are more than five Asia World ‘overseas branch companies’ (e.g. Golden Aaron, S.H Ng Trading, Kokang Singapore) in Singapore that are managed and run by his family. Golden Aaron Pte. Was party to an agreement signed by Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise and a second business group to conduct exploration for oil and gas in Rakhine State, specifically in Kyauk Phyu.

Other overseas ventures include a partnership with China Power Investment Cooperation to cooperate in the construction of the controversial Myitsone Dam project, in Myanmar’s Kachin State along the Ayeyarwaddy River.