Targeted Myanmar tycoon may profit from U.S. sanctions changes

Only the day before, the United States had added six of his companies to the Treasury’s blacklist, a move that is unlikely to hamper the tycoon’s business empire significantly.

President Barack Obama’s sanctions policy on Myanmar, updated on Tuesday, aims to strike a balance between targeting individuals without undermining development or deterring U.S. businesses eying the country as it opens up to global trade.

Underlining how tricky that balance is, Law may actually gain commercially from the latest changes, even if they do make it harder for him to portray himself as an internationally accepted businessman close to the new democratic government.

“Though (sanctions) are not meant to have a blanket effect on the country, their intended targets often play outsize roles … controlling critical infrastructure impacting trade and business for ordinary citizens,” said Nyantha Maw Lin, managing director at consultancy Vriens & Partners in Yangon.

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