SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) — POSCO C&C, an affiliate of South Korea’s steel giant POSCO Group, said Tuesday it is studying various options to reconsider its business ties with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL), one of Myanmar’s two largest military holding companies.
The move by the maker of surface-treatment steel sheets came amid mounting international outcry against Myanmar’s military over its bloody crackdown on citizens following a coup in February.
POSCO owns a 70 percent stake in Myanmar POSCO C&C Co., a joint venture with MEHL. The rest is held by MEHL.
Last month, the United States sanctioned MEHL and Myanmar Economic Corporation Limited in connection with the Myanmar military’s brutal repression.
“We are reconsidering the business relationship with MEHL,” Min Ji-hyun, a spokesman of POSCO C&C, said.
He said options under consideration include either the sale of its 70 percent stake or its purchase of a 30 percent stake in the joint venture from MEHL.
He said POSCO C&C has yet to come up with specific measures.
Myanmar’s military controls significant segments of the country’s economy through these holding firms, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
MEHL, a vast and secretive military conglomerate, has business interests spanning the Myanmar’s economy, from banking, trade, logistics, construction and mining to tourism, agriculture, tobacco, food and beverage, according to the Treasury Department.