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Foreign Banks Make Inroads into Myanmar

  • Myanmar to issue foreign banks limited licenses towards the end of the year, with the goal of attracting foreign investment into the frontier market.
  • Current foreign banks with representative offices in Myanmar include Standard Chartered PLC, Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank, Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), Korea Exchange Bank, and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Group.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

  • Minimum paid-in capital of US$75 million will be required by those granted license.
  • An unnamed senior government official stated that foreign banks would help spur economic development as well as modernize the domestic banking system, as the country has been largely cut off from the global economy and is only now emerging from decades under military rule.
  • Concerns are heightened among domestic banks and lawmakers, however, as many believe the domestic financial sector is too immature to deal with foreign competition. Although a “strong parliamentary committee” has already made clear that it is opposed to allowing foreign banks to operate within the country, the unnamed official said that the process was unlikely to be derailed.

For more details, click here to jump over to The Irrawaddy.