Myanmar awards licenses for foreign banks

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To match Insight MYANMAR-BANKS/Australia & New Zealand Banking (ANZ) and three Japanese banks on October 1 won coveted licenses to operate in Myanmar, after decades in which foreign lenders were frozen out of the country.

ANZ, along with Japan’s biggest lenders – Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Bank – were among 25 applicants vying for a license to operate in Myanmar.

Other license applicants included Thailand’s Bangkok Bank, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.

The long-awaited announcement allows overseas lenders to start doing business in the once-isolated country, part of a sweeping overhaul of Myanmar’s macroeconomic environment under its new nominally civilian government. Foreign banks had initially been told that they would be allowed to start operating in the country by the middle of this year, according to Set Aung, the central bank’s deputy governor, who said recently that the process was already “a bit late.”

Set Aung said earlier that license recipients would be limited to banking for foreign corporations and foreign-exchange services.

Foreign banks will be limited to one branch, won’t be permitted to operate a retail-banking business, and will be allowed to lend only in foreign exchange, and not in the local currency, the kyat, unless they partner with a local bank.

The following foreign banks have received licences:

Japan:
Mitsubishi UFJ
Sumitomo Mitsui
Mizuho

Singapore:
UOB
OCBC

Thailand:
Bangkok Bank

China:
ICBC

Malaysia:
Maybank

Australia:
ANZ

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Australia & New Zealand Banking (ANZ) and three Japanese banks on October 1 won coveted licenses to operate in Myanmar, after decades in which foreign lenders were frozen out of the country.

Reading Time: 1 minute

To match Insight MYANMAR-BANKS/Australia & New Zealand Banking (ANZ) and three Japanese banks on October 1 won coveted licenses to operate in Myanmar, after decades in which foreign lenders were frozen out of the country.

ANZ, along with Japan’s biggest lenders – Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Bank – were among 25 applicants vying for a license to operate in Myanmar.

Other license applicants included Thailand’s Bangkok Bank, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.

The long-awaited announcement allows overseas lenders to start doing business in the once-isolated country, part of a sweeping overhaul of Myanmar’s macroeconomic environment under its new nominally civilian government. Foreign banks had initially been told that they would be allowed to start operating in the country by the middle of this year, according to Set Aung, the central bank’s deputy governor, who said recently that the process was already “a bit late.”

Set Aung said earlier that license recipients would be limited to banking for foreign corporations and foreign-exchange services.

Foreign banks will be limited to one branch, won’t be permitted to operate a retail-banking business, and will be allowed to lend only in foreign exchange, and not in the local currency, the kyat, unless they partner with a local bank.

The following foreign banks have received licences:

Japan:
Mitsubishi UFJ
Sumitomo Mitsui
Mizuho

Singapore:
UOB
OCBC

Thailand:
Bangkok Bank

China:
ICBC

Malaysia:
Maybank

Australia:
ANZ

 

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