4 more for­eign banks get Myan­mar li­cence

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Four more for­eign banks have been given pre­lim­i­nary ap­proval to op­er­ate in Myan­mar, state me­dia re­ported Mon­day, the lat­est govern­ment at­tempt to at­tract over­seas in­vest­ment to the emer­gent na­tion.

Myan­mar's bank­ing sys­tem was closed for decades to out­side com­pe­ti­tion un­der junta rule, leav­ing the coun­try laden with a creak­ing fi­nan­cial in­fra­struc­ture and a pop­u­lace deeply sus­pi­cious of banks.

But that has slowly be­gun to change since out­right mil­i­tary rule gave way to a re­formist govern­ment in 2011 that paved the way for last Novem­ber's land­mark elec­tions.

The four new banks that have been given ini­tial ap­proval are Viet­nam's Bank for In­vest­ment and De­vel­op­ment, Tai­wan's E. SUN Com­mer­cial Bank, South Korea's Shin­han Bank and the State Bank of In­dia, the Global New Light of Myan­mar said, quot­ing the Cen­tral Bank of Myan­mar.

A to­tal of 13 for­eign banks have now been given per­mis­sion to op­er­ate in­side the South­east Asian na­tion. Most are still in the process of meet­ing reg­u­la­tions be­fore open­ing branches but some are al­ready up and run­ning. In April last year, Ja­pan's Tokyo-Mit­subishi UFJ ( BTMU) be­came the first for­eign bank in decades to open a branch in­side Myan­mar. Among other banks that have opened branches are Ja­pan's Su­mit­omo Mit­sui Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (SMBC) as well as Sin­ga­pore's Oversea-Chi­nese Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (OCBC). Most of the for­eign banks who have ap­plied for li­cences hail from the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

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