Banks seek ex­pan­sion in Myan­mar

The Korea Times - - FINANCE - By Lee Kyung-min [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

A group of CEOs from Korea’s lead­ing com­mer­cial and state-run banks are step­ping up ef­forts to ex­pand in Myan­mar, one of many un­tapped mar­kets in South­east Asia known for its huge growth po­ten­tial.

They are part of Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in’s del­e­ga­tion to Myan­mar, a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to the Chi­nese mar­ket.

Those ac­com­pa­ny­ing Moon in­clude Shin­han Bank CEO Jin Ok-dong, KB Kook­min Bank CEO Hur Yin, KEB Hana Bank CEO Ji Sung-kyoo, Woori Fi­nan­cial Group Chair­man Sohn Tae­se­ung, In­dus­trial Bank of Korea (IBK) CEO Kim Do-jin and Korea Fed­er­a­tion of Banks (KFB) Chair­man Kim Tae-young.

KFB CEO Kim signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MOU) with his coun­ter­part in Myan­mar on Sept. 4 to boost the Fi­nan­cial Knowl­edge Shar­ing Pro­gram, a per­son­nel ex­change pro­gram to bol­ster co­op­er­a­tion among fi­nan­cial fig­ures in the two coun­tries.

KB Kook­min Bank’s Hur signed an MOU with Myan­mar’s la­bor min­is­ter U Thein Swe and the Hu­man Re­sources De­vel­op­ment Ser­vice of Korea (HRD Korea) in Yangon on the same day.

Un­der the agree­ment, KB will of­fer fi­nan­cial ser­vices to Myan­marese mi­grant work­ers com­ing to Korea via a KRD Korea-or­ga­nized pro­gram.

The Ex­port-Im­port Bank of Korea (Ex­im­bank) signed an agree­ment with Myan­mar’s fi­nance min­istry to of­fer $160 mil­lion for an Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion Fund (EDCF) to help build in­fra­struc­ture.

The money will be used to build an elec­tronic data cen­ter and im­prove roads, elec­tric­ity and wa­ter near the Korea-Myan­mar eco­nomic in­dus­trial com­plex in Yangon.

IBK CEO Kim has sought to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion with fi­nan­cial au­thor­i­ties in Myan­mar to up­grade its li­ai­son of­fice in Yangon to a bank branch. The fi­nan­cial lead­ers’ rare trip came amid their long-term strat­egy to find sus­tain­able growth amid a do­mes­tic mar­ket that is nearly sat­u­rated.

Myan­mar, with an an­nual growth rate of about 7 per­cent, is an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion fol­low­ing re­cent dereg­u­la­tion ef­forts to draw in for­eign in­vest­ment. Its ge­o­graph­i­cal ad­van­tage — close prox­im­ity to emerg­ing mar­kets in­clud­ing China and In­dia — is another strong point.

The Fi­nan­cial Su­per­vi­sory Ser­vice (FSS) said it will of­fer banks con­sul­ta­tion on Myan­mar’s busi­ness and over­all reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment, fol­lowed by meet­ings and aca­demic sem­i­nars at­tended by fi­nan­cial au­thor­i­ties there, as part of ef­forts to help the banks es­tab­lish and main­tain strong busi­ness ties.

The FSS will in­crease the num­ber of meet­ings with fi­nan­cial au­thor­i­ties to help set up com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels and build a net­work among rel­e­vant fig­ures in Korea and Myan­mar.

Cour­tesy of Ex­im­bank

Ex­port-Im­port Bank of Korea (Ex­im­bank) Deputy Pres­i­dent Kang Seung-joong, cen­ter, poses with Ex­im­bank Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion Fund (EDCF) Op­er­a­tions Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Um Sung-yong, left, and rank­ing of­fi­cials from Myan­mar’s con­struc­tion and fi­nance min­istries at Naypy­itaw, Myan­mar, Tues­day.

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