Third Japanese megabank opens local branch office

Mizuho Bank opened its Yangon branch office yesterday, becoming the third Japanese megabank with a local branch presence.

The firms also signed an agreement with AYA Bank, one of Myanmar’s largest private banks, to cooperate in banking services such as cash management.

The new branch is located at Sedona Hotel, with US$100 million in initial paid-up capital – $25 million more than the minimum required by the Central Bank of Myanmar.

“Myanmar has many attractive features as an investment target, including a wealth of natural resources and superior workforce, and the number of corporations expanding into this country is expected to increase dramatically,” it said in a statement.

Mizuho is capable of providing a full line-up of banking services, including deposits, loans, domestic and foreign exchange, and will also provide e-banking and other comprehensive services, it said in the statement.

Tetsuro Nonaka, general manager of Mizuho’s Yangon branch, said the bank has already been involved in supporting infrastructure and other fields, as well as providing information through its Yangon office for foreign businesses keen to locate in the Thilawa special economic zone.

“We are going to provide services not just to Japanese [companies], but also services to multi-national enterprises,” he said.

Mizuho plans to set up a more effective payment and settlement system in the next few years, while following the Central Bank’s regulation, as well as tightening collaboration with AYA Bank, he said.

U Zaw Zaw, chair of AYA Bank and a well-known local entrepreneur, said the initial agreement is focused on cooperating in trade services and managing currency for customers, but later there are plans to extend the agreement.

Mizuho also signed an agreement with the Myanmar Investment Commission to support more Japanese investment in Myanmar. With the agreement, Mizuho and the commission have agreed to facilitate mutual cooperation regarding expansion and attraction of Japanese companies, holding investment seminars and assisting customers with expanding to the country.

Mizuho is one of three Japanese banks which won a tightly contested race for a foreign bank branch licence last year. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitusbishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation also won licences, and opened their local branches in April.

Of the nine foreign winners from last year, only Australia and New Zealand Banking Group has not received its licence.

Some foreign banks that lost out on the last licensing round are looking for another chance to throw their hat into the ring, though it may not arrive this year.

Source: Myanmar Times

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