Ayeyar Hinthar opens Ayeyarwady Farmers Development Bank

Ayeyarwady farmers could benefit as early as next year from a bank being set up to promote the development of agriculture, and eventually industry and fisheries.

The regional government, with 15 partners of the Ayeyar Hinthar Companies Group, is launching the bank, known as the Ayeyarwady Farmers Development Bank, or Abank.

Farmers can take out loans using their farmland work permit certificate, known as form 7, as collateral.

Bank chair U Zaw Win Shein said at the bank’s launch in Pathein that rice millers and exporters can also borrow money when they need to settle shipment costs.

He said if an industrial zone was established in the region, the bank would offer loans to factories, as well as for rubber production, tourism, fisheries, livestock and construction.

Chief Minister of Ayeyarwady Region U Thein Aung said the government had permitted similar banks to open in five regions, adding that financial support for agriculture, the mainstay of the region’s economy, was crucial.

“This is very beneficial to the region because it aims to develop the farming industry, the fundamental basis of our economy,” he said. “It’s hard to boost economic growth without developing the agricultural sector.”

The newcomer is a public bank and would share profits, said U Zaw Win Shein. “We will sell shares to the public and offer support to other businesses as we expand in thefuture.”

Vice chair U Ye Min Aung added, “Transportation needs improvement as well. We have to maintain a balance between improving farmers’ lives, developing the community and supporting small and medium enterprises that can attract foreign investment.”

The interest rate is set at 13 percent in accord with the Central Bank rate. U Ye Min Aung said loans would be offered depending on the bank’s deposit rate, and the bank would seek loans from international investors.

“We will borrow from foreign banks and lend to farmers, port developers, hoteliers and property developers here,” he added.

Source: Myanmar Times

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