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Myanmar Tourism Bank expands reach to support sector

Myanma Tourism Bank will open three branches in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw within the next two months, U Zin Ko Ko, deputy head of the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) department at Myanmar Tourism Bank told The Myanmar Times.

Myanmar Tourism Bank is one of five sector-specific banks granted a banking license by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) last year. It is founded by a public tourism company.

The branches at Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw are already, while preparations are still underway to open the Yangon branch, U Zin Ko Ko said.

“As a tourism bank, we will focus on lending to the tourism sector. But we also plan to offer financial support to other related sectors and businesses,” he said.

Borrowers will have to present documents as proof of collateral as well as other necessary financial statements. “If borrowers submit all the relevant documents to us when applying for a tourism loan it would the best for both parties,” U Zin Ko Ko said.

The CBM has since also relaxed its restrictions on collateral. As such, loans at rates of 16 percent are available for borrowers without collateral. For borrowers who are able to provide collateral, the lending is a maximum of 13pc. The Myanmar Tourism Bank will decide on the loans to extend depending on the nature of the business of the borrowers, he said.

To support the development of the tourism sector, personal travel loans will also be issued to those who want to travel, apart from giving out loans to tourism companies.

In December 2017, the President’s Office instructed the CBM to approve the opening of five sector-specific banks, with the aim of supporting development in those industries. These were the Myanmar Tourism Bank, Mineral Development Bank, Glory Farmer Development Bank, Mandalay Farmer Development Bank and Shwe Nann Saw Bank, The Myanmar Times understands.

Experts said raising the number of specialised banks will enable businesses within the different sectors to get more targeted financial assistance than general commercial banks. This will also give smaller businesses and startups a better chance of getting loans to expand.

Source: Myanmar Times

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