KB Kookmin Bank prepares to expand in Myanmar

KB Kookmin Bank (KB), South Korea’s largest bank, is preparing to acquire a corporate license permitting it to sell advanced financial products in Myanmar.

The bank plans to introduce new financial instruments and services in retail banking, such as housing and SME finance, corporate finance, including trade finance and infrastructure finance, digital banking and personal banking services.

KB is Korea’s No.1 housing finance bank. Kim Chang-woo, head of KB Yangon office, said KB will leverage on its cooperative ties with the Ministry of Construction and share its know-how in housing financial products and services.

Mr Kim added that KB micro-financing unit, KB MFI, has provided micro-housing financial products for low-income householders for the first time in Myanmar. As of the end of 2019, approximately K12 billion has been distributed to about 4,000 households at a lower rate than products by other microfinance institutions.

KB, which is also No.1 in digital banking in Korea, will digitise the funds dispatch process in Myanmar with the aim of effectively preventing illegal remittances, or the usage of illegal Hundis, by migrant workers.

The bank, which is also a top provider of syndicated loans in Korea, has agreed to cooperate with the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry to privatise state-owned enterprises and promote projects under Public Private Partnerships.

In addition, KB plans to promote the Korea Myanmar Industrial Complex in Hlegu township, Yangon, to their numerous corporate clients in South Korea and draw them to do business in the industrial zone. With active engagement by KB, which has the largest market share of corporate financial loans among Korean banks, foreign direct investment inflows from Korean companies to Myanmar is expected to increase.

KB will also conduct financial and accounting education programmes in Myanmar to activate small and medium-sized enterprises. Moreover, as the No. 1 bank of Small Office Home Office (SOHO) finance in Korea, KB will introduce advanced and diverse SOHO loan products and services for the purpose of providing financial support for SMEs.

To boost border trade, KB will also provide Myanmar with trade financial products and services to facilitate collateral-free imports and exports with South Korea through cooperation with Korea Export Insurance Corporation.

KB was named the Best Trade Finance Bank in Korea for the eighth year in a row in the Asian Banker Financial Market Awards 2019.

Contributing to Yangon

KB and Yangon region government signed a letter of intent to cooperate for the construction of 60,000 housing units for low-income householders. The bank is currently working on the provision of funds for the project.

Going forward, KB will actively participate in the development of new towns in Yangon and will be involved in the provision of housing finance for Dala township. It is also planning to set up a housing subscription and real estate price information system.

Choi Chang-soo, head of the global business group of KB, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the KB-HRD Korea Center, a four-story building, in January 2020 and noted that KB would build and donate a computer-based test site to the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population of Myanmar to support Myanmar people who want to take the Korean language test.

It is considering building a new training center in Nay Pyi Taw for the purpose of providing vocational training for the unemployed, as recommended by the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry.

KB is providing convenience welfare facilities and support for migrant workers in South Korea and plans to further expand and develop these services. It also contributed by remodeling an education center for migrant workers in 2018.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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