IFC Approves Support for Controversial Tycoon’s Mandalay Cement Project

The World Bank’s private sector lending arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has given the go ahead to support a multi-million dollar plan to expand a cement factory in Mandalay Region, operated by the Shwe Taung Conglomerate. The firm’s chairman, Aik Htun, had been alleged by US authorities to have had ties to the drug […]

Banking on Myanmar’s Future

YANGON — Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank has weathered some severe storms since it was established in 1994, but now stands as Myanmar’s largest privately owned financial institution, with an estimated 94 billion kyat (US$94 million) in capital. Its founder, Aung Ko Win, is a former teacher with close ties to now-retired Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye, one […]

Shadow of Decade-old Bank Crisis Looms over Credit Card Plans

In a world where modern banking services are almost universal, few things shout “economic backwater” quite like the absence of ATMs and credit cards. These days, even Myanmar—which was for decades one of the world’s most economically isolated countries—has a handful of ATMs in major urban centers, providing the sort of convenience that most of […]