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Usage of int’l prepaid cards in kyat not allowed: CBM

Usage of prepaid cards from four international payment providers will not be permitted in the local currency, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) said on July 25. In a statement signed by CBM Director General Daw Myint Myint Kyi of the Accounts Department, the CBM noted that prepaid cards are being used to settle payments […]

CBM extends WeChat Pay pilot phase by three months

The pilot phase for the use of the WeChat Pay service in Myanmar has been extended for a second three-month period, Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) director general Daw Myint Myint Kyi said. The pilot phase began in February when the CBM approved the request of Paypb Co Ltd for the use of the WeChat […]

Consolidation expected in banking industry as competition heats up

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) believes that allowing foreign banks into the retail-banking sector will drive consolidation in the local banking industry and make available a larger pool of funds for growth. “Inevitably, foreign banks will win market share from local banks and we see more mergers of local banks in response to a […]

CBM raises annual credit card rates to 20pc

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has raised annual credit card interest rates to 20 percent from 13pc as it wants to control unsecured lending operations, an official from the CBM told The Myanmar Times. The CBM announced that banks can charge a maximum of 20pc in interest rates on credit cards on April 24. […]

How banking will affect foreign equity in Myanmar

As part of ongoing efforts to liberalise the financial services industry and increase credit to the private sector, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has introduced regulations to facilitate foreign investment in domestic lenders. On January 29 the CBM issued Regulation No 1/2019, allowing foreign banks and financial institutions to hold equity of up to […]

CBM mulls new system of bank payments in Myanmar-China trade

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has said it will allow traders to make payments through banks for conducting trading activities with China. The CBM will allow the payment facility beginning this year, and plans to grant permits to private banks to offer the facility. Under the new service, individual traders will be able to […]

Central Bank permits loans without collateral at 16pc interest rate

Myanmar banks have been permitted to extend loans without the need for collateral at a maximum lending rate of 16 percent, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) announced in a directive issued yesterday. The measures will take effect on February 1. Banks will be permitted to charge up to 16pc to loan money if borrowers […]

Foreign investments in local banks to be reviewed by CBM

Foreign investors planning to invest in domestic banks will still be required to seek approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) to do so, U Soe Thien, vice governor of the central bank, told The Myanmar Times yesterday. “According to the law, all firms are included under the 35 percent threshold. But, being financial […]

Next finance minister expected to rescue confidence, speed up bank reforms

The government has to find someone who can pick up the baton swiftly and restore confidence to an increasingly frustrated business community since U Kyaw Win has resigned as planning and finance minister. With economic reforms slowing and plummeting of investor confidence, the next office-holder needs to communicate the reform blueprint to the private sector, […]

Waiting for change at Myanmar’s central bank

Myanmar’s central bank governor Kyaw Kyaw Maung has long been seen as an impediment to reform. But come July, he will be out and a new chief will be in, heralding, it is to be hoped, a new era of change Being a bank in Myanmar isn’t easy, with lenders of all sizes facing insuperable […]