Strengthening Myanmar’s banking sector is key to economic growth

Central to Myanmar’s economic development is the reform of its finance sector and specifically its banking sector. Banks play a fundamental role in the transformation of market economies. Recently the government has enacted a series of laws intended to reform and strengthen its banking institutions to restore investors’ confidence and to make capital more accessible. […]

Can the central bank’s new guard save businesses in Myanmar?

Among the nominees for deputy governor are economist and retired Budget Department of the Ministry of Planning and Finance officer U Soe Thein, incumbent deputy governor U Soe Min and existing member of the board U Bo Bo Nge. Meanwhile, the newcomers to the Board include former deputy director general of the Union Attorney General’s […]

CBM Restrictions on Foreign Banks to be lifted ‘Soon’- Deputy Governor

The governor of the the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has said restrictions that stop foreign banks offer­ing retail services in My­anmar will be lifted ‘soon’. Deputy Governor U Set Aung told a July 10 Pyithu Hluttaw meeting that it’s time foreign banks were allowed to open branches across the nation and pro­vide their retail […]

Services Likely to Play Key Role in New Economic Plan, Experts Say

Burma’s service sector, not manufacturing, will likely be the focus of national attention after the new government is formed in March, observers predict. The country’s economy is expected to hit a lull in the post-election period, but experts say that the incoming administration will attempt to boost the service sector to keep the national economy […]

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 […]

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) gears up for real time settlement in Yangon

Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) is preparing the systems at its Yangon branch to be “operational-ready” for the Central Bank’s new settlement system. The Japanese lender, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is working with the Central Bank on its soon-to-be launched Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, said Go Watanabe, CEO of […]

Central Bank issues anti-money laundering guidelines

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has published guidelines for financial institutions on managing the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. Guidance on customer due diligence for banks, finance companies and money changers, will also be announced soon, said Daw May Toe Win, director at the Central Bank’s financial institutions regulation and anti-money laundering […]

World’s largest bank ICBC opens its Yangon branch office

ICBC, which is the world’s largest bank, with a market capitalisation of US$240 billion, was one of nine foreign banks to be granted a provisional licence by the Central Bank of Myanmar last October. The nine were given a year to secure the final green light from the Central Bank and open a branch office, […]

KBZ plans Singapore, Thailand representative offices

KBZ, the largest domestic private bank, plans to open representative offices in Thailand and Singapore by October, according to KBZ senior managing director U Than Cho. The bank is holding discussions with authorities and working on submitting the necessary documents, he said. “We are urgently trying to open them. It looks like [the Singapore office] […]

Myanmar, foreign bankers see need for closer cooperation

IF Myanmar hopes to maintain its growth momentum, there needs to be more collaboration among the central bank, local banks and foreign entrants, financial experts said during a panel discussion last week. Sein Maung, chairman of First Private Bank and vice president of the Myanmar Banks Association (MBA), said foreign banks should provide more training […]