Unblocking the path to capital freedom for SMEs

Myanmar’s financial sector must progress towards becoming more inclusive of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which form the backbone of the country’s economy, but face difficulties obtaining access to funds for expansion and growth. “We need to liberalise the financial sector to encourage start-ups and support SMEs. This involves integrating the full-range of financial services […]

Parliament passes Financial Institutions Law

After years of back and forth, the Banks and Financial Institutions Law of Myanmar has been passed by parliament and is now awaiting the president’s signature, with banks to face more stringent rules on raising paid-up capital and on reserve requirements. Lenders will have to keep 5 percent of customer deposits as cash with the […]

Banks need incentive to take grain instead of gold

Two domestic banks have agreed to offer loans backed by commodities, allowing farmers to pledge items like beans and pulses as collateral for access to competitively priced financing for the first time. However, the appeal of warehouse receipt financing may be limited, as capped interest rates mean the lenders have little incentive to take on […]