More foreign banks to operate in Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw, Dec 18 (IANS) Myanmar’s central bank will permit more foreign banks to operate in the country, the media reported on Friday.

The foreign banks and banks which have opened representative offices in the country can apply for opening their branches in Myanmar, Xinhua cited the Global New Light of Myanmar as reporting.

The central bank will distribute the proposal forms to foreign banks in early July, and banks from neighbouring countries and close economic partners will be favoured.

In September, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) which is the first Chinese-invested commercial bank operating in Myanmar, and the Bank of China, one of the five biggest state-owned commercial banks in China, opened their representative offices in Yangon, adding to dozens of foreign bank offices in the country.

Of 43 foreign bank representative offices stationed in Myanmar, nine including ICBC, have been awarded service licenses in October last year, the first in more than five decades.

The granted international bank branches were allowed to operate wholesale banking and to lend money to foreign investment companies and local banks.

The foreign bank branches were also allowed to lend money to local companies through local banks or to lend a syndicated loan to companies in cooperation with local banks.

According to Myanmar’s Investment Commission, before a bank branch is established in the country, it has to open a representative office first.

Meanwhile, there are also 25 local private banks and four state-owned banks in the country at present.

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