Feb 6, 2012

Myanmar relaxes foreign currency exchange controls

Myanmar’s government last week relaxed rules on legitimate money exchangers, allowing them to swap up to US$10,000 into kyat without documentation for citizens.
Under the previous rules, Myanmar nationals with identity cards could only buy or sell a maximum of $2000 daily at official foreign exchange outlets.
Those seeking to exchange more than $2000 needed to provide evidence of how they had acquired the foreign currency. As of February 1, the limit was raised to $10,000 without documentation, bank sources said.
The exchange rate on February 1 was K820 to the dollar, compared with the black market rate of K810.
However, some customers complained that the official money exchanges had run out of kyat.
“I wanted to sell $3000 but the counter told me to come back tomorrow because they had already bought too many dollars,” said one disgruntled dollar-holder who declined to be named.
Regulations for foreigners were also relaxed on February 1.
Exchange counters at Yangon International Airport were allowed to change a maximum of $200 into kyat for each foreigner in December. By mid-January, the maximum had been raised to $500 and as of February 1 it was raised to $2000.
The relaxations on foreign exchange are part of the government’s efforts to keep more currency in the banking system and out of the black market, bank sources said.

Source: Deustche Presse-Agentur