Jul 17, 2013

Myanmar seeks to liberalize foreign exchange market

Myanmar will seek to transform its managed float foreign exchange regime to free float exchange one as part of its efforts in liberalizing the foreign exchange market, local daily Voice quoted the Finance Ministry as reporting Wednesday.

In preparation for the move expected to start in August, rules and regulations will be prescribed and efforts will be made to modernize the domestic banks and raise its working capability, said deputy Finance Minister U Maung Maung Thein.

Myanmar started to introduce the managed float exchange system in April 2012 after decades-long application of complex dual exchange rate -- the official rate and the market rate before it was unified into market rate but fluctuated around 800 Kyats per dollar for the past one year.

Meanwhile, the exchange rate between U.S. dollar and Myanmar Kyat has reached its peak this week for the first time this year, trading at 988 Kyats per U.S. dollar at the official exchange counters but as high as over 1,000 Kyats per U.S. dollar in the outside market according to market sources.

The exchange rate has been going up daily since early this month from 860 Kyats per U.S. dollar.

To eliminate illegal foreign exchange trading, 14 private banks have been granted as authorized dealers to open official money changers since Oct. 1, 2011 to enable official trade of three kinds of foreign currencies with Myanmar Kyats at a rate designated in line with daily exchange rate transacting in the international exchange market.

These foreign currencies are U.S. dollar, Singapore dollar and euro.

Meanwhile, Myanmar announced in March this year abolition of Foreign Exchange Certificate (FEC), which has been terminated for use as of July 1.

Source: Xinhua