Jul 14, 2014

Foreign lenders line up to enter Myanmar banking market

Several foreign banks have applied to launch licensed operations in Myanmar, which recently announced plans to allow some foreign banking operations in the country in late 2014.

A government official involved in the process was quoted by The Financial Times that about two-thirds of the 42 banks that have representative offices in Myanmar have applied for a permit ahead of today's deadline.

"We welcome foreign banks to contribute to our economic and financial development, and we also welcome them to work together with our domestic banks," the official added, noting that government would initially accept between five and ten banks.

Unnamed sources with the knowledge of matter told the news agency that Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group have applied for the Myanmar banking licences.

However, all three lenders declined to comment on the report, citing the 'sensitivity' of the selection process.

Standard Chartered and ANZ, who have representative offices in Myanmar and were seen as candidates to foray into the south-east Asian country, also refused to disclose whether they were bidding.

Other international banks already operational in Myanmar come from Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and China.

Scheduled to be awarded later this year, the Myanmar banking licences require foreign institutions to bring in a minimum $75m of capital with initial restrictions of setting up a single branch offering only corporate and wholesale banking, according to the news agency.

Source: http://www.banking-business-review.com