May 27, 2015

Bangkok Bank geared for June 2 opening

Bangkok Bank will become the fifth foreign bank to operate in Myanmar, once its branch opens doors on June 2.

The Thai bank announced yesterday that the Central Bank of Myanmar has granted it the permission to open a branch in Yangon to provide financial services to foreign-invested companies and domestic banks.

Bangkok Bank is the only Thai bank to receive a foreign bank branch license from Myanmar’s government.

“The new branch will play a key role in promoting and developing the local financial system to support the growth of high-potential businesses and industries, especially by connecting with Bangkok Bank’s international network to provide a full range of services to customers and investors doing business in Myanmar,” Chartsiri Sophonpanich, the bank’s president, said in a statement.

The branch will provide a full range of financial services covering deposits, business lending, trade services, transferring funds and foreign exchange services for foreign-invested companies and domestic banks in Myanmar in both foreign currencies and Myanmar Kyat.

Bangkok Bank’s Yangon branch will be headed by Kanet Buranasin, now a senior vice president of the bank. The branch’s marketing manager will be Tossatis Rodprasert, now an assistant vice president of the Thai bank.

A total of nine international banks were awarded banking licences on October 2014, allowed to operate limited banking services in the country for the first time in decades.

Before Bangkok Bank, four banks have opened their branches.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) and Sumitomo opened their branches in the last week of April. United Overseas Bank Group (UOB)’s branch was opened in May but became the first to offer onshore financing to Rangoon Excelsior Co Ltd, a hospitality company.

The other four banks are expected to open their branches later. The Central Bank of Myanmar requires all nine banks to open branches within a year after the licences were awarded.

All the foreign banks target to offer services mainly to foreign companies which are pouring investment into the country.

In the 2014-15 fiscal year, Myanmar targets foreign direct investment of US$6 billion, with confidence that the target will be surpassed.

In the previous fiscal year, FDI into Myanmar reached $8.01 billion though the target was only $5 billion, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media