Myanmar to grant permission to more foreign banks

Nay Pyi Taw, Dec 18 (IANS) The Central Bank of Myanmar will grant permission to more foreign banks to operate in the country from July 2016 onwards, officials said on Friday.

The Central Bank will distribute the proposal forms to foreign banks by early July, Xinhua news agency reported.

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, were awarded service licenses in October last year, the first in over five decades.

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

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

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

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

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