Myanmar awards licenses to 9 foreign banks

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar says it has awarded licenses to nine foreign banks.

Wednesday's announcement is part of economic reforms implemented after the country emerged from a half-century of dictatorship. It ends a ban on overseas lending institutions.

The Central Bank said Bangkok Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and United Overseas Bank were among those that won licenses for limited operations. Others include Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Malayan Banking Berhard (Maybank).

The banks will be allowed to operate just one branch and cannot engage in retail banking. They can only lend to foreign investors in foreign currencies, not the local kyat, unless they partner with a local bank.

Foreign banks were nationalized in 1962 by the then-military regime.