Two Singapore banks have received preliminary approval for foreign bank licenses to operate in Myanmar.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC Bank) and United Overseas Bank (UOB) are two Singapore Banks out of nine foreign banks that have received preliminary approval to establish limited banking approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar on October 1, 2014.

central-bank-myanmar singapore banks

Other banks that received CBM approval include Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Bangkok Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank), Mizuho Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).

The granted approval stands valid for a year’s time frame, during which the banks are required to adhere to certain outlined prerequisites laid down by CBM. As per the Foreign Bank Licensing Committee, these banks will have to be fully equipped in order to ensure functional banking operations once they commence operations.

Through the license, OCBC Bank has been permitted to offer full range of its banking products and services to foreign companies and joint ventures, apart from domestic banks in Myanmar, and given the opportunity to re-establish its brand presence in Myanmar.

Currently, the bank has a representative officer in Myanmar who will be overlooking the planned opening of its new branch in Yangon. 

UOB has stated that the license has provided the bank a window to “participate in Myanmar’s economic development by deepening onshore banking relationships.” The bank will work closely with CBM and domestic banks in Myanmar to provide financial solutions for the banking community and MNCs that invest in the country.

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