SINGAPORE: OCBC Bank and UOB are the two Singapore banks to have been granted foreign bank licences to operate in Myanmar.
The two are among nine foreign banks that received preliminary approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar on Wednesday (Oct 1) to commence banking operations in the country. The nine banks are:
- 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
- Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC)
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
- United Overseas Bank (UOB)
The preliminary approval is valid for 12 months, during which the banks have to fulfil specified requirements laid down by the Central Bank of Myanmar, and take all necessary measures to ensure functional banking operations once they start business, the Foreign Bank Licensing Committee said.
With the licence, OCBC Bank said it will be allowed to offer a full range of banking products and services to foreign companies and joint ventures, as well as domestic banks in Myanmar.
Said Mr Linus Goh, OCBC Bank’s Head of Global Commercial Banking: “We are very pleased to be granted a licence to operate a banking branch in Myanmar in this exciting chapter of the country’s history. With this licence, we are proud to be given the privilege of re-establishing our branch presence in Myanmar.”
The bank currently has a representative office in Myanmar. With the foreign bank licence, the bank has up to 12 months to prepare for the planned opening of its new branch in Yangon.