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Siam Commercial Bank opens in Myanmar
Siam Commercial Bank, the only Thai bank allowed to operate a wholly-owned subsidiary bank in Myanmar, is opening “Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar” in Yangon, according to a press release.
SCB Myanmar will leverage its digital banking expertise and strength to elevate financial products, services, and payment systems in Myanmar to fulfil the business requirements of the ASEAN group.
The move will open up new capabilities and allow SCB Myanmar to meet the needs of every customer group in Myanmar to the fullest extent possible, whether large corporations, SMEs, or retail customers. SCB Myanmar will also capitalize on SCB’s branch network by bridging regional trade and investment relations among the CLMV+2 countries.
Siam Commercial Bank President SarutRuttanaporn said “the Bank will support the development of financial infrastructure and payment systems even further by offering solutions critical for Myanmar’s businesses and digital finance, in line with the increasing popularity of Myanmar’s digital banking trend. The Bank is now studying the market so as to create satisfactory financial experiences for the people of Myanmar. Our tasks will start from the development of digital payment systems, both a corporate portal for businesses and mobile banking for retail customers. Services expected to be available in 2022, which will help support business payments and reduce cash usage and management costs in the country.”
SCB was granted a banking licence to operate Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar by the Central Bank of Myanmar.
“This development is an important jigsaw piece in SCB, accomplishing the strategic expansion of its overseas network in the CLMV+2 countries over the past several years. With its increasing importance as a regionally strategic country, Myanmar has become one of the top destinations attracting investors from around the world. The country’s strategic location links Asia’s two regional powers, China and India,” he said.
According to a World Bank forecast, Myanmar’s GDP will resume its former 6 per cent level in 2021, up from the 1.5 per cent level predicted for 2020 due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. — GNLM
 

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IBK to begin operation in Myanmar this month
Published : Jan 3, 2021 - 13:14 Updated : Jan 3, 2021 - 13:14
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IBK Bank Myanmar employees pose for a photo after the bank received a banking license from Myanmar’s financial authorities, Wednesday at the bank’s headquarters in Yangon, Myanmar. (Industrial Bank of Korea)​



The Industrial Bank of Korea said Sunday it will officially launch and operate a local subsidiary in Yangon, the largest city of Myanmar as early as this month, which marks its third overseas unit, following its operation in China and Indonesia.

Branded as IBK Bank Myanmar, its new overseas subsidiary was designed to handle various banking services, including corporate financing, personal financial management as well as foreign exchange business, officials said.

Through the newly-launched bank, not only South Korean companies that have made inroads into Myanmar, but also local firms can access banking services, they added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the state-run lender gained a final approval from Myanmar’s central bank to operate banks there. The move was aimed at seeking business expansion in the country to promote the Moon Jae-in administration’s New Southern Policy, an initiative to bolster Seoul’s strategic and economic relations with Southeast Asian countries.

Under the approval, IBK’s subsidiary can conduct business with enterprises across Myanmar and open a maximum of 10 bank branches there, according to the bank.

“(The IBK) will foster the Myanmar subsidiary to become the area’s top bank, specialized in financing local small and medium enterprises,” an IBK official said.

“The bank will continue to support the government’s New Southern Policy and play a key role for both Korea and Myanmar’s developments.”

Following the establishment of Myanmar-based subsidiary, the state-run bank comes to hold three subsidiaries and 59 bank branches across 12 countries.

By Choi Jae-hee ([email protected])
 

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Will KB manage to achieve profit in Myanmar?
Posted : 2021-01-20 08:55
Updated : 2021-01-20 13:22

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KB Kookmin Bank headquarters in Seoul's Yeouido district / Courtesy of KB Kookmin Bank

By Lee Min-hyung

KB Kookmin Bank opened its first subsidiary in Myanmar last week and all eyes are on whether the lender will be able to keep the Southeast Asian branch in the black in its first year despite lingering COVID-19 uncertainties.

In December, KB won the license from the country's central bank to open ten branch offices. KB Financial Group identifies Myanmar as a strategic market possessing huge growth potential.

The banking arm is not the first company to tap into the territory. KB Kookmin Card established an office in the city of Yangon in 2017.

The lender set a target of generating operating profits there by the end of 2021. Considering initial investment costs, it is hard for any bank to report a surplus in a short period of time after tapping into overseas markets. On top of that, coronavirus-related uncertainties also pose a major hurdle for the lender.

KB plans to focus on widening its corporate and housing finance there under partnerships with Korean and local firms. Even if the license allows the lender to undertake aggressive expansion by opening up to 10 branches there, KB is expected to remain low profile for the time being as part of its strategy to hedge potential risks surrounding the pandemic.

"We are going to develop our expertise in digital banking and housing finance and make efforts to become a leading lender there," an official from KB said.

The lender has maintained a favorable relationship with financial authorities in Myanmar for many years. KB and Myanmar's Construction and Housing Development Bank signed a partnership in 2014, and the bank has since held a series of educational workshops there focusing on housing finance and digital banking.

"We are also going to spare no efforts in helping the authorities there expand their social overhead capital," the official said.

Myanmar is emerging as one of Asia's strategic markets among Korean lenders. Shinhan Bank, a fierce rival of KB, is also operating businesses there.

Korea's state-run lenders are also paying growing attention to the market, with the Industrial Bank of Korea also receiving a license to do business in Myanmar. Earlier this month, the Korea Development Bank opened its first office in Yangon. The lender received preliminary approval to open the office in April, but the pandemic shock put the brakes on the plan.
 

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Taiwan’s Cathay United Bank opens branch in Myanmar
Taiwanese banks targeting investors under New Southbound Policy
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By Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2021/01/07 16:58
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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Cathay United Bank opened a branch in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, Wednesday (Jan. 6), in a move seen as a step forward under Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy.



The office’s main aim is to assist Taiwanese businesses in investing in the rapidly developing economy of the Southeast Asian nation, CNA reported. Taiwan in 2016 launched its New Southbound Policy, targeting 18 countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, to achieve closer relations in a wide variety of spheres, from trade and investment to culture and education.




Cathay United Bank initially opened a representative office in Yangon in 2014 before applying in January of 2020 to open a full branch. In April, Myanmar’s Central Bank agreed to allow seven foreign banks, including Taiwan’s Cathay United and Mega International Commercial banks, to open local branches, CNA reported. E. Sun Bank already had a presence in the country.



The new Cathay United branch is not aiming to attract regular banking consumers but wants to assist businesses, traders, and investors interested in stepping up exchanges and contacts between the two countries.
 
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