Under the Junta rule, Myanmar’s banking system was closed for decades for outside competition which now has been changing in the recent past since the 2011 reformist government came to power and the landmark elections in November 2015.
- The change is clearly visible as the country has allowed four Foreign Banks to operate in its territory.
The preliminary approvals have been given to:
- Vietnam’s Bank for Investment and Development
- Taiwan’s E.SUN Commercial Bank
- South Korea’s Shinhan Bank
- State Bank of India
Myanmar has a total of 13 foreign banks operating; most of them for meeting regulations to put up branches and others have already started functioning.
- The first foreign bank to operate in the nation was Japan’s Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU).
The other banks which have opened their branches are
- Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
- Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC).
Why was The Banking System closed?
- Military rulers nationalised all banks when they seized power in 1962 as they embarked on socialist policies that would send the economy to decline for almost fifty years.
- Local people remain reluctant to embrace the banking system and many deal only in cash.
What brings the change?
- The realization that Foreign investments are critical to the growth of Myanmar’s businesses and economic strength.
- Capital: Naypyidaw
- Currency: Burmese kyat
- President : Thein Sein
- Co- Ruling Political Party: National League for Democracy headed by Aung San Suu Kyi