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Foreign banks to be selected in September, official says

Out of the 25 foreign banks that applied to operate in Burma, the government will only allow about five to ten companies, which will be selected in September, said an official from the Banks and Financial Development Subcommittee on Wednesday.

Currently there are 43 foreign representative banks in Burma, which mainly act as liaisons to their home country’s investors but rarely do banking transactions. However, 25 banks applied to the Myanmar Central Bank in order to operate fully in Burma’s banking system.

Win Myint, secretary of the Banks and Financial Development Subcommittee, said that the selection process is still pending and will resume when parliament restarts on September 11.

“We called for interested parties and 25 banks applied. We are now analysing the applicants before choosing,” Win Myint said. “When parliament starts, I hope the selection board will submit our preparation analysis to the parliament. We have told parliament that between five and ten banks would be selectded.”

Local banks are not part of the selection process, said Than Lwin, vice-chairman of private Burmese firm Kambawza Bank Ltd.

“Some are saying to compete with the foreign banks. We are currently in the cooperation stage; it is normal to be working together,” Than Lwin said. “When the local banks become more established and we have more skilled staff and techniques, then we can compete with them.”



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