The Central Bank of Myanmar has granted preliminary approval to four foreign banks, in the second round of bidding for international vendors. The successful applicants will join the existing nine banks already open for trade in Burma.
According to state media, the incoming banks are: Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam, Taiwan’s E.SUN Commercial Bank, South Korea’s Shinhan Bank and the State Bank of India.
However the preliminary approval, which is valid for 12 months, hinges on the successful banks’ ability to comply with the criteria issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), according to an announcement made by Burma’s national bank. Foreign firms are expected to bring an initial start-up capital of US $75 million – a high price that has kept some banks away.
“Upon fulfillment of the requirements, the Central Bank of Myanmar will grant the final license to operate in Burma,” the statement said.
Banks from other foreign countries have already been granted licenses to operate – including Australia, Japan, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Thailand, in the hopes of attracting greater international investment in the Burmese economy. It is only the second time wholly foreign-owned banks have been approved for operations.
In the first seven months of the 2014/2015 financial year, foreign investment in Burma reached $3.58 billion, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration.