KUALA LUMPUR: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) opened its first branch in Yangon on Monday which will strengthen the group’s international footprint.
The opening of the branch was a historic occasion as it was the first and only Malaysian bank to do so in Myanmar.
This followed the Central Bank of Myanmar’s move to grant Maybank the final licence to start operations.
On Oct 1, 2014, it awarded a banking licence to Maybank to liberalise the banking sector in the country.
The Maybank Yangon branch has a registered capital of US$75mil and will operate with a team comprising of mainly Myanmar nationals, Maybank said in a statement.
The branch, which is located in Yangon’s commercial district, will strengthen the group’s international footprint. Maybank has some 2,400 offices in 20 countries worldwide.
The Yangon branch will serve wholesale and corporate clients as well as domestic banks in Myanmar.
Maybank said it will leverage on its expertise in financing of power utilities, oil and gas as well as the telecommunications sectors.
Maybank group chief strategy officer, Michael Foong said that with the foreign banking licence, the bank would now be able to play a bigger role in Myanmar as well as participate in previously restricted financial services, including providing loans to foreign companies as well as domestic banks.
“We intend to build strong partnerships with domestic banks in the areas of international trade, interbank and capital markets, as well as draw on our regional assets and capabilities to help Myanmar’s growth leapfrog in the region. In addition, we can help support Myanmar’s priorities in developing its banking infrastructure & financial system,” he said.
In 2012, Maybank Malaysia established a Malaysia-Myanmar remittance service jointly with five Myanmar banks under its Maybank Money Express service aimed at facilitating the remittance of funds from Myanmar nationals in Malaysia to their families in Myanmar.
“We are positive on Myanmar’s economic outlook and hope to facilitate greater cross-border trade between Myanmar and our core markets as well as the Greater Mekong sub region,” added Foong.
The opening of the branch was officiated by the Myanmar Central Bank Governor, U Kyaw Kyaw Maung and Chief Minister of Yangon Division, U Myint Swe, together with the Malaysian Ambassador to Myanmar, Mohd Hanif Abd Rahman and Maybank Group Chief Strategy Officer, Michael Foong.
Among others present at the event were the Myanmar Central Bank Deputy Governors, U Set Aung and U Soe Min, Minister of Finance, Yangon Region, U Daw San San Nwe, Maybank CEO Indochina, Soon Su Long and Maybank Managing Director, Transaction Banking, John Wong.