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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   12 February  2016  

Myanmar’s 2nd round of bank licences attracts 13 foreign lenders

A TOTAL of 13 banks, mostly Taiwanese, answered a call from Myanmar’s central bank for expressions of interest in a second round of foreign bank licencing aimed at further liberalising a sector that was previously off-limits to international players.

Some eight of the banks listed in an official central bank statement on Feb 8 as taking part in the second round are from Taiwan. Other countries represented are Vietnam, South Korea, India and Mauritius. The second round was opened late last year with hopes of bolstering foreign investment into the country, though the central bank has not said how many licenses will be granted. Banking services for Myanmar’s 51 million people are still severely limited in industry dominated by financial institutions with ties to the former military regime.

A first round in 2014 saw nine banks from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and Thailand win licences to operate in Myanmar in a limited capacity. Banks from countries that won licences in 2014 were barred from entering the second round.

According to the central bank, Taiwan’s Cathay United Bank Co, E SUN Commercial Bank, Taiwan Business Bank and Taiwan Cooperative Bank all applied. The other Taiwanese contenders were Taiwan Shin Kong Commercial Bank Co, Mega International Commercial Bank Co , First Commercial Bank and CTBC Bank Co .

South Korea’s Shinhan Bank and KB Kookmin Bank were also on the list, as were the State Bank of India and the State Bank of Mauritius and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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