While local banks may open as many branches as they like, foreign banks entering the market will be initially restricted to one branch if they operate solely as ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ operations, the Myanmar Central Bank has said.

This rule is just one of the mechanisms that Dr Set Aung, vice governor of Myanmar Central Bank revealed when questioned by speaker of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, Thura U Shwe Mann in a parliamentary session on June 25.

Foreign banks will also be able to enter the market as a joint venture operation with local financial institutions or by buying shares in local banks, said Dr Set Aung.

Dr Set Aung outlined the process of choosing between five and ten foreign banking operators to enter the country from September onwards and said that this would include three stages; expression of interest, application and selection.

Dr Win Myint, (USDP, Hlaing township, Yangon Region) had further questions of clarification for the vice governor.

“The foreign entrepreneur will be able to get loans directly from banks abroad; when local businessmen get loans through a branch of a foreign bank here, will the interest rates be different?”

Link: http://www.mizzima.com/business/investment/item/11577-hluttaw-receives-clarification-on-banking-reform