Thailand's banks get approval to expand operation in Myanmar

Thailand’s two major commercial banks - Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) - have received permission to expand operation in Myanmar.

13, Apr. 2020

Image by Daniel Kirsch from Pixabay
Image by Daniel Kirsch from Pixabay

BANGKOK, VNA - Thailand’s two major commercial banks - Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) - have received permission to expand operation in Myanmar.

Kasikornbank said on April 11 that it plans to invest up to 40 million USD in a 35 percent stake in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwaddy Farmers Development Bank after receiving approval from Myanmar’s central bank.

The investment will be done through its unit Kasikorn Vision, which has a budget of 14 billion baht (428 million USD) for overseas business opportunities.

Meanwhile, SCB, the country's fourth-largest lender by assets, has won preliminary approval for a subsidiary business licence in Myanmar, targeting 7 billion baht in loans in the first five years of operation.

The bank expects to set up the subsidiary and begin operations by the end of 2020, said Chairman and Chief Executive Arthid Nanthawithaya.

The licence enables the bank to open a subsidiary bank 100-percent-owned by SCB and provide the same comprehensive commercial banking services as branches in Thailand. A subsidiary licence allows branches in 10 major business areas.

SCB has had a representative office in Myanmar since 2012.

The bank is ready to provide total financial solutions to corporate, small-business, and retail clients in the neighbouring country and to use Myanmar as a strategic country for expanding the international business network, Arthid said.

In the initial phase, SCB will focus on catering to Thai corporate clients with existing investments in Myanmar and others who want to explore trade and investment there.

More than 100 Thai business operators are investing in Myanmar with SCB support. The bank's clients operate in a broad range of sectors, including consumer products, energy, industrial estates, manufacturing and agro-industry.

Arthid said SCB stands ready to bridge trade and investment between Thailand and Myanmar, as well as regional trade within the CLMV 2 countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and Singapore).

Foreign banks are allowed three licence types in Myanmar: establishment of a commercial bank as a subsidiary, foreign bank branch and equity participation with a local bank.

Thailand has cumulative permitted investment in Myanmar of about 11 billion USD and is the third-largest investor after Singapore and China.

Thailand is also Myanmar's second-biggest trade partner after China, with trade value of 7.6 billion USD in 2019. - VNA