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First foreign banks in Myanmar after 50 years

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Staff writer ▼ | April 27, 2015
Two of Japan's banks have opened branches in Myanmar's biggest city, making them the first foreign lending institutions to set up operations in the country in half a century.
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking
Asia   Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Bank entered Myanmar
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ opened its branch in Yangon on April 22 and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. did the same on April 23. Mizuho Bank is also planning to enter the once-closed market this summer. The Japanese companies hope to solidify their market share before the entry of other foreign banks.

The civilian government led by President Thein Sein gave the green light last October for the three banks, as well as six from Singapore, Thailand, China, Malaysia, and Australia, to enter the country. The ruling junta was replaced by the civilian authorities in March 2011.

Myanmar has a population in excess of 50 million people and abundant natural resources, which attract foreign companies, including Japanese ones.

An official from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ said the financial institution will support companies trying to enter the country. It has also set a temporary goal of amassing 10 billion yen ($83.3 million) in deposits, the official said.