RANGOON — Thailand’s Bangkok Bank, one of 25 foreign institutions awaiting permission to operate in Burma, has said it will bring more Thai investors into the country.
One of Thailand’s four largest banks, Bangkok Bank has had a representative office in Rangoon since 1994.
Speaking in Rangoon on Friday, Bangkok Bank Executive Vice President Chaiyarit Anuchitworawong said the bank was among the 25 foreign organizations hoping to be granted a banking license in Burma.
“We still don’t know when they will exactly allow us, but now we’re connecting with the Thai businesses and local people as well,” Chaiyarit said.
The Central Bank of Myanmar has announced that it will grant licenses allowing some foreign banks to offer a limited range of services in the country, and officials have said they will do so by the end of September.
According to the Myanmar Times, Thailand’s Krung Thai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikornbank are also among the 25 banks who have applied for foreign banking licenses, as are Australia’s ANZ Bank, Singapore’s United Overseas Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
Bangkok Bank is hosting the seminar titled “Bangkok Bank Brings Asia to Myanmar” over three days at the Chatrium Hotel, at which Burmese business people are encouraged to network with investors.
Thailand ranks second to only China in cumulative overseas investment in Burma since 1988, but its businesses faces competition from Western companies no longer constrained by economic sanctions against Burma, and from Japan, which is investing heavily in the country.
“We’re going to bring many Thai investors from inside or outside Thailand to invest in Myanmar, and then we can support them [with] financial assistance to working in Myanmar market,” Chaiyarit said.
Bangkok Bank was established in 1944, and now has total assets of more than US$75 billion. It has more than 1,150 branches in Thailand and an international network of 27 overseas branches.
“In recognition of the untapped potential of Myanmar, where the bank opened a representative office almost 20 years ago, we’re organizing many activities to support the country’s economic development and help our customers get to know the country’s potential and connect their business in Myanmar,” Bangkok Bank President Chartsiri Sophonpanich said.