siam-commercial-bank-opens-in-myanmar

Siam Commercial Bank opens in Myanmar

Siam Commercial Bank, the only Thai bank allowed to operate a wholly-owned subsidiary bank in Myanmar, is opening “Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar” in Yangon, according to a press release. SCB Myanmar will leverage its digital banking expertise and strength to elevate financial products, services, and payment systems in Myanmar to fulfil the business requirements of the ASEAN group. The move will open up new capabilities and allow SCB Myanmar to meet the needs of every customer group in Myanmar to the fullest extent possible, whether large corporations, SMEs, or retail customers. SCB Myanmar will also capitalize on SCB’s branch network by bridging regional trade and investment relations among the CLMV+2 countries.


Siam Commercial Bank President SarutRuttanaporn said that the Bank will support the development of financial infrastructure and payment systems even further by offering solutions critical for Myanmar’s businesses and digital finance, in line with the increasing popularity of Myanmar’s digital banking trend. The Bank is now studying the market so as to create satisfactory financial experiences for the people of Myanmar. Their tasks will start from the development of digital payment systems, both a corporate portal for businesses and mobile banking for retail customers. Services expected to be available in 2022, which will help support business payments and reduce cash usage and management costs in the country.

SCB was granted a banking licence to operate Siam Commercial Bank Myanmar by the Central Bank of Myanmar. This development is an important jigsaw piece in SCB, accomplishing the strategic expansion of its overseas network in the CLMV+2 countries over the past several years. With its increasing importance as a regionally strategic country, Myanmar has become one of the top destinations attracting investors from around the world. The country’s strategic location links Asia’s two regional powers, China and India. According to a World Bank forecast, Myanmar’s GDP will resume its former 6 per cent level in 2021, up from the 1.5 per cent level predicted for 2020 due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Application of import/export permits more secure with Trade Net 2.0

The application of export and import permits online via Myanmar Trade Net 2.0 is secure and can help curb corruption , said the director general at the Ministry of Commerce can be applied online and security systems are in place to protect the user and applicants mentioned during a press conference on Trade Net 2.0. Trade Net 2.0 assists paperless trade – the digital trade.

It partly assists in implementing our e-government system. Data can be securely shared between government agencies and information leakage will not occur. Moreover, it is also mentioned that import and export permits can be applied anywhere at anytime, as long as internet service can be accessed. There is no contact between businesspeople and departments at all. They have also planned to improve security of the the system.

In the banking sector, even if the end user’s account is breached, the culprit will not be able to carry our (transactions) without a One Time Passcode according to the deputy director. The system however does not allow for the application of special permits. These will still have to be applied for in person. There are currently 3,430 people registered with Myanmar Trade Net 2.0. A total of 756 cards related to export and import and 1,617 import permits have been processed with the online system.

Source: Myanmar Times

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Myanmar to launch digital land database

Myanmar will launch an online land database soon said Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. The online land database will be introduced to provide transparency regarding land ownership said by the Minister during a webinar on a ‘New Way of Working with Government’ organised by Myanmar’s British Chamber of Commerce.

Online investment tools and payment processes are also being implemented to simplify and improve security in the investment process. It is also mentioned that Myanmar is seeing a growth in the usage of digital payment systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are using online services more than previous years. Some are adapting to online businesses while others conduct meetings online.

The country is also seeing growth in the infrastructure sector citing the Korea-Myanmar Industrial Zone Project and AMATA Smart and Eco City project with Thailand as examples. The Minister also spoke on e-government, digital payment systems and investment opportunities in the financial sector and renewable energy sector.

Source: Myanmar Times

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EventNook offers businesses free online booking platform for a year

Although the spread of COVID-19 has slowed recently in Myanmar nobody knows when the pandemic will end, so people have to adjust to the new normal to ensure their businesses can survive. Some businesses have closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19- for example, gyms, beauty salons and clinics. To improve this situation, EventNook of Singapore will offer all businesses in Myanmar free use of its UserRoll booking platform for one year.

UserRoll was launched in July to help customers host virtual events and accept bookings online via the UserRoll Appoiintment and UserRoll Event platforms. The founder and CEO of EventNook said that UserRoll online booking will help services, shops, and businesses in Myanmar safely reopen and adjust to the ‘new normal’ during this unexpected crisis until vaccines and treatment become widely available.

UserRoll Appointment will enable businesses in Myanmar such as beauty salons, clinics, libraries and government offices to reopen and better manage the number of customers through an appointment system and online booking via Facebook and Chat. UserRoll doesn’t require downloading an app. It can be accessed via browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge on any laptop, PC, smartphone or tablet.

Looking to the future: Beyond 2021, EvenNook hopes that businesses can get back to normal and services such as online booking and crowd control will no longer be required. Digital solutions such as online appointment booking, contact tracing, contactless payment are essential tools in developed countries that have helped services and businesses continue during the pandemic. People may not used to them yet in Myanmar, but in the new normal, everyone has to adapt to these new practices to ensure safety and business continuity.

The new normal: However, since Asia will be the center of growth in the next few decades, EventNook thinks the regional market and urbanisation will grow. Moreover, since COVID-19 has accelerated digitalisation, online registration and booking will become standard procedure in Myanmar sooner rather than later. So, EventNook plans to expand their team and event technology services in Myanmar in the future.

Source: Myanmar Times

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Wave Money has transferred MMK 12 trillion (US $8.7 billion) in 2020

During COVID-19 pandemic, as the use of digital financial services has increased, Wave Money has transferred MMK 12 trillion (US $8.7 billion) in the year 2020. The remittance figures raised doubled concerning the last year’s figures K6.4 trillion (US $4.3 billion) according for 11.5% of the county’s gross domestic product (GDP) US $75.5 billion of 2020. From January to December 2020, the number of users of WavePay application has over 1.5 million and the number of agent users has over 3.9 million.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Wave Money, despite of the different challenges, Wave Money has provided the essential service which has the strive for innovation to reach the million of users, businesses, governments and humanitarian organizations. According to 2020 statistics, the amount of donations and grants in the first wave of April to June 2020 were K 32 billion (US $24 million). Wave Money is the largest financial service network with 68,000 agents and overwhelmed 91% of the country.

From January to December 2020, K 88 billion (US $ 6.5 million) agent fees was paid which an increase of more than 60% over the previous year. Wave Money is currently providing 37 projects including the social welfare programs under the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population, the agricultural loan plan from Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank, the financial support program for mother and child under the Ministry of Social Welfare and the Support Program for garment workers under the Peace Nexus Response Mechanism (NRM) and UNICEF.

Source: Daily Eleven

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AYA SOMPO and Oway come together to launch first-of-its kind Comprehensive Travel Insurance for Domestic and International

AYA SOMPO Insurance (AYA SOMPO) and Oway Pte Ltd, have entered a collaboration that will make domestic and international travel a lot safer for Myanmar citizens. AYA SOMPO and Oway launched the newly approved comprehensive travel insurance products – AYA Go and AYA Joy. As Myanmar’s first-ever comprehensive travel insurance products, AYA Go and AYA Joy travel insurance benefits are unique and provide a more holistic coverage, providing coverage for a wide range of challenges travellers face during their travels. AYA Joy is focused for international travellers and provides benefits for baggage loss, flight delay compensation, accident, hospitalisation, medical expense and personal liability coverage. AYA Go is for domestic travellers, providing coverage for medical/hospitalisation expenses, personal liability coverage, and accidental death payout. An optional child education fund is also offer under AYA Go.

The CEO of the AYA SOMPO said that they are delighted to receive approval from the Financial Regulatory Department (FRD) on our new comprehensive travel insurance products AYA Go and AYA Joy. As the first of their kind in the market, AYA Go and AYA Joy provide a more complete protection to travellers. AYA SOMPO continuously innovates not only in the digital services, but also the product offerings. They are one of the insurance companies in Myanmar to provide customers easy access to insurance products through innovative channels, enhancing the overall customer experience which includes an online submission of claims through our website. Pre-pandemic domestic air travels reached a total of 5.7 million and domestic travels from January to September 2020 reached a total of 5.7 million and domestic travels from January to September 2020 reached 2.4 million even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CEO of Oway Group said that their partnership with AYA SOMPO is part of their commitment to make travel easy and safe for people in Myanmar. They have been consistently investing in building a robust and sustainable ecosystem for online travel to expand so millions can take advantage of this digital economy. Oway’s website, oway.com.mm is the largest online travel portal in Myanmar. Launched in 2012, Oway offers a wide range of solutions for business and leisure travellers in Myanmar. The site is a one-stop shop that allows users to book domestic and international flights, hotels, land transportation, tours, holiday packages, e-commerce, ride hailing and now insurance using multiple payment options. To find out more about AYA Go and AYA Joy Comprehensive Travel Insurance from AYA SOMPO, visit www.ayasompo.com or AYA SOMPO’s Facebook Messenger at m.me/ayasompo.

Source: Myanmar Times

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Number of companies registered on MyCo exceed 15,000 in 2020: DICA

The number of companies registered on the online registry system, MyCO, reached over 15,000 in 2020, the statistics released by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) indicated. The registration and re-registration of companies on the MyCO website commenced on 1 August 2018, keeping with the Myanmar Companies Law 2017. Last year, the figures of registered companies stood at 1,415 in January, 1,298 in February and 1,015 in March, only 348 companies in April, 798 in May, 1,314 in June, 1,650 in July, 1,551 in August, 1,378 in September, 1,693 in October, 1,099 in November and 1,521 in December, as per statistics of the DICA.


At present, 100 per cent of the applicants are using the online registration platform, according to the DICA data. In 2019, the figure stood at 1,733 in January 2019, 1,419 in February, 1,108 in March, and over 1,045 in April, 1,411 in May, 1,307 in June, 1,428 in July, 1,302 in August and 1,181 in September. The figures reached a fresh new peak of 2,059 in October 2019. Then, 1,615 new companies in November and 1,772 in December were recorded, indicated the DICA data. When the online registry was launched in August 2018, 1,816 new companies registered on MyCO. The figure stood at 2,218 in September 2018, 1,671 in October, 1,431 in November and 1,364 in December 2018.


Since the online registry platform’s establishment, 40,960 new companies and 46,377 existing companies have registered and re-registered on MyCO, bringing the total number of registered companies to 87,337 by October-end. Also, all registered companies need to file annual returns (AR) on the MyCO registry system within two months of incorporation, and at least once every year (not later than one month after the anniversary of the incorporation), according to Section 97 of Myanmar Companies Law 2017. According to Section 266 (A) of the Myanmar Companies Law 2017, public companies must simultaneously submit annual returns and financial statements (G-5). All overseas corporations must submit ARs in the prescribed format on MyCO within 28 days of the financial year ending, as per Section 53 (A-1) of the Myanmar Companies Law 2017.


Newly established companies are required to submit ARs within two months of incorporation or face a fine of K100,000 for filing late returns.
The DICA has notified that any company which fails to submit its AR within 13 months will be notified of its suspension (I-9A). If it fails to submit the AR within 28 days of receiving the notice, the system will show the company’s status as suspended. Companies can restore their position only after shelling out a fine of K50,000 for AR fee, K100,000 to restore the company on the Register, and K100,000 for late filing of documents. According to the DICA notice, if a company fails to restore its status within six months of suspension, the registrar will strike its name off the Register.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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Defying the Pandemic Cathay United Bank Yangon Branch Officially Opens

The Yangon Branch of Cathay United Bank (the Bank) was granted preliminary approval by the Central Bank of Myanmar in April, 2020. The president Alan Lee said that this year, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have successfully established the Yangon Branch with the efforts of their colleagues in Myanmar and Taiwan and the spirit of “One Team”. They hope to continue to contribute to the Myanmar in the future. Successful Opening Despite Severe Pandemic since 2010, when the economic and political reforms were initiated and the country was opened to foreign direct investment.

Myanmar economy has grown rapidly, with an average GDP growth rate of over 6% from 2016. In 2014, the Bank established a representative office in Yangon, the commercial capital of Myanmar. By deeply cultivating the local market, grasping business dynamics, and building a network of relationships over the past 6 years, the Bank has planted the seed of success for the Yangon Branch. Myanmar has been hit hard by COVID-19 with over 120,000 confirmed cases by the end of 2020. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic during the preparation phase, the Bank is able to open its branch within 9 months of approval through the efforts of supervisors and staff in Myanmar, supported by remote technology from the HO.

The Yangon Branch will focus on corporate banking business, provide deposits, remittances, corporate loans, syndicated Loans, project finance, trade finance and other financial services in local currency and USD, target local medium & large enterprises and Taiwanese enterprises, and assiduously participate in infrastructure and economic development projects. With a strong presence in Greater China and Southeast Asia, combined with the expertise and passion of the professionals, the Bank expects to provide quality, complete, and comprehensive cross- border financial services, creating a win-win scenario for both customers and the Bank.

Source: Myanmar Times

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The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has approved two more foreign remittance licenses to reduce the number of illegal remittance transactions and create more remittance transactions

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has issued two more foreign remittance licenses to reduce the number of illegal remittances and legalize remittances, and will be able to officially accept and send remittances. City Express Myanmar Ltd and Money King Co., Ltd were re-licensed by the Central Bank on 5 January 2021. The Central Bank of Myanmar started issuing foreign currency remittance licenses to five companies on November 18, 2020: OK Zune Co., Ltd .; 2C2P Plus (Myanmar) Co., Ltd; Wakhema Trading Co., Ltd; Top Shine General Services Co., Ltd; and OKM Global Remittance, which now has seven foreign remittance licenses. The holder of the foreign remittance business license must deposit 100 million kyats as security deposit and if the central bank directs that the business insurance deposit should be more than 100 million kyats due to the large size of the business, the licensee must comply with the instructions. 

The Revolving Fund must be kept in a separate account at an AD licensed bank and the bank statement of each bank account must be submitted to the Central Bank once a month. Holders of foreign remittance licenses are required to carry out Inward and Outward Remittance Business between Myanmar and other countries and receive money only for the purpose of remittance. Receiving money for remittances abroad when conducting remittance services; Remittances received in Myanmar must be made in Myanmar Kyats only. Foreign remittance services must be carried out only in the area permitted by the license. Back End Transactions can be carried out as a batch transaction between a local bank account and a private bank account or agent or branch or branch bank account or joint venture bank account. 

Netting must be done and remittances must be made through AD licensed banks. Once a month, the Central Bank of Myanmar shall submit the bank statement of the account opened abroad of the remittance business. The financial statements shall be submitted to the Foreign Exchange Management Department and shall be submitted to the Central Bank in accordance with the prescribed schedule. The maximum remittance amount per remittance or remittance amount is US $ 1,000, and the central bank limits the amount per remittance or remittance amount per person to US $ 5,000 per month.

Holders of foreign remittance licenses are required to comply with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism provisions, and must report any suspected remittances in the remittance, which shall be maintained for at least five years. The initial license fee for foreign money transfer is one million kyats. The annual fee is 100,000 kyats and the license is valid for three years. Holders of foreign remittance licenses will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including revocation of their licenses if they violate the rules and regulations set by the Central Bank, and will face a fine of not less than 10 million kyats for each non-compliance.

Source: Daily Eleven

Myanmar-Credit-Bureau

First modern credit bureau launched in Myanmar

Myanmar Credit Bureau Limited (MMCB) on December 30 launched the country’s first and only modern credit bureau.

MMCB, which is licensed by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), will provide Myanmar with a modern credit reporting system that will enable lenders to expand the financing options available for individuals and businesses. It will also encourage more responsible lending in the country. The bureau has been centralising information gathered from financial institutions in Myanmar about their borrowers since its soft launch in November. This includes borrowers’ personal and contact information, credit accounts and repayment history as well as information on any collateral listed to obtain a loan. MMCB does not collect information on borrowers’ net worth, assets or bank deposit amounts.

With this information, the bureau produces credit reports on individuals or corporates to help financial institutions make better lending decisions and lower the risk of defaults. Borrowers, in turn, should expect faster and more competitive services from lenders. MMCB, which received its license from the CBM in May 2018, currently has over 220 potential members including national and local banks, foreign bank branches, and non-bank financial institutions. It plans to widen membership and expand its product and service offerings to include credit scores and data analytics reports over the next two years.

The bureau is a 60:40 joint venture between MB Investment, a company formed by members of the Myanmar Banks Association, and Singapore-listed Credit Bureau Asia’s wholly-owned subsidiary NSP Asia Investment Holding. Credit Bureau Asia, which also operates the sole credit bureau in Cambodia, made its debut on the Singapore Exchange in December 2 at 93 cents per share. The company’s shares closed at $1.17 each before the announcement.

Source: Myanmar Times