No plans for joint venture in Myanmar: Standard Chartered Bank

PHOTO: No plans for joint venture in Myanmar: Standard Chartered Bank

UK-based Standard Chartered Bank has no policy to form a joint venture with a local bank - at least for now, said a top executive.

Standard Chartered returned to Myanmar earlier this month when it was permitted to open a representative office in Yangon.

Speaking to the press in a media briefing at a hotel in Yangon, Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, cautioned on the bank's next move as it expands agressively in Asean.

“Our bank will follow the guidelines of Central Bank, rather than make a joint venture with a local partner (to open a branch office).''

The UK-based global bank's chief executive said it will go after the notifications of Central Banks to expand its range of banking and financial services offered here.

Myanmar Central Bank has indicated that it will allow foreign banks to make only joint ventures, bidding to protect its local banks which are deemed unable to equally compete with international giants.

Presently, foreign banks are only permitted to open representative offices as wholly-owned entity.

Steven Groff, vice president of a successful local ‘Asia Green Development Bank’, commented that it takes time to make changes in their industry. He said it entails difficulties and needs to work in stages.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered will open just a representative office in its third entry to the country, and will mainly focus on providing services to interested global investors to make investments in the country.

The bank operated its banking functions in the country since 1862 until its operation was nationalized in 1963 by the government.

Its history in Myanmar again re-established in 1995, but because of international sanctions on Myanmar, the operations paused again in 2004. Now is the third time for the Standard Chartered to enter the market.

It is operating over 1700 branches and outlets worldwide.

There are currently 22 representative offices of foreign banks and a financial institution in Myanmar, according to the reports of Central Bank.