The fast-changing face of Myanmar’s banking sector was explored in detail at a roundtable this week organised jointly by Oxford Business Group (OBG) and the British Chamber of Commerce Myanmar (BCCM).
Over 100 industry representatives came together at the Sedona Hotel, Yangon, on 28th April to discuss what the future holds for Myanmar’s banks, as wide-ranging reforms targeting the sector gain pace.
OBG’s Managing Editor for Asia Paulius Kuncinas delivered a speech at Myanmar Round-Table Conference. He described Myanmar’s banking sector as “the most compelling investment proposition” for international investors looking at growth potential.
“Bank deposits and credit have been growing at more than 30% a year, even after adjusting for inflation,” he said.
He added that while much is still needed to be done before the sector could become a driver of broad economic growth, real change was already yielding results, boding well for current lenders and prospective players.
“Until recently Myanmar had the lowest credit penetration of almost any country in the world with access to finance severely limited by regulation, technology, liquidity as well as sanctions,” he said. “Now all that is changing very fast.”
The debate on what’s next for Myanmar’s banking sector also considered the important role earmarked for lenders in supporting new initiatives, such as the Thilawa special economic zone, and local businesses.
Keynote speakers at the event included Rajesh Ahuja, ANZ Bank’s chief representative, head of transformations at KBZ Bank Daw Kim Chaw Su, the chief representative of Myanmar - Standard Chartered Bank Tina Singhsacha and consultant at Tun Foundation Bank Joe Barker-Bennett.
The country’s banking industry is also the subject of detailed analysis in The Report: Myanmar 2015, OBG’s latest report on the economy. The publication is a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure and other sectoral developments.
The Report: Myanmar 2015 has been produced with the Myanmar Investment Commission. Contributions have also been made by the Parami Energy, Win Consulting Limited and the law firm Kelvin Chia Yangon Ltd. The publication is available in print or online.