Myanmar: building a better banking sector

Myanmar’s banking sector is rudimentary. It needs to reform faster if the country is to encourage foreign capital and economic development.

The opening of Myanmar’s economy has many investors excited. They are intrigued about accessing a country that has 53 million people and substantial natural resources, yet lacks basic goods and services taken for granted by neighbours. 

To invest, these companies need to enter via the local financial market. Unfortunately Myanmar is, by any standard, badly under-banked. 

The country has less than 1,000 branches. Thailand, with 67 million people, has 6,744 commercial bank branches. Myanmar lacks a credit bureau, a money market or an interbank market. 

“Currently a company accountant has to spend an inordinate amount of time going to a...

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