Financial Times: “Myanmar opens doors to foreign banks”

October 1, 2014 11:08 am

By Michael Peel in Bangkok and Ben McLannahan in Tokyo

Japan’s “megabanks” scooped a third of the preliminary permits while western banks mostly stayed away, in a sign of Tokyo’s ambitions and the reticence of US and European companies still nervous about falling foul of international sanctions.

Romain Caillaud, Myanmar director for Vriens & Partners, the consultancy, said the government had “bet on size” by picking the megabanks and had also “given a significant nod to Japan”.

“Japan has been a large investor as Myanmar has opened its economy but is still overshadowed by South Korea, and by China and Thailand,” Mr Caillaud said in a client note. “The fact that Korean banks were shut out entirely is surprising given the size of Korea’s stake in the country.”

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