OCBC Bank and UOB have both confirmed that they have been granted preliminary approval for foreign bank licences to operate in Myanmar.
The licence will allow the banks to offer a full range of banking products and services to foreign companies and joint ventures, as well as domestic banks in Myanmar.
The two are among nine foreign banks that received preliminary approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar on Wednesday to commence banking operations in the country. The nine banks are:
-Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
-Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU)
-Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
-Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank)
-Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC)
-Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC)
-United Overseas Bank (UOB)
The preliminary approval is valid for 12 months, during which the banks have to fulfil specified requirements laid down by the Central Bank of Myanmar, and take all necessary measures to ensure functional banking operations once they start business, the Foreign Bank Licensing Committee said.
With the licence, OCBC Bank said it will be allowed to offer a full range of banking products and services to foreign companies and joint ventures, as well as domestic banks in Myanmar.
Mr Linus Goh, OCBC Bank's Head of Global Commercial Banking commented: "We are very pleased to be granted a licence to operate a banking branch in Myanmar in this exciting chapter of the country's history. With this licence, we are proud to be given the privilege of re-establishing our branch presence in Myanmar."
The bank currently has a representative office in Myanmar. With the foreign bank licence, the bank has up to 12 months to prepare for the planned opening of its new branch in Yangon. UOB said it is "proud" to be awarded the Foreign Bank Licence.
Mr Wee Ee Cheong, UOB's Deputy Chairman and Group Chief Executive said: "The licence will allow us to participate in Myanmar's economic development by deepening our onshore banking relationships. We hope to work even more closely with the Central Bank and Myanmar local banks to provide financial solutions for the banking community and multinational companies that invest in the country."