Thursday, August 17, 2017

ANZ to open Yangon representative office in early 2013

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group will open a representative office in Yangon early next year, after the Central Bank of Myanmar approved its request for a licence, a company press release said last week.

The company insisted that it would comply with all existing sanctions, and the approval came after talks between ANZ and the Myanmar, Australian and the United States governments.

“Myanmar has significant economic growth potential over the medium term,” said ANZ chief executive officer of International and Institutional Banking Alex Thursby in a statement released December 7.

“The nation is rich in natural resources such as arable land, minerals, energy and fresh water,” he added.

When asked if there were any operating restrictions or if it expected any reaction from human rights groups, ANZ replied that it is “still early days” and could not comment further.

The bank, the fourth largest by assets in Australia and the largest in New Zealand, will initially have a representative presence only, to provide services for business and investment clients.

ANZ becomes the first bank from an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development country other than Japan to be granted a licence for operations in Myanmar.

Seventeen other foreign banks have licences from the Central Bank, its website says.

ANZ announced a yearly profit of A$6 billion (about US$6.28 billion) in September. It has a publicly stated strategy of expanding its presence in the Asia Pacific.