No private foreign bank has been officially allowed to open in Myanmar and anyone running a private foreign bank without permission can be sentenced up to 5 years in jail, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Finance and Revenue in state newspapers.
The Directorate of Investment and Companies confirmed that no foreign bank had officially registered and no foreigner was running a special foreign bank in Myanmar.
The press release stated that it is required by law to apply for official permission to run financial services in the country and anyone can contact Myanmar Central Bank for more information if they are in doubt about any financial services.
Although there is no official private foreign bank, there are 22 representative offices of foreign banks and a foreign financial services firm in Myanmar.
“We will allow any foreign bank good enough for our country to cooperate with local private banks,” said an official from the ministry.
Alisher Ali, an Uzbek, founded Myanmar’s first investment bank Mandalay Capital in July. He invested US$1 million of his own money in the bank, which will provide macro-economic risk advisory services and capital management for investors at home and abroad. He also raised $25 million in Myanmar’s first dedicated investment fund, which closed its fund-raising last month. He founded Eurasia Capital in Mongolia in 2008 and it was successful.
Myanmar faces infrastructural problems such as poor education, weak communications system and insufficient power supply following long years of military rule.