Singapore’s OCBC Bank has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with 10 local banks in a bid to boost collaboration in training and capability-building in cash management, trade finance and treasury solutions.
The deals, signed on the occasion of the official opening of the lender’s Myanmar branch, were struck with three state-owned banks and seven private commercial banks.
The banks aim to jointly develop and introduce new solutions to support their corporate customers in managing the local and foreign currency operating and financing requirements of their investments and projects.
OCBC will also cooperate with the banks as part of the industry’s efforts to develop the domestic money market and interbank lending as well as to enhance the infrastructure for payments and settlements, both critical for a well-functioning banking system.
OCBC Chairman Ooi Sang Kuang said, “These efforts will contribute to a stronger financial sector that will underpin the growth and development of the Myanmar economy.”
Top officials of the partner banks also welcomed the move saying the collaboration will create new business opportunities and strengthen the financial sector.
U Than Ye, Chairman, Asia Green Development Bank Ltd, said the move “will create new business opportunities and ensure the smooth functioning of payment, clearing and settlement systems both locally and across international borders, while the enhanced training programs will contribute towards the refinement of product know-how and development capabilities.”
OCBC’s history in Myanmar dates back to 1923, when its first branch opened in Rangoon by the Oversea-Chinese Bank, one of the three banks that merged to form OCBC Bank in 1932. With the opening of the Burma Road in 1939, linking the country to the southwest of China, OCBC established another branch in Lashio, to cater to the growing trade with China.
In 1994, OCBC returned to Yangon to set up a representative office. Last year in October, it became one of the nine foreign banks to receive a licence to operate in the country.