South Korean lender Hana Bank said it has established a microfinance institution in Myanmar, joining in the global race to tap into the Southeast Asia country.
The Hana Financial Group affiliate held the opening ceremony of Hana Microfinance in Hlegu township, a rural community northeast of Yangon, with around 300 government officials and local residents attending, according to a press release.
Hana Microfinance, the first overseas microfinance unit established by a Korean bank, plans to extend small-sum loans under 500,000 won ($485) to residents of 23 townships across Myanmar.
The microfinance unit is set to boost the bank’s corporate image in Myanmar and potentially help the bank’s long-term goal of entering the local banking industry, a Hana Bank official told Yonhap news service.
Since November 2012, the lender has been operating in Yangon. Its business, however, has been largely limited due to an absence of a sales licence.