Myanmar Banking Group KBZ Seeks Insurance Arm Listing, Fintech Ally

Oct 6 Myanmar banking group KBZ is seeking to list its insurance arm on the domestic bourse as early as next year, a senior executive said on Thursday, as the formerly isolated nation slowly liberalizes its financial sector.

The insurance arm, which has a paid-up capital of $55 million, could be listed as early as end-2017 on the Yangon Stock Exchange, Nyo Myint, senior managing director of KBZ Group Co, told Reuters.

KBZ has interests in banking, insurance, aviation and tourism.

The size of the IPO has not been finalized yet, but the listed arm could have a market capitalization of around $500 million-$750 million, Myint separately told IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.

KBZ plans to list 40 percent of the insurance firm, he said.

Trading started on the Yangon Stock Exchange in March and so far three companies have been listed.

KBZ’s banking arm, meanwhile, is seeking a partnership with a financial technology company to boost digital and mobile banking solutions across the country, group executives said.

Coming from a low base after decades of economic mismanagement by the military, Myanmar boasts one of the world’s fastest growing economies, expanding at 7-8 percent in the years since the military relinquished direct control in 2011.

But, with a population of over 51 million, Myanmar is regarded as one of the world’s most “under-banked” countries in the world where 77 percent of the population do not have access to the banking system, according to a study by consultant Roland Berger.

Dexter Tan, executive consultant of Myanmar’s biggest private sector bank, KBZ Bank, told Reuters that the bank is seeking a partnership with a financial technology firm to grow its customer base through mobile and digital banking.

KBZ Bank wants to grow its customer base from 1.4 million to more than 5 million in five years, largely through introduction of digital solutions such as transaction banking and bill payments.

“We are meeting a lot of fintech companies in Singapore and other parts of the world to push ourselves to this area,” he said. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar, Marius Zaharia and Anuradha Subramanyan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)


Source: The Reuters

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