German firm to advise central bank of Myanmar on licensing foreign lenders

Amid the ongoing liberalization of Myanmar’s financial sector, the central bank has hired a German consulting firm to provide advisory services on the process of awarding licenses to foreign banks looking to do business here.

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) announced on Tuesday that Germany’s Roland Berger Company Limited was chosen from among four consultancy firms that submitted Requests for Proposal (RFPs).

Roland Berger Co. was founded in 1967. It has worked in 36 countries, advising clients on strategy development, performance improvement and other management issues, according to its website.

The CBM said Roland Berger Co. won the highest score based on a set of 15 criteria including consultancy fees, payment terms, professional background, experience and the academic qualifications of team members.

As part of the financial sector reforms, Myanmar last year started working on plans to welcome more foreign banks into the local market.

Union Minister of Planning and Finance (MOPF) U Soe Win told the media in July that the government will allow foreign banks and insurers to provide retail banking services in the domestic market in the coming year.

In May, the CBM sought assistance from eight firms to send RFPs for the consultancy position. In June, Deloitte Touche Myanmar Vigour Advisory Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Myanmar Co. Ltd, EY UTW Advisory Limited and Roland Berger Co. Ltd. submitted requests to the CBM.

Last November, the CBM allowed foreign banks to provide import financing and to extend loans to local companies and provide other banking services, opening up a new source of funding to local corporates. Previously, international branches were only allowed to finance foreign companies operating in Myanmar.

In January, MOPF opened up the insurance market to foreign companies wishing to operate life and non-life insurance businesses in Myanmar.

Currently, branches of 13 international banks from China, Japan, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Vietnam are listed with the Central Bank, while 49 other banks have representative offices here.

Source: The Irrawaddy

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