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KBZ Bank opens first office outside Burma

KBZ Bank is one of the largest privately owned banks in Burma. (Photo: DVB)

Kanbawza Bank (KBZ Bank) has opened a representative office in Bangkok, becoming the first Burmese bank to establish an international presence.

Earlier this year, KBZ Bank officially received a licence from the Bank of Thailand to open the office in the Thai capital. The bank also recently obtained a representative licence to open an office in Singapore, continuing its planned expansion within the ASEAN region.

Than Cho, senior managing director of KBZ Bank, said the office would start offering financial and advisory services as soon as possible to Burmese people and to businesses in Thailand.

“Naturally, Thai businesses are interested in entering Myanmar [Burma]. We hope they take advantage of our extensive knowledge of Myanmar’s financial markets and join the growing bilateral trade between our two countries,” he said.

Zeyar Sein Htut, KBZ Bank’s new chief in Thailand, said the bank will focus on activities such as market research, liaising with the private sector and serving as a source of information, including regulatory requirements for doing business both in Thailand and Burma.

KBZ Bank wants to explore opportunities to build relations with, and eventually cater to, the large Burmese population in the kingdom — estimated at 3 million people — when they return to their home country.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan met Burma’s President Htin Kyaw in Naypyidaw last month. The two countries announced they intended to double bilateral trade to US$20 billion in 2017.