UOB gets nod to set up Yangon branch

SINGAPORE - The United Overseas Bank Group (UOB) has received the go-ahead to set up shop in Myanmar, and will be commencing operations at its first Yangon branch next Monday.

It will join OCBC - which opened its doors last week, along with two other foreign banks - as the second Singapore bank to open a branch in the budding economy.

UOB said in a statement on Thursday that its Yangon branch will offer its regional and global clients access to onshore and cross-border banking services, enabling them to "invest and expand in industries supporting Myanmar's economic growth".

These services include corporate loans, trade and project financing, as well as cash management solutions.

The bank will focus on helping companies invest in four key industries - energy, manufacturing, construction and hospitality.

These industries have been singled out in the bank's Asian Enterprise Survey last year as segments in which "foreign investors can make the most difference, due to Myanmar's rapid development and urbanisation", it said.

UOB will help support local businesses as well, by working with the domestic banks in areas relating to knowledge-sharing and trade finance.

"Myanmar, with its huge population and abundant natural resources, is proving to be an attractive destination for our corporate clients from around the world," noted Mr Ian Wong, UOB managing director of group strategy and international management.

"Just as we have successfully connected our clients to opportunities across Asia using our regional network, we are keen to facilitate long-term strategic investments into Myanmar to help support the country's economic progress."