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Banking

Nationalization looms over Myanmar banks, with key executive out of contact

A pivotal US banker in coup-stricken Myanmar goes offline as his bank is engulfed by crisis.

Myanmar-banks-military-Reuters-960x535.jpg
People line up outside a military-owned bank in Yangon to withdraw money after the military coup. Photo: Reuters

Myanmar’s Financial Institutions Law of 2016 is one of those tracts that bank legal teams are paid to decipher, the detail of its 185 bombastic sections too turgid for hard-charging CEOs to spend much of their time on.

That was before the February 1 military coup that upended the country’s democracy, economy and banking system.

Since then, as soldiers murder with impunity and the spectre of nationalization hangs over a once-dynamic banking scene, the law has become required reading, a portent of what bank executives may have to confront as the system breaks down amid widespread protests.

The key passages are Sections 93-96, the state’s action when banks don’t comply. Section 94a2hh says the state can move to take over a bank “when it has failed to carry out any direction given to it by the central bank”.

Interests are best served if we take the route of opening the bank ourselves, not by an external party
KBZ statement

When the junta seized power, it removed the central bank governor Kyaw Kyaw Maung and his reformist team.


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