Myanmar liberalisation stunted by legislative gaps

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 13 Oct 2015

Counsel have called for a drastic overhaul of Myanmar’s legislative framework for banks amid a push by the country’s government to liberalise its financial markets.

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) granted provisional licenses to nine regional banks to offer services to foreign businesses in October last year. But local lawyers have drawn attention to the absence of essential laws needed to provide a secure environment for foreign banks operating in the country.

"In order to do project financing, you need not only a revised banking law but you also the secured transaction law in place, as well as other legislation such as the private-public partnership law, which have not yet been put in place," said Alessio Polastri, partner of Polastri Wint & Partners.

The nine banks, including Malayan Banking Bhd and ANZ Banking, have been issued operating licenses. But they are barred by the CBM from engaging in...