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NH NongHyup receives final approval to launch Myanmar branch

NH Financial Group Chairman Kim Kwang-soo, third from left, NongHyup Bank CEO Son Byung-hwan, second from left, poses for a photo alongside Myanmar officials in February 2019. (NH NongHyup Bank)
NH Financial Group Chairman Kim Kwang-soo, third from left, NongHyup Bank CEO Son Byung-hwan, second from left, poses for a photo alongside Myanmar officials in February 2019. (NH NongHyup Bank)

South Korea’s NH NongHyup Bank said Monday it has received final approval from Myanmar’s financial authorities to launch and operate a subsidiary in the Southeast Asian country.

The announcement comes 10 months after the lender submitted an application to the Central Bank of Myanmar, which handles financial supervisory of state-owned, private and foreign banks in the country.

NH NongHyup has been operating a microfinancing institution in Myanmar since 2016 and has worked as a stepping-stone for the latest approval from the central bank, the lender said.

The South Korean bank’s Yangon branch plans to establish a systemic network with Myanmar’s financial authorities, while taking necessary steps to establish a banking business in the country. A local manager will be hired to launch a localized system as well.

“Myanmar is a primary industry with agriculture accounting for a key part, which will allow NH NongHyup, which its expertise lies in agricultural finance, strive in the market,” NongHyup Bank CEO Son Byung-hwan said.

So far, Shinhan Bank is the only South Korean lender to operate a branch in Myanmar, after receiving the license in 2016. But with KB Kookmin and state-run banks Industrial Bank of Korea and Korea Development Bank having clinched preliminary licenses to launch branches earlier this year, more Korean banks are set to enter the market.

By Jung Min-kyung (mkjung@heraldcorp.com)
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