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UOB first foreign bank to offer onshore loan in Myanmar

UOB first foreign bank to offer onshore loan in Myanmar

(12 May 2015 – Singapore) United Overseas Bank Group (UOB) is now offiering onshore financing to Rangoon Excelsior Company Ltd – a French-Myanmar joint venture.

This is the first onshore loan announced by a foreign bank in Myanmar since the country awarded foreign bank licences to nine international banks in October 2014.

UOB opened its Yangon branch at the start of May, to focus on providing corporate loans, trade and project financing and cash management solutions to its regional and global companies expanding into Myanmar.

The Bank will support clients investing in industries that will help the long-term economic growth of the country.

UOB Group managing director and head of Strategy and International Management, Ian Wong said the hospitality sector has been identified by UOB as one of the key industries the Bank will focus on as it expands its business in Myanmar.

“The financing of a new hotel in Yangon is in line with our approach of supporting businesses that are helping to drive the development of Myanmar.

“As tourism is expected to be a main contributor of new jobs in Myanmar over the next decade, we are keen to partner companies such as Rangoon Excelsior in helping to build the necessary tourism infrastructure to support the growth of this sector,” Wong said.

UOB expects to provide several more onshore loans within the first month of its Yangon branch opening for its regional and multinational clients from across the Bank’s network in sectors such as manufacturing, hospitality and infrastructure.

These loans will help finance the set-up of factories, retail shops and hotels.

Wong said the strongest interest in Myanmar is coming from its clients in Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

This is in line with findings from the UOB Asian Enterprise Report 2014 which shows that businesses from Hong Kong are the keenest to expand into Myanmar (31 percent), followed by those in Thailand (28 percent), mainland China (26 percent) and Singapore (21 percent).

“Since the opening up of Myanmar’s economy two years ago, we are seeing many of our clients’ interests in Myanmar turning into real investment.

“In our pipeline of deals, we have foreign direct investment coming from various regions, from Asia to Europe.

“This shows that Myanmar is becoming part of the expansion and investment plans of Asian and global companies,” Wong said.

Companies that are interested to expand into Myanmar can draw on the strengths of UOB’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Advisory Unit which provides companies with access to UOB’s full suite of corporate banking products and long-established regional network.

UOB is the only bank in Asia to have established nine dedicated FDI Advisory Units across the region to help companies realise their regional ambitions across markets.

In 2013, UOB became the first foreign bank to establish a Foreign Direct Investment Advisory Unit in Myanmar to help its clients explore business opportunities in the country.

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