Maybank and Mizuho have both opened branches in Yangon, Myanmar’s former capital, after receiving a foreign bank licence from the country’s central bank.

The licence requires the banks to have only one branch, lend directly to foreign companies and have minimum registered capital of US$75mn. Both banks will operate with a team comprising of mainly Myanmar nationals.

Maybank Yangon branch will serve wholesale and corporate clients as well as domestic banks in Myanmar with a range of services including deposit accounts, working capital financing, cash management, treasury and capital market solutions. “It will be transaction banking-focused […] We also worked with the local banks to link them to international trade,” John Wong, Maybank’s managing director, group head of transaction banking, global wholesale banking, tells GTR. The branch’s general manager is Abdul Malek Mohd Khair.

“That is a big area where [companies] look for support in letters of credit, they look for support in being able to connect them with companies in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia,” Michael Foong, Maybank’s chief strategy officer, told the local press this week.

Mizuho’s branch is also providing a full line-up of banking services, including trade transactions. The branch manager is Tetsuro Nonaka.

Maybank and Mizuho are the latest of eight banks that have received a licence to operate by the Central Bank of Myanmar, which only recently began to open the country to foreign lenders following sanctions reductions. The others are Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), United Overseas Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Bangkok Bank Public Company and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).