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State Bank of India Opens Myanmar Branch

The State Bank of India (SBI), a major state-owned banking and financial corporation from India, has opened a branch in Yangon, becoming the first Indian bank to establish a branch in the Southeast Asian country.

The opening of the Yangon branch follows the news that the Central Bank of Myanmar, the banking regulatory body, had granted a licence to SBI to set up a branch in the former capital earlier this year. SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar Khin Saw Oo were among the attendees at the inaugurating ceremony of the branch.

The Yangon outlet becomes the 54th foreign branch for SBI which now has presence in 37 countries globally. In addition to branches, the Indian banker is also operating a total of 198 representative offices in foreign countries.

SBI enters the Myanmar financial market with the primary aim of extending wholesale banking services to international corporations. Founded in 1806 as the Bank of Calcutta, it is currently India’s largest bank by assets.

India stands as a major trading partner for Myanmar with bilateral trade between the two neighbours reaching $2 billion in 2015-2016.

Forward-looking foreign bankers have been continuously rushing into the fast-changing, rapid-opening Myanmar. The country previously welcomed the new arrival of some domestically leading banks from Japan, Korea and Vietnam.