Mega Bank secures approval to open office in Yangon

Taipei, July 20 (CNA) Mega International Commercial Bank, one of Taiwan's leading lenders, has secured approval from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to open a representative office in Yangon, Myanmar. In a statement released by the FSC Friday, the top financial watchdog in Taiwan said that as more and more Taiwanese investors have relocated their investments to Myanmar, Mega Bank has decided to establish a foothold in the emerging Southeast Asian country. The commission said the bank is expected to take advantage of the representative office to get a better understanding about the financial market in Myanmar in a bid to map out its plan for longer term development in the country. Mega Bank is still awaiting approval from Myanmar's financial authorities to set up the representative office. The FSC said Myanmar still bans foreign banks from opening branches in its market or acquiring any stake in its financial institutions, but the Southeast Asian country is stepping toward market liberalization so the market is still worth exploring for future business opportunities. According to FSC, Mega Bank, which is the flagship banking entity of Mega Financial Holding Co., has operated 33 branches or representative offices overseas, including in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Suzhou, China. So far, among Taiwanese banks, First Commercial Bank and E. Sun Commercial Bank have opened representative offices in Yangon, while Cathay United Bank obtained the greenlight from the FSC earlier this month to set up an office in the city, and is waiting for approval from Myanmar's authorities. (By Wu Ching-chun and Frances Huang)