SYDNEY Dec 7 Australia and New Zealand Banking
Group Ltd said on Friday it had received approval from
Myanmar authorities to open a representative office in the
country which is seeing a surge in foreign interest since the
end of military rule in 2011.
The licence from Myanmar's central bank makes ANZ the first
bank outside of Japan in the member-nations of the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to receive
approval to establish a presence in the country after the
lifting of some international sanctions earlier this year.
Rich in resources such as copper, gold and tin, Myanmar's
growth potential in agriculture and oil and gas exports is
attracting international attention.
Its parliament approved a foreign investment bill in
November aimed at allowing overseas companies to fully own
ventures and to offer tax breaks and lengthy leases of land.
"We believe our expertise in resources, agriculture and
infrastructure offers something unique to clients interested in
Myanmar," ANZ's CEO of International & Institutional Banking,
Alex Thursby, said in a statement.
Myanmar's gross domestic product, currently $43 billion, is
derived primarily from government and foreign investment into
the oil and gas and agribusiness sectors.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, introduced sweeping reforms
this year after decades of hardline military rule following a
coup in 1962 drove the former British colony into poverty and
ANZ said it remained committed to complying with sanctions
still in place. It said the office, subject to final
administrative approval, is scheduled to open early next year in
Grant Knuckey, CEO of ANZ Royal Bank in Cambodia and
Chairman of ANZ Laos, will oversee its operations.
(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Ron Popeski; Editing by