uab CEO U TheinLwin and ADB’s Winfried Wicklein launch partnership that will provide greater financial support to local businesses and boost Myanmar economy
YANGON, Myanmar, August 3, 2016 – uab bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a trade finance agreement that will allow uab to provide greater financial support for trade in Myanmar through guarantees by ADB of up to $4 million a year. The agreement has been extended as part of the ADB’s Trade Finance Program (TFP), which works with over 200 partner banks worldwide and will allow uab to take advantage of ADB’s AAA credit rating. This marks the first step in a long-term partnership for uab and ADB to assist trade financing for local businesses in Myanmar and ultimately help boost the Myanmar economy.
The agreement was concluded during a signing ceremony at the Sedona Hotel in Yangon attended by officials from uab, such as Chairman U Ne Aung, board member U Than Win Swe, CEO U Thein Lwin, Chief Operating Officer U Thant Zin, and Chief Business Officer Daw Kyawt Kay Khaing, as well as representatives from ADB, such as Winfried Wicklein, Country Director, Myanmar Resident Mission, and Janet Hyde, Relationship Manager, Trade Finance Program. Several honored guests were also in attendance, including U Phyo Min Thein, Chief Minister, Yangon Division, U Set Aung, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Myanmar, as well as other government authorities of Yangon Region and Speakers of the Parliament of Yangon Region.
“This is a historic day for uab bank and for Myanmar,” said uab CEO Thein Lwin. “As our country opens up to the world, strong, trustworthy financial institutions such as uab must support the advancement and long-term sustainability of local businesses. Our partnership with ADB, one of the most respected financial institutions in the world, marks an important milestone for uab in this respect and is an achievement that will greatly benefit the people of Myanmar.”
According to the terms of the agreement, ADB will provide what is known as a Trade Guarantee Facility to uab to support international Letters of Credit issued by the bank. This means that when a Foreign Letter of Credit, or LC, is issued by uab for one of its customers, and where the foreign party requires an additional guarantee or confirmation, ADB will provide that guarantee.
ADB’s TFP guarantees will help banks across Asia as well as in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere build stronger ties with uab, creating valuable international trade networks with Myanmar companies. Over time, this will help Myanmar’s companies grow and add jobs, which will positively impact the local economy.
“We’re pleased to add uab to the Trade Finance Program and expand our activities in Myanmar, an exciting market with great potential,” said Steven Beck, head of trade finance at ADB. “We’ll be working with UAB to support trade growth, including among small and medium-sized businesses, which will help create jobs.”
To increase its capacity to support trade, and in an effort to draw the private sector more into developing Asia, ADB’s TFP shares and distributes risk with international financial institutions. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and International Enterprise Singapore, a government agency that promotes overseas growth of Singapore companies,are supporting the TFP’s guarantees to uab in Myanmar.
Since 2009, ADB’s TFP has supported more than 8,200 small- and medium-sized enterprises across the region, with about 11,800 transactions valued at over $23.6 billion, in sectors ranging from commodities and capital goods to medical supplies and consumer goods. uab is the second local bank in Myanmar to join ADB’s TFP thanks to its status as one of the key trade finance banks in the country.
“uab will continue to grow and enhance our customer base by providing sound solutions that combine the highest level of banking expertise, technology, and financial security,” said uab CEO TheinLwin. “Part of this growth will be through infrastructure, such as our plan to expand our network to 75 branches by the end of this fiscal year. However, another important part will be through strategic partnerships such as the one signed with ADB today, which will allow us to excel in financing international trade and supporting the growth of local businesses.”
Established in 2010, uab is one of the largest financial institutions in Myanmar. At the end of the financial year ending 31 March 2016, uab reported a deposit size of MMK 596 billion (USD 500 million), an asset size of MMK 662 billion (USD 560 million), and a network that includes 52 branches and 250,000 customer accounts. In July 2016, Asian Banking & Finance named uab “Myanmar Domestic Technology and Operations Bank of the Year” and also “Most Improved Retail Bank of the Year”.