KBZ planning to list insurance arm on Yangon bourse

Banking group KBZ is seeking to list its insurance arm on the Yangon Stock Exchange next year, a senior executive said, in an announcement that comes as Myanmar slowly liberalises its financial sector.

The insurance arm, which has a paid-up capital of US$55 million (K69 billion), could be listed as early as the end of 2017, U Nyo Myint, senior managing director of KBZ Group Co, told Reuters on October 6.

As well as insurance and running Myanmar’s biggest private sector bank, KBZ Group also has interests in aviation and tourism.

The size of the initial public offering has not been finalised, but the listed arm could have a market capitalisation of about $500 million to $750 million, Nyo Myint separately told IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication.

KBZ plans to list 40 percent of the insurance firm, he said.

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Trading on the YSX began in March and three companies have listed so far.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that KBZ Bank is seeking a partnership with a financial technology company to boost digital and mobile banking solutions throughout the country.

Mr Dexter Tan, executive consultant at KBZ Bank, told Reuters it is seeking a partnership with a financial technology firm to grow its customer base through mobile and digital banking.

KBZ Bank wants to grow its customer base from 1.4 million to more than 5 million in five years, largely through introduction of digital solutions such as transaction banking and bill payments.

“We are meeting a lot of fintech companies in Singapore and other parts of the world to push ourselves to this area,” he said.

With a population of over 51 million, Myanmar is regarded as one of the world’s most “under-banked” countries in the world. A study by consultancy Roland Berger found that 77 percent of the population does not have access to the banking system.

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