Myanmar's best domestic bank 2017: KBZ
KBZ Bank’s competitors like to describe it as a ‘protected species’ in Myanmar banking. They may be right – KBZ’s connections are very tight in the capital Nyapyidaw. It has ties to still powerful members of the former military junta that ran Myanmar for decades.
But such remarks also betray a deep envy among KBZ’s rivals, covetous of its dominant share of the country’s emerging financial scene. Protected or otherwise, few banks dominate their home market like KBZ. In the evolving modernization that is Myanmar banking, there’s KBZ at the top and daylight to its competitors.
The superlatives speak for themselves. KBZ has opened 447 branches nationally, 85 more than last year, and now boasts a branch network more than double its closest competitor to reach all corners of a very vast and undeveloped country. Similarly, its 833-strong ATM network is bigger than its next two competitors’ networks combined. KBZ has 2.4 million account holders and opened 300,000 more in the last year as its inclusion efforts brought more Burmese into the market.
KBZ predicts it will reach assets of $10.2 billion some time in early 2017, a stunning 60% higher than last year, and three times its next competitor. KBZ says that by the end of the first quarter of 2017, growth in deposits and loans will have surged 40% from last year.