Central Bank of Myanmar updates and clarifies criteria for offshore loansJanuary 22, 2020
The Central Bank of Myanmar (“CBM”) has recently made changes to the offshore loan criteria that it has published on its website (see https://www.cbm.gov.mm/content/2066). Clearer wording has been added in terms of the differences in requirements for companies holding permits from the Myanmar Investment Commission (“MIC”) and non-MIC companies. Further updates have been made to terms used to bring them in line with the new Myanmar Companies Law 2017.
A substantial change (compared to the previously published version of the criteria) is the lowering of the minimum threshold for equity capital for non-MIC companies (those registered by the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (“DICA”)) from US$500,000 to US$50,000. Now the US$500,000 threshold applies only to MIC companies.
The other noteworthy change is the clarification of the wording regarding the maximum debt-to-equity ratio, which previously stated that it was “either 3:1 or 4:1”. The new wording states that the ratio is 4:1 for MIC companies, and 3:1 for non-MIC companies.
Recap of requirements for CBM approval of offshore loans
Below is a quick summary of the latest version of the offshore loan criteria. The Central Bank would consider the following major financial parameters of the proposed transaction when considering the application:
- Whether or not the borrower’s equity capital exceeds US$500,000 for an MIC company or US$50,000 for a DICA-registered company.
- Whether or not the borrower has already transferred 80% of the equity committed in the MIC permit.
- Whether or not the debt-to-equity ratio is within a maximum of 4:1 for an MIC company or 3:1 for a DICA- registered company.
For the full list of the criteria, please refer to the Central Bank’s web-page.