Myanmar central bank orders firms with up to 35% foreign ownership to convert forex
published : 18 Jul 2022 at 13:08
Myanmar's central bank has ordered companies with up to 35% foreign ownership to convert foreign exchange into the local currency, state media reported on Monday, extending a rule aimed at relieving pressure on the kyat to include more businesses.
In April, the central bank exempted foreign entities from the new policy after the rule had triggered an outcry among business groups and residents.
Under the latest rules, a list of Myanmar companies with up to 35% foreign ownership had been sent to foreign exchange dealers, who are required to convert currencies and submit the amount by 6pm (6.30pm Thailand time) on Monday, the Global New Light of Myanmar reported, citing a central bank announcement.
Unspecified action would be taken against anyone not following the rules, the report said.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military staged a coup last year, arresting civilian leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Southeast Asian country's economy has also tanked since the coup, which halted a decade of political and economic reforms.
Central bank officials did not answer calls seeking comment on the latest rules.
Foreign chambers of commerce were also not immediately available for comment.
The plunge in the value of the kyat has helped drive up food and fuel prices in Myanmar.
Myanmar's central bank has announced a series of measures aimed at relieving pressure on the kyat including ordering businesses to deposit foreign currency at local banks and exchanging them within one working day and instructing ministries and local governments not to use foreign currencies for domestic transactions.
Local companies and banks have also been told to suspend and reschedule repayment of foreign loans.
The official central bank exchange rate for the kyat is currently set at 1,850 per dollar, but the level has tended to be well out of line with the unofficial rate.