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10 June, 2015 08:55 AM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon opened its representative office in Yangon on Monday formally launching its operations in Myanmar, initially to offer Advisory Services to Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi businesses wishing to enter that country, and to arrange banking and advisory facilities, funds transfer and encashment services.
Commercial Bank is the first Sri Lankan bank to be granted a licence by the Central Bank of Myanmar to operate a Representative Office in the country.
The bank’s Representative Office, located at No 42 A, Pantra Street, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar was formally declared open by the bank’s Chairman Dharma Dheerasinghe, Managing Director/CEO Jegan Durairatnam, Acting Sri Lankan Ambassador to Myanmar Hemantha Swarnathilake and other senior officials. Sajeeve Piyaratne is the Manager of the Bank’s Yangon Representative Office in Myanmar.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dheerasinghe said: “We believe that there is significant potential to increase biIateral trade between Myanmar and Sri Lanka, and that there is interest among Sri Lanka’s leading apparel exporters and other industries to set up operations in Myanmar. The presence of a Representative Office of Sri Lanka’s largest private bank would facilitate this process, and be mutually beneficial to the two countries.”
Durairatnam said: “We have noted that the banking sector in Myanmar is expanding rapidly. By opening a Representative Office, it would also be possible for Commercial Bank to build closer relationships with Myanmar banks and offer them its experience in very successfully moving from manual and mechanical systems to high-tech banking.”
Myanmar is Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s second overseas operation after Bangladesh, which the Bank entered in July 2003, with the acquisition of the Bangladesh operations of Credit Agricole Indosuez (CAI), its first ever acquisition of a banking operation.
Today, Commercial Bank’s operations in Bangladesh have grown to 18 outlets, and have won numerous awards including the Financial Mirror-Robintex-Partex Business Award for ‘The Best Foreign Bank’, the Financial News Services (FNS) Business Award for the ‘Best Performing Foreign Bank’ in Bangladesh and the ICMAB, National Best Corporate Award.
The only Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the top 1,000 banks of the world for the past four years, and ranked the Best Bank in Sri Lanka by FinanceAsia in 2015, Commercial Bank is the winner of multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s best bank over several years.
The bank was ranked the most valuable private sector brand in Sri Lanka in 2014 and operates a network of 242 branches and 610 ATMs in Sri Lanka. It was adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and 2014 and has been rated the Most Respected Bank in Sri Lanka by LMD, a leading business magazine, for the past 10 years.
The bank has also been the second Most Respected Corporate entity in the country overall for the past four years in the LMD rankings, and has been rated No. 1 in Sri Lanka for Honesty in 2013 and 2014 by the magazine.

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