Central Bank to Appoint New Member

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 10 August 2016

Rangoon — A member of the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) economic committee has been put forward for the board of directors of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM).

Committee member Bo Bo Nge’s nomination came in a letter sent from President Htin Kyaw to Parliament on Tuesday. Upper House Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than welcomed discussion of the proposal.

Bo Bo Nge, 48, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Financial and Management Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He recently joined the NLD’s economic committee as a banking expert and is head of research and risk management at KBZ Bank.

Khin San Hlaing, Lower House lawmaker and secretary of Parliament’s Banks and Monetary Affairs Development Committee, said that parliamentarians would discuss Bo Bo Nge’s eligibility on Friday.

“I’d welcome him to the board of the Central Bank because it seems like it could use energetic new members to drive change,” she said.

“The Central Bank is an independent body under the law, but as I see it, they can’t work independently on some issues at this point,” she said, adding that the involvement of fresh, young experts was a good sign for the future.

Nine members serve on the board of directors: one governor, three deputy governors, and five banking experts who are nominated by the government.

Kyaw Kyaw Maung, 75, has served as governor of the CBM since 2013, and will serve a five year term. The other board members serve four year terms.

Bo Bo Nge would fill the post left by Maw Than, who was appointed auditor-general when the NLD government assumed power in April.

Other members of the CBM who were appointed under the former administration will finish their terms unless the Central Bank of Myanmar Law is amended to allow for reshuffling.

“Until the law is amended, the governor and deputy governors will continue to serve out their terms, even if the government doesn’t like their performace,” said an economist, who asked to remain anonymous.

The banking industry has welcomed Bo Bo Nge’s nomination, stating that because he is younger than the other members of the board, he can help the industry develop well into the future.

Zaw Lin Htut, chief executive officer of Myanmar Payment Union, said that it was good for the government to attempt to shake up the banking industry.

“Getting younger generations—who know more about technology and modern banking services—involved in the board of directors is a good move,” he said.