KBZ Bank Listed Among ‘World Finance 100’ Top Firms

By The Irrawaddy 20 January 2016

RANGOON — Burma’s largest privately owned lender, Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank, has been listed as one of the world’s 100 leading companies in 2015 by World Finance, a London-based magazine.

The “World Finance 100” list of companies and individuals “presents the new business elite, made up of those whose vision and enterprise shapes the conceptual landscape of finance, business and technology,” according to the magazine, which announced the winners at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday.

Companies from the banking, energy, financial services, insurance, legal, media, technology and telecoms sectors are included. KBZ Bank, which has more than 100 branches across Burma, has been grouped alongside global business titans like Apple Inc. from the United States, China-based Alibaba and Toyota of Japan, among others.

“Myanmar’s leading financial services provider has been growing in stature over recent years, bringing international banking standards to the country’s various banking markets,” World Finance stated on its website.

“Underscoring customer engagement and standards in product delivery, the company has highlighted the importance of continually raising expectations in order to fend off competition and continue to lead the industry.”

In December, World Finance also awarded KBZ Bank three marks of excellence: “Banker of the Year Award in Asia 2015,” “Best Commercial Bank in Myanmar 2015” and “Best Retail Bank in Myanmar 2015.”

The international recognition is no small feat for a company in an industry, banking, that is considered one of Burma’s least developed.

Equally notable, the World Finance listing comes in spite of its chairman Aung Ko Win’s presence for a time on the Australian and European Union’s sanctions lists, targeted for his ties to Burma’s former military regime. His name was removed shortly after the government of President Thein Sein assumed power in 2011.