Kyat weakens to K3,400 against greenback in grey market

Kyat depreciated to K3,400 against the US dollar in shady dealings on 23 November. The ex­change rate moved up to K3,425 on 23 November from K3,230 on 1 November.


Nonetheless, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) set the reference exchange rate at K2,100 against the US dollar.


The CBM has set the cur­rency trading band at 0.3 per cent for the kyat to fluctuate between these two specified upper and lower exchange rates for trans­actions, selling or buying, starting from 10 August 2022.


Financial institutions includ­ing banks and informal money exchanges have been instructed to set a dollar value at K2,094 for buying and K2,106 for selling. However, the over-the-counter kyat-dollar exchange rate was K3,375 for buying and K3,425 for selling on 23 November in the grey market.


Despite a large price gap be­tween the reference rate of the CBM and the unofficial market rate, there is no way for the CBM to set the new price, as per the notification released in May 2023.


The dollar gained to around K4,000 on 19 August 2023. Un­der Section 9 of the Foreign Ex­change Management Law, only those entities holding foreign exchange dealer licences are allowed to deal in foreign cur­rency and traveller’s cheques. Those holding foreign curren­cies without valid licences and permits will face legal actions under the law, according to the CBM’s notification released on 21 August 2023.


According to Notification 7/2014 dated 30 September 2014 issued by the Central Bank of My­anmar, stating that under Clause 15 of the Foreign Exchange Man­agement Law, domestic residents are allowed to keep US$10,000 in maximum or equivalent amounts of foreign currencies for six months. If those foreign curren­cies that have been unused for over six months have to be ex­changed in local currency at the market price through authorized dealers or deposited into bank accounts. Those illegally holding foreign currencies are to face legal actions under the Foreign Exchange Management Law, the CBM warned again. — NN/EM