The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) will allow foreign bank subsidiaries in the country in accordance with the law and will allow foreign bank branches to open up to a suitable extent, said Deputy governor U Soe Thein during a press conference on May 17. It is aimed to enable local businesses to gain better access to loans for expansion and to improve their financial conditions. Foreign subsidiaries will be received more opportunities than branches. Existing branches of foreign banks will also be permitted to operate as subsidiaries. Retail banking will also be permitted for subsidiaries and will have full permission to function as local banks. The difference is a branch can be shut down easily if needed whereas for subsidiaries, which are set up separately, it can sell, transfer or divide the shares. Foreign banks have also been permitted to invest up to 35 percent of the total amount of capital if the local private banks want to establish joint ventures with them.