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Myanmar Crisis

Myanmar tightens grip on forex rates to combat kyat slippage

Central bank reinstates old regulation but concerns arise in growing black market

The Central Bank of Myanmar, which is under the military's control, is wrestling with a steady depreciation of the country's currency, the kyat. (Source photos by Reuters)

BANGKOK/YANGON -- With Myanmar's currency weakening against the dollar since the military takeover in February, its central bank has reinstated a set exchange rate for the kyat, tightening the regime's grip over financial transactions.

According to a state-owned newspaper, the Central Bank of Myanmar held an online conference on Aug. 3 and deputy governor Win Thaw said that the regulation -- under which banks and money changers have to keep the kyat-dollar rate within 0.8% of a reference rate it sets -- is "keep exchange rate stable and commodity prices not to be increased amid the spreading coronavirus infection." The paper also said the central bank had secured the consent of 44 private banks, including foreign banks.

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