The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) issued a letter on 1 March 2021 imposing weekly withdrawal limits of MMK 2million for individuals and MMK20 million for corporate account holders. In reality due to a lack of liquidity, most banks have set their own withdrawal limits significantly lower than those set by the CBM, making it challenging to withdraw cash from banks, exchanging Myanmar Kyat to foreign currency and remitting funds overseas.
Myanmar has been especially badly affected by the latest wave of Covid-19 cases, with the health system struggling, hospitals running out of capacity and oxygen supplies running out.
Supporting the effort to provide relief from the effects of the latest Covid-19 outbreak, the CBM issued a letter on 28 July 2021, exempting withdrawals of cash for the purposes of paying for drugs, oxygen, oxygen generators, other consumables and equipment relating to Covid-19 and for the payment of quarantine related expenses from the previously imposed cash withdrawal limits. To obtain such an exemption customers need to present the banks with suitable evidence, however specific evidence has not been stipulated.
The practical impact will have to be seen, with the banks facing a liquidity crisis, they will likely still find it difficult to have sufficient cash available to be able to satisfy customer demand.