World's leading money-transfer company,
Western Union Co.
), has announced the introduction of its international
money-transfer service in Myanmar. The company will provide this
service through an alliance with the Myanmar Oriental Bank.
Western Union's initiative to foray into Myanmar, a South-East
Asian country comes a week following the withdrawal of investment
and trade bans in the country by the U.S., European Union and
Australia. It sees an attractive market opportunity in Myanmar
since it is estimated that more than 2 million residents of Myanmar
will be employed in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia,
Singapore, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, US, Europe and Australia.
This is expected to generate huge remittance demand for the
expatriate Myanmarese to remit funds back home.
Western Union has chosen Oriental Bank, since the latter has a
fairly long history (19 years) of successful operation in the
country. It was also one of the first private banks to receive
authorization to carry out foreign currency services in the
country. The bank has a well established network in 19 locations in
Myanmar. The main cities served by the bank are Yangon, Mandalay,
Mawlamyaing and Monywa.
Western Union's money-transfer service will now enable
Myanmarese to send money back home securely and at a reasonable
Western Union is aggressively expanding its international money
transfer service. Last week, the company announced to introduce its
business-to-business money-transfer facility in three new regions -
Chile, Cyprus and Jordan.
Given the weakness in the western countries of Europe and the
U.S., Western Union contemplates revenue growth from the
Asia-Pacific region. The region accounts for 12% of the company's
total revenues. During the most recent concluded second
quarter, the company's Asia-Pacific region registered a revenue
growth of 4%.
MoneyGram International Inc.
) is also expanding its international presence. At the beginning of
this week, it announced a deal with Nova Bank to provide money
transfer service in Eastern Europe.
Western Union currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which
translates into a short-term Hold rating. We are also maintaining
our long-term 'Neutral' recommendation on its shares.
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