Solemn stone central bank turned stock exchange
Bank of British India
This solemn stone edifice on the corner of Sule Pagoda Road and Bank Street was the Rangoon Branch of the Bank of British India. It opened in 1937, coincidently the year Burma separated from British India, but the bank was still the de-facto monetary authority and kept the rupee as Burma’s currency.
In the WWII RBI’s Rangoon branch fell into enemy hands, but the bank’s staff had time to prepare: all vaults were empty when the Japanese marched into the city. After independence, the RBI returned to its former offices, but they had to do without water, electricity or working telephone lines. Later, after independence this became Burma’s central bank.
Yangon Stock Exchange
After decades of being closed off from international financial markets, the Yangon Stock Exchange opened in 2016, set up as a joint venture between Japanese capital groups andthe state-owned Myanmar Economic Bank. Four years into business, the stock market is still quiet, only five companies are listed and daily trading volume is limited, but things may change for the better when foreign firms will also be allowed to trade.