Monday, 16 May 2022

KBZ Bank attained solid profitability to emerge as strongest bank in Myanmar in 2021

5 min read

As the largest bank in Myanmar, KBZ Bank demonstrated good profitability, evidenced by the 12% increase in its net profit, 14% return on equity, and the improvement in its cost to income ratio.

Singapore, 9 February 2022 KBZ Bank topped the ranking of Strongest Banks By Balance Sheet in Myanmar in 2021. KBZ Bank and other leading institutions were recognised at The Asian Banker Strongest Banks By Balance Sheet (Strongest Banks) Briefing and Recognition Virtual Ceremony 2021.

The comprehensive annual evaluation captures the quality and sustainability of the balance sheets of banks in the Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East, and Africa regions. The ranking is based on a detailed and transparent scorecard that evaluates commercial banks and financial holding companies in six areas of balance sheet financial performance, namely the ability to scale, balance sheet growth, risk profile, profitability, asset quality, and liquidity.

KBZ Bank emerged as the strongest bank in Myanmar in 2021

KBZ Bank is the largest and strongest bank in Myanmar. Total assets of the bank expanded by 9% to $9.8 billion in 2020, compared to $6.1 billion for AYA Bank, the second-largest bank in the country. Total assets of CB Bank, Myanma Apex Bank, and Yoma Bank stood at $5.5 billion, $4.7 billion, and $2.5 billion, respectively. The net loans of KBZ Bank accounted for 25% of the aggregate net loans of Myanmar's banking system, while its customer deposits also accounted for 21% of the total. The bank started an ambitious transformation journey in 2017, which led to the adoption of new technologies and enhanced corporate governance and management.

The bank achieved solid profitability despite the pandemic  

KBZ Bank delivered a good performance in profitability despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 14% return on equity (ROE) and a 0.7% return on assets (ROA) in 2020. AYA Bank posted lower ROE and ROA of 10.5% and 0.29%, respectively. The ROE and ROA of CB Bank were also lower at 10.2% and 0.34%, respectively. KBZ Bank managed to grow its net profit by 12% in 2020, while AYA Bank and CB Bank saw net profit decline by 5% and 13%, respectively. Meanwhile, the cost to income ratio of KBZ Bank improved further in 2020.

Promote financial inclusion through KBZPay

KBZPay, a mobile wallet introduced by the bank in August 2018, has attracted over six million users and 290,000 merchants and agents within two years of launch, making it the leading mobile wallet in Myanmar. KBZPay has launched a series of services and products such as KBZPay Life Insurance, KBZPay Donations, KBZPay Quick Access Loans, and KBZPay Shopper Loans, which enabled many people across the country to access essential financial and digital services for the first time. It has served as an innovative and secure platform for digital donations since July 2019, and the donation amount through KBZPay reached MMK 320.9 million ($0.2 million) in the second half of 2020. 

For video of the Strongest Banks by Balance Sheet Briefing, click here

For the evaluation criteria and full ranking list of Strongest Banks click here


About the Strongest Banks By Balance Sheet programme

The Asian Banker Strongest Banks By Balance Sheet is an annual assessment of the financial and business performance of the banking industry in the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa regions. The assessment ranks the top performing banks in each country or territory by strength, an evaluation that is based on a belief that a strong bank demonstrates long-term profitability from its core businesses.

The scope and coverage for The Asian Banker Strongest Banks By Balance Sheet come from both the mature markets and the most promising emerging markets in the regions. The focus of the assessment is on commercial banks and financial holding companies with a significant proportion of activity in commercial banking. The assessment does not include central banks, policy banks or finance companies.

The winners are determined using a scorecard approach based on six crucial performance indicators rated on a scale of 0-5: scale, balance sheet growth, risk profile, profitability, asset quality, and liquidity.


About The Asian Banker

The Asian Banker is the region’s most authoritative provider of strategic business intelligence to the financial services community. The global research company has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Dubai, as well as representatives in London, New York, and San Francisco. It has a business model that revolves around three core business lines: publications, research services and forums. The company’s website is


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