Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Central Bank’s Very First FX Auction

(The Second April release from Central Bank of Myanmar for its inaugural FX auction.)

The Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) today announced that Maynamar’s exchange rate regime has moved from a peg of Ks. 8.50847 to the Special Drawing Right (SDR) to a managed floating exchange rate. This announcement came with the results of the first foreign currency auction held in Yangon, Myanmar on 2 April 2012.

From today the value of the Myanmar Kyat will be determined by the financial markets with the Central Bank of Myanmar reserving the right to periodically intervene to mitigate against undue exchange rate volatility and to support the liquidity of the Kyat in the foreign exchange market.

The CBM has no predetermined target for the level of the Kyat exchange rate or its trading range. The CBM expects the value of kyat to fluctuate with the supply and demand for Kyat in the market consistent with what should be expected in a floating exchange rate regime.

The CBM will hold daily two-way FX auctions (where participants may submit orders to sell and/or buy FX) of US dollars open to FX Authorized Dealer banks. Currently 11 private sector banks hold authorized dealer licenses and are eligible to participate in the auctions. In due course three state owned banks that hold FX authorized dealer licenses will be allowed to participate in the auctions along with the private banks.

The cut-off rate in the daily auction will be used as the CBM reference exchange rate for that day’s trading. The CBM reference rate will, for the time being, be used to set the mid rate in the retail Thein Phyu market and in the wholesale FX authorized dealer (i.e. interbank) market.

Actual exchange rates quoted by individual retail Thein Phyu dealers currently may vary between +/- 0.8 percent of the CBM reference rate while for wholesale FX authorized dealers the maximum quoted spread is currently +/- 0.3 percent. The Thein Phyu Pricing Committee can reset their mid-rate in the afternoon should market conditions change significantly from the time of that day’s auctions.

As the FX market develops the maximum permitted quoted spreads and the frequency of the two-ways FX auctions may change to reflect market circumstances.

The inaugural two-ways FX auction received bids for US$ 640,000 and offers of US$ 350,000 with a cut-off rate of 818 USD/MMK. The CBM purchased US$ 40,000 at the cut-off rate to clear the market at 818.

CBM's original press release in Burmese.

CBM's original press release in English