Local businesses responded with hope when the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) announced that foreign banks would be allowed to operate in the local market. Domestic banks do not offer them long-term or large loans, and the interest rates they charge are far higher than those charged by international banks due to higher operating costs. CBM has established a selection committee which will allow up to ten foreign banks to operate in the country. To protect Myanmar banks, the foreign banks would initially not be allowed to handle kyat. A selection committee established by the CBM was accepting applications and would decide by the end of the year which foreign banks would receive operating licences, said U Win Myint, the secretary of the Pyithu Hluttaw’s Banks and Monetary Development Committee.