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Expanding its money transfer services in the relatively untapped markets of Myanmar, MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI - Analyst Report) announced its alliance with three banking giants −Asia Green Development (AGD) Bank, Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB) and Tun Foundation Bank (TFB).

While TFB is a large bank operational for over two decades now, MCB is a publicly-held bank. AGD Bank is also a wing of the largest banking business in Myanmar. Therefore, the alliance with these three banks will boost MoneyGram’s money transfer services in 10 of 14 states of Myanmar, also helping consumers remit funds from over 80 countries across the globe.

Myanmar had observed over five decades of military rule. However, the shift toward democracy has now prompted the need to be a part of the globalization, in order to boost its economic fundamentals. Hence, MoneyGram sees enough opportunity in this untapped economy.

Moreover, since tourism is a significant revenue driver for Myanmar, it lays incremental growth opportunities for the global money transfer service provider in the future. The World Bank data also validates MoneyGram’s growth potential in Myanmar, according to which there were over 510,000 global immigrants from this country in 2010. Only countries like Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Australia and the U.S. account for over 2 million Myanmar immigrants.

However, MoneyGram is not the first to foray into this region. In September last year, arch-rival Western Union Co. (WU - Analyst Report) penetrated the Myanmar markets through an alliance with the Myanmar Oriental Bank.

Nonetheless, there are valued business opportunities that lay unlocked in Myanmar, which coupled with MoneyGram’s strong position in the global money transfer market should drive growth.

We believe the penetration into Myanmar also validates MoneyGram’s strategic growth policy of exploring growth opportunities and ensuring safe and user-friendly payment solutions across the developing economies in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and African regions.

While MoneyGram carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), Western Union holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other outperformers of the financial sector include Fleetcor Tech Inc. (FLT - Snapshot Report) and Glacier Bancorp Inc. (GBCI - Snapshot Report), both of which carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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