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World’s leading money-transfer company, Western Union Co. (WU - Analyst Report), has announced the introduction of its international money-transfer service in Myanmar. The company will provide this service through an alliance with 6 banks that operate in that region.

The 6 banks include, Co-operative Bank, First Private Bank, Myanmar Apex Bank, Myanmar Livestock and Fisheries Development Bank, Myanmar Oriental Bank and United Amara Bank. Apart from these banks, Kanbawza Bank, the largest private bank in Myanmar with over 90 locations nation-wide, has also entered into an agreement with Western Union.

Western Union’s initiative to foray into Myanmar, a South-East Asian country, follows the withdrawal of investment and trade bans in the country by the U.S., European Union and Australia. The company believes that Myanmar holds attractive market opportunities. It is estimated that more than 2 million residents will be employed in foreign countries, which in turn will likely generate demand for the expatriate Myanmarese to remit funds back home.

Western Union has collaborated with these 6 banks as these banks have been operating for a long time and have successful operations in the country. These banks have a combined network of more than 150 locations and will provide an easy reach to a local clientele. Western Union’s money-transfer service will now enable Myanmarese to send money back home securely and at a reasonable cost.

The recent introduction of international money-transfer service in Myanmar is a testimony that Western Union is aggressively expanding internationally.. Rival MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI - Analyst Report) is also expanding its international presence. Mention about any such recent expansion.

Western Union currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We are also maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on its shares.

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