FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — Most Burma watchers will rightly have their eyes fixed on this Sunday’s much-anticipated by-elections and the prospect of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi entering parliament. However, others will be crunching the numbers after the government announced significant currency reforms to come into force the same day.
A managed floating exchange rate will begin on April 1, for the kyat, allowing market forces to value the currency with input from the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM). The decision wasn’t unexpected. Importantly, this will end decades of dual currency valuations by the central government and the black market that enable corruption and money laundering to flourish through semi-official and unofficial rates.