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Burma Banks Limit Withdrawals - 2003-02-18


The Burmese government is blaming what it calls malicious rumor-mongers after a run on bank deposits forced it to impose limits on withdrawals beginning today (Monday).

Under the new rules, individuals may withdraw no more than 500,000 kyat a week -- about 81,000 dollars at the official rate and 450 dollars on the black market.

Observers say the run on deposits in the past several days began after at least 14 financial services companies stopped paying investors. The companies had offered customers rates of between 60 and 70 percent, as opposed to 10 percent at state banks.

Last Monday, the Burmese Central Bank assured investors that the banking system was on solid ground.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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