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Myanmar orders foreign money held by banks changed to kyats

BANGKOK (AP) – An order by Myanmar’s central bank that all foreign currency in bank accounts must be converted into the local currency has many in the military-ruled country worried over potential losses.

Businesses and individuals were told in a notice issued on Sunday that as of Monday they must convert dollars and other foreign currency into kyats within one day or face legal consequences.

Foreign currency can only be sent overseas with government approval, it said. It said further details of the rules would follow.

Myanmar’s military leaders are facing a raft of sanctions after they seized power on February 1, 2021, ousting the country’s elected government. The order to hand over foreign exchange suggests the authorities may be running short of hard currency needed to pay debts and purchase key supplies such as oil, gas and weapons.

More details on Thursday’s Borneo Bulletin