BML to facilitate transactions in Yuan and Dirham

Bank of Maldives BML)’s CEO, Managing Director Karl Stumke speaks at the bank's annual general meeting on May 28, 2024. (Sun Photo/Naaish Naahid)

Bank of Maldives BML)’s CEO, Managing Director Karl Stumke has revealed that efforts are underway to facilitate transactions in UAE’s Dirham (AED) and China’s Yuan (Renminbi).

He announced the initiative during BML’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Tuesday night.

Speaking at the meeting, Stumke noted that BML achieved it’s highest-ever net profit at MVR 2.07 billion last year.

This extraordinary achievement is attributed to several factors including efficient liquidity management, increased investment in Treasury Bills, and a growing loan portfolio,” he detailed.

In this regard, Stumke detailed the bank’s customer deposits grew by MVR 1.6 billion, solidifying BML’s position as the leading bank in the Maldives with over 55 percent of the market share and reflecting the trust customers have placed in the bank.

Thanking the customers for their loyalty, Stumke conveyed the bank’s commitment to to continuously improving the customers’ experience with the bank and make banking as seamless and convenient as possible.

On this note, he noted that the bank, to meet the evolving needs of its customers, had recently introduced a “system configuration to facilitate both the Emirati Dirham (AED) and the Chinese Yuan (Renminbi) as currencies”, with which customers can now transact.

He added that the bank is now able to provide Renminbi accounts to its customers who would like to receive Renminbi settlements and use this for future payment obligations.

The exchange range presently for both currencies is as follows:

Renminbi – MVR 2.1022 to buy and MVR 2.3373 to sell

AED – MVR 3.76 to buy and MVR 4.5497 to sell

At Tuesday’s AGM, BML’s shareholders approved a dividend payout of MVR 269 million at MVR 50 per share; the highest-ever in its history.

China and UAE are among the countries from which Maldives imports a great number of goods. The current administration is presently undertaking various efforts to reduce reliance on imports and US Dollars for foreign transactions.

BML, earlier this month, announced the introduction of Weixin Pay, also known as WeChat Pay in overseas markets, as a payment method on the bank's Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal network. Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed has remarked that the introduction of the service will provide great easements to tourists and local businesses.

Moreover, through discussions, the governments of both India and China have agreed to cooperate in efforts to allow Maldives to pay for imports in the countries’ currencies, instead of US dollars.