DBS denies service disruption linked to Myanmar treasury bond sales

SINGAPORE – DBS Bank on Wednesday (Nov 24) denied that the disruption to its digital services was linked to the sale of treasury bonds in Myanmar.

DBS and POSB users with Singapore-based accounts were affected after services were disrupted on Tuesday.

The bank said the issue was resolved on Wednesday morning, but it recurred later in the day.

The digital disruption is one of the worst for South-east Asia’s biggest lender in a decade.

“There have been rumours that DBS’ digibanking service disruption is linked to the sale of treasury bonds by Myanmar’s National Unity Government. There is no truth to this. DBS has not sold any such bonds,” the bank said in a tweet, debunking rumours on Wednesday afternoon.

A number of news outlets in Myanmar reported on Tuesday that the disruption was caused by the high volume of transactions as Myanmar nationals used DBS and POSB online services to buy zero-interest bonds issued by the National Unity Government (NUG).

Reuters news agency on Tuesday reported that the NUG had raised US$6.3 million (S$8.6 million) on the opening day of its inaugural bond sale on Monday to mainly Myanmar nationals overseas.

Even though the bonds in denominations of $100, $500, $1,000 and $5,000 with two-year tenures generate no interest income for buyers, US$3 million worth were sold in the first three hours, the NUG was quoted as saying, increasing to US$6.3 million by the end of the day.

The overall target is to raise US$1 billion for a “revolution” to oust the military government that seized power in a coup in February.

The coup ended a decade of tentative democracy and economic reform in the country, and thousands of opponents of the military takeover have been arrested. The NUG, a broad alliance of anti-coup groups, has declared a nationwide rebellion against the junta.

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