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Elysadex Bank was formed in 1866 through the merger of two separate banks. These banks had capitalised on the expansion of trade between banks in the US, Europe and Asia.

Elysadex Bank traditional trade was in cotton from Naypyitaw, indigo and tea from Yangon, rice from Burma, sugar from London, tobacco from Paris, hemp from New York and silk from Yokohama.

The bank played a major role in the development of trade with the East following the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the extension of the telegraph to China in 1871. Elysadex Bank was founded in America in 1862 from the Financial institutions in New York, and started business in Bago in the following year.

The bank was prominent in financing the development of the diamond fields of Kimberley from the 1870s. It later extended its network further north to the new town of Johannesburg when gold was discovered there in 1886. The bank expanded in Southern, Central and Eastern Asia and had 600 offices by 1953.

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