Stock exchange service providers face staffing trouble

The Yangon Stock Exchange is slated to start by October, though the securities industry faces a shortage of skilled workers, according to experts.

Working on capital markets requires specialised knowledge that is currently in short supply, given Myanmar has never had a modern stock exchange.

Deputy finance minister U Maung Maung Thein previously said that service providers on the exchange will face challenges finding suitable staff. Experts say this shortage will complicate efforts to launch robust market businesses, particularly in the YSX’s early years.

“Even the number of Myanmar citizens who returned from abroad and have experience in the financial sector are relatively few,” said U Aung Thura, CEO of Thura Swiss, a research, consulting and capital markets firm.

“There is also another choice to foreign experts, but they have zero experience regarding Myanmar,” he said. “It will take some time to get skilled workers in the financial markets.”

Government officials and their private-sector counterparts are ramping up plans to open the Yangon Stock Exchange later this year. The deadline has passed for local firms or foreign-local joint ventures to submit bids as brokers, dealers, underwriters and consultants, with winners expected to be announced in April.

Domestic knowledge of market operation is already strained, as there are few market professionals and plenty of private sector firms looking to expand.

For the markets to be a success, it necessary that firms are able to hire experienced stock market professionals, said Ko Mynn Nyi Nyi, a financial adviser from Inter Pan Myanmar.
“As far as I see, most people in the financial markets still lack experience,” he said. “Who would dare to invest in this kind of businesess [given the challenges]?”

Extensive skills training is required to create capable staff, he added.

Likewise, U Aung Thura said security firms are on the lookout for employs who can handle business and give instruction, while training those who have interest in the sector or graduated with degrees in those subjects.

Among the four types of service providers – underwriters, brokers, dealers and consultants – underwriters require the most talented workers, as the underwriting business is the most complex, he added.

Business is also expected to be slow at first for service providers, who must also face the expense of investing in human capital. But after about three years the market could be much successful, according to U Aung Thura.

Source: Myanmar Times

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