Yangon Stock Exchange to Launch in December

The Yangon Stock Exchange is set to launch on Dec. 9, an official said on Monday, after three years of preparations to modernize Burma’s financial sector.

Addressing CEOs and executive directors of ten underwriting firms, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Supervisory Committee and Deputy Finance Minister Maung Maung Thein said the exchange, known as YSX, will list about five companies at the time of its launch.

Financial industry sources said that FMI, MAPCO, First Private Bank, Asia Green Development Bank, Cooperative Bank, Forest Joint Venture Company and Thilawa Holdings Plc. are among those that may be listed.

Maung Maung Thein urged underwriters to put up capital before the end of December.

Joint ventures between domestic and foreign firms will be required to open separate bank accounts for USD and local currency and must maintain a minimum balance of 15 billion kyats (US$11,500).

Brokerage firms are required to commit to a 7 billion kyat (US$7 million) initial investment before applying, while dealing, underwriting and consulting firms must invest 10 billion, 15 billion and 30 million kyats, respectively.

The stock exchange—which is being developed by the state-owned and US-blacklisted Myanmar Economic Bank with two Japanese partners—is expected to be a major advancement in Burma’s financial field; offering stability to what has long been an unregulated and volatile investment landscape.

CBM’s partners, Tokyo Stock Exchange and Daiwa Securities Group, will own a 49 percent share in the $32 million investment.

Domestic business owners have largely welcomed the establishment of a stock exchange, though some criticized the lack of transparency throughout its development.

“The commission should have been more open before launching the YSX, because people need to know who will be listed,” said Zaw Lin Htut, CEO of Myanmar Payment Union. “It will take time as the rules and regulations are still unstable, and the commission needs to show why these companies were listed and why people should invest in them.

“Anyway, we welcome the YSX. Something is better than nothing,” he said.

Source: The Irrawaddy

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