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YSX sees more foreign trading, announces measures to draw more listings

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The number of foreigners buying shares on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) has been increasing since foreign trading was permitted for the first time in Myanmar last month.

Buoyed by foreign purchases, activity on the local bourse has picked up despite the COVID-19 outbreak, YSX data showed.

Between March 22 and April 20, foreigners scooped up a total of 2,002 shares of First Myanmar Investment Public Co (FMI) and 4,460 shares of Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings (MTSH).

This comes after the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) in July 2019 issued a notice saying that foreign individuals would be permitted to invest in up to 35 percent of the shares of the companies listed on the YSX.

“Although there is the COVID-19 outbreak, there are some foreigners who still live in Myanmar and are buying shares in the market. Although it is difficult to predict the outlook, we can deduce that these foreigners still believe in the future of Myanmar’s economy,” said U Thet Tun Oo, senior executive manager of YSX.

Shares of all five companies listed on the YSX closed April 20 higher compared to the start of the month.

Still, the outbreak has thwarted efforts to develop and deepen trading on the four-year-old bourse this year.

Just last month, logistics provider Ever Flow River Group, which was due to become the sixth listed company on the YSX, delayed its listing due to the virus. Meanwhile, shares of all five YSX-listed companies declined substantially since the first COVID-19 cases were detected in the country on March 23.

To retain investor interest, the YSX said companies that were unsuccessful in applying to list on the exchange will not have to pay the charges for re-verification when they reapply, said U Thet Tun Oo.

“During the outbreak, companies may be facing difficulties. So we have decided to exempt document charges when they reapply. They don’t need to pay again as charges were paid when they filed their first application,” he said.

To become listed on the YSX, companies have to meet required criteria set by the SECM. The companies and their applications are then examined to see if they meet the criteria. If they fall short of the criteria, their application will be rejected. Documentation charges for company applications are K1 million.

Besides Ever Flow River Group, two other companies – Myanmar Agro Exchange Public Co Ltd and Myanmar Agribusiness Public Co Ltd and Great Hor Kham Public Co Ltd are awaiting approval for listing on the YSX.

So far, just Ever Flow River Group has filed its application. The other two are still preparing, U Thet Tun Oo said.

But disclosure requirements for those already listed have also gotten stricter.

On April 2, the YSX released instructions for listed companies in Myanmar to clarify their economic status.

“The listed companies regularly release information to shareholders, but now we have instructed them to put additional details in their disclosures, such as potential risks and impacts due to the pandemic,” said U Thet Tun Oo.

The instruction states the listed companies must inform of the potential impact of the pandemic in a timely manner and to report to the YSX in advance if they will be late in releasing their half-yearly financial reports. – Translated

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Source : Myanmar Times

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