In a big first in Myanmar, the Yangon Stock Exchange opened today with half a dozen listed companies including First Myanmar Investment Co Ltd, First Private Bank, Myanmar Citizen Bank, Myanmar Thilawa Special Economic Zone, Myanmar Agricultural Business Public Corporation and Great Horkhan.
The six companies were chosen out of the 200-odd companies that had applied to be on the exchange. Originally the exchange was expected to be ready for business in October and the opening was subsequently deferred to December.
Dr Maung Maung Thein, chairman, Securities Exchange Commission, said, the listed companies have been advised to take it slow. “The Yangon Stock Exchange will continue to work on the formalities of trading on the exchange. We have told the companies to take time to sell their shares (on the exchange),” he said.
According to him, the actual trading would start around February 2016.
The underwriter license has been granted to a company, which is a joint venture between Kanbawza and Stirling Coleman Capital Limited; and an independent corporate finance advisory firm headquartered in Singapore. Nine other companies are in the process of being selected as underwriters.
Trading hours of the Yangon Stock Exchange will have two matchings in a day with order entry periods being from 9:30 to 11:00 and 11:00 to 13:00.
The Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre (MSEC) is a joint venture between the state-owned Myanmar Economic Bank and Daiwa Securities and Japan Exchange Group, a company that operates the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Dr Maung Maung Thein said, the MSEC is also planning to promote the stock exchange and educate the public about it .
Meanwhile, the current Company Act is being revised to allow foreign investors to trade in Myanmar stocks.
Some of the Yangon Stock Exchange’s listing criteria for a public company is in accordance with Myanmar Securities and Exchange Law. According to the provisions, it should be a registered company, conducting business in line with the public company’s procedures, and have at least 100 share holders. Also, it should have a paid-up capital shall be the minimum of K500 million on the date of application.