Myanmar opens Yangon Stock Exchange to foreigners

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Currently, five companies are listed at the Yangon Stock Exchange © Arno Maierbrugger

Myanmar will allow direct foreign ownership of shares at the Yangon Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar said in a note on July 12. Foreign individuals and locally-registered entities of foreigners would be allowed to invest in securities up to a share of 35 per cent of a listed company.

The move is widely seen as an attempt to throw a lifeline to the country’s only bourse where trade volumes have been declining in the past. No timeline was given by the securities commission, but Ko Aung Thaw Zin, research analyst at business information firm Frontier Myanmar Research, expects such trading would start by year end.

“It’s so far unclear whether both resident and non-resident foreigners will be permitted to trade. I understand the securities commission has already prepared the follow-on regulations, which are likely to allow only resident foreigners,” he told the Myanmar Times.

The opening, when implemented, should spark interest from retail investors based in Myanmar, Ko Aung Thaw Zin said. But institutional investors, including global asset and fund managers, are likely to be interested only when the Yangon Stock Exchange has significantly more listings and a broader diversity of sectors represented by its listed equities.

The exchange was founded in 2015 with the help of Japan’s Daiwa Securities Group and the Japan Exchange Group, replacing the Myanmar Securities Exchange Center, a rather irrelevant over-the-counter market for just two rarely traded securities.

The Yangon Stock Exchange, since trading commenced in June 2016, has now five securities listed, which are:

First Myanmar Investment Public Co Ltd
Myanmar Tilawa SEZ Holdings Public Co Ltd
Myanmar Citizens Bank Ltd
First Private Bank Ltd
TMH Telecom Public Co Ltd

Overall market capitalisation of the five companies is currently around 600 billion kyat (approximately $400 million). The total share trading volume at the bourse was 4.58 billion kyat ($3.05 million) as of June, 2019, since trading began.

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Currently, five companies are listed at the Yangon Stock Exchange © Arno Maierbrugger Myanmar will allow direct foreign ownership of shares at the Yangon Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar said in a note on July 12. Foreign individuals and locally-registered entities of foreigners would be allowed to invest in securities up to a share of 35 per cent of a listed company. The move is widely seen as an attempt to throw a lifeline to the country’s only bourse where trade volumes have been declining in the past. No timeline was given by the securities commission,...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Auto Draft
Currently, five companies are listed at the Yangon Stock Exchange © Arno Maierbrugger

Myanmar will allow direct foreign ownership of shares at the Yangon Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar said in a note on July 12. Foreign individuals and locally-registered entities of foreigners would be allowed to invest in securities up to a share of 35 per cent of a listed company.

The move is widely seen as an attempt to throw a lifeline to the country’s only bourse where trade volumes have been declining in the past. No timeline was given by the securities commission, but Ko Aung Thaw Zin, research analyst at business information firm Frontier Myanmar Research, expects such trading would start by year end.

“It’s so far unclear whether both resident and non-resident foreigners will be permitted to trade. I understand the securities commission has already prepared the follow-on regulations, which are likely to allow only resident foreigners,” he told the Myanmar Times.

The opening, when implemented, should spark interest from retail investors based in Myanmar, Ko Aung Thaw Zin said. But institutional investors, including global asset and fund managers, are likely to be interested only when the Yangon Stock Exchange has significantly more listings and a broader diversity of sectors represented by its listed equities.

The exchange was founded in 2015 with the help of Japan’s Daiwa Securities Group and the Japan Exchange Group, replacing the Myanmar Securities Exchange Center, a rather irrelevant over-the-counter market for just two rarely traded securities.

The Yangon Stock Exchange, since trading commenced in June 2016, has now five securities listed, which are:

First Myanmar Investment Public Co Ltd
Myanmar Tilawa SEZ Holdings Public Co Ltd
Myanmar Citizens Bank Ltd
First Private Bank Ltd
TMH Telecom Public Co Ltd

Overall market capitalisation of the five companies is currently around 600 billion kyat (approximately $400 million). The total share trading volume at the bourse was 4.58 billion kyat ($3.05 million) as of June, 2019, since trading began.

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