RANGOON — Following earlier delays, shares trading at the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) kicked off on Friday, debuting one week before a new government comes to power in Burma.
The YSX officially “launched” in December, but shares since then had only been traded internally through dry-run testing. According to YSX officials, this delay was to ensure smooth operation of the new capital market.
Six firms are due to be listed on the YSX initially: First Myanmar Investment (FMI), Myanmar Citizens Bank, Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Limited, Myanmar Agribusiness Public Company Limited (Mapco), First Private Bank and Great Hor Kham.
On Friday, however, five of these firms were not yet ready for shares trading when FMI chairman Serge Pun joined Maung Maung Thein, head of the Myanmar Securities and Exchange Commission (SECM), to ring a golden bell signaling the long-awaited start to trading.
“Today, only shares for FMI [were] available,” said Thet Tun Oo, senior executive director of the YSX, adding that shares trading for the other five listed companies would be available at an as yet unknown future date.
The floor price for FMI shares began at 26,000 kyats (US$22) and shares traded at 31,000 kyats by the time trading ended Friday afternoon, with the stock having reached the upper limit of a daily 5,000 kyats floor and ceiling on stock price fluctuation that is in place to prevent volatility on the bourse.
Six securities companies—including Kanbawza (KBZ) Group of Companies, CB Securities, AYA Securities and the Myanmar Securities Exchange Center—have been selected as underwriters and will work with the YSX as liaisons between the listed companies and buyers and sellers.
The YSX is Burma’s first modern stock exchange. Its backers hope the new capital market will help spur growth in Burma’s once-moribund economy.