Exchange Commission Mulls More Licenses as YSX Preps for Trade

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 1 February 2016

RANGOON — At least three to four more companies are contenders to be listed for the newly formed Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Supervisory Committee and Deputy Finance Minister Maung Maung Thein said on Thursday.

The first group of YSX-listed companies was announced in December, but trading is not expected to begin until March, Maung Maung Thein has previously said. He added that several additional companies would also be issued licenses to participate in YSX transactions by then, though he declined to reveal any further details.

“We’re considering another three or four public companies for the second round,” he said.

When YSX launches trade in March, shares will be made available to First Myanmar Investment, Myanmar Citizens Bank, Thilawa Holdings Plc, Myanmar Agribusiness Public Company Limited, First Private Bank and Great Hor Kham.

Thet Tun Oo, director of the Securities Exchange Commission Myanmar (SECM), said that he is unable to predict which companies will be selected, given that there are over 200 possibilities.

“I think trading can begin in March, before the next government assumes power, but I’m not sure that the second batch of companies will be announced before April,” he said.

So far, KBZ Bank and the MSEC are the only two companies that have been issued licenses. Several unsanctioned trading outlets, particularly on social media, have come about ahead of the official trade launch, some presenting themselves as authorized channels.

The stock exchange is expected to dramatically ramp up Burma’s financial capacities and offer stability to an otherwise poorly regulated and fickle investment sector.