FMI Stock Prices Drop

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 7 July 2016

RANGOON — Four months after the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) began trading First Myanmar Investment (FMI) shares, the price has suffered a drop of 16 percent, putting the company’s stock at its lowest value yet.

On Thursday, share prices for FMI, one of Burma’s largest public companies, fell to 21,000 kyats (US$18), a decline from 25,000 kyats (more than $21) in June.

“FMI share prices are declining this month more than last month,” an official from the YSX told The Irrawaddy. The company opened trading on March 25 at 26,000 kyats per share, with stock peaking at 41,000 kyats ($35) one month later. Shares later stabilized at around 30,000 kyats (nearly $26).

According to the FMI’s official website, the FMI’s trade volume is 2,371 shares, reaching a value of more than 47,790,000 kyats (nearly $41,000). The market value of outstanding shares was listed at just over 493.8 billion kyats (nearly $423 million) on Thursday.

Tun Tun, chief financial officer of FMI, told the local 7 Day Daily newspaper on Wednesday that one explanation for falling prices could be the international impact of the recent “Brexit” vote in the United Kingdom—a referendum held in late June in which the British public voted to leave the European Union (EU).

“Like other international markets, here we are directly affected by Britain,” he told the Burmese media outlet.

However, local economist Aung Ko Ko disputed this claim, pointing out that such external circumstances would not likely affect a local stock exchange market in Burma, particularly since the country does not currently have strong economic ties to Britain.

“If some [Burmese] companies have relationships with EU companies, it might have some impact. In my view, the there may be other reasons why the FMI’s prices have declined,” Aung Ko Ko said.

One explanation, he said, could be that the government—the market regulator—is limiting the minimum and maximum number of shares to be traded.

“If the regulator has not fixed the minimum and maximum prices for those listed companies, the market will become more dynamic and more people will be interested in investing here, like Thailand,” Aung Ko Ko explained, adding that Burma’s stock market is “quiet” in comparison to that of its neighbors.