Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation Looks to Join YSX in August       

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 9 June 2016

RANGOON — The Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation (MAPCO) is expected to join the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) in August, the firm’s vice chairman told The Irrawaddy.

Formed in 2012 to spur public savings and to encourage broader investment in agriculture and adjacent industries in Burma, MAPCO is the country’s largest rice exporter. It will be selling shares with a floor price of 10,000 kyats (US$8.44) to 1,440 existing shareholders between June 10 and early July, said MAPCO vice chairman Ye Min Aung.

“We’re prioritizing existing shareholders before joining the YSX. If the existing shareholders don’t buy these shares, we’ll sell them to the public,” he said, clarifying that even if existing shareholders already own a share, they are still able to buy another.

“We’d like to wait until foreign companies can buy shares on the YSX, when [the trading environment] will hopefully be better than it has been recently. That’s why we’re expecting to join the YSX in August or, at the latest, in September,” Ye Min Aung added.

The stock exchange officially “opened” in December, though it initially only traded internally through dry-run testing. It is hoped to be a boon to Burma’s financial field.

MAPCO, along with five other firms—First Myanmar Investment (FMI), Myanmar Citizens Bank, Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Limited (MTSH), First Private Bank and Great Hor Kham—was due to be listed on the YSX in March, but FMI was the only one of these firms that was ready for shares trading. MTSH has since been listed.

Thet Htun Oo, senior manager of the YSX, said that MAPCO wanted to increase its capital before joining the stock exchange, which is why it has experienced delays.

“They [MAPCO] have not recently applied to join the YSX because they are looking to increase their capital by selling shares in the rice industry first,” Thet Htun Oo said.

He added that the stock market appears to be cooling down in some respects as people are trying to become more familiar with the market situation before trading shares.

“Even FMI’s share trading price has gone down from 26,000 kyats [$21.95] when it was first listed to 25,500 kyats [$21.52] today,” Thet Htun Oo said.

FMI is led by business tycoon Serge Pun, whose Burmese conglomerate ranges from real estate to health care to aviation and banking.

MTSH’s share trading price, however, is at a steady 57,000 kyats ($48.11). The firm was formed by nine Burmese companies that own 41 percent of a special economic zone (SEZ) southeast of Rangoon, with the Burmese government owning 10 percent and a consortium of Japanese firms owning the remaining 49 percent.

Thet Htun Oo said that currently the total stock trading amount for the YSX has reached some 49 billion kyats ($41.35 million) and is only expected to increase.

“Because there are many other companies, such as Myanmar Citizen Bank, that will be listed on the YSX this year, the total trading amount will continue to grow,” Thet Htun Oo said.