Thilawa SEZ Firm’s IPO on Rangoon Bourse Set for May

By Kyaw Hsu Mon & Thit Nay Moe 28 April 2016

RANGOON — Myanmar Thilawa Special Economic Zone Holdings (MTSH) will become the second company to list on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), Maung Maung Thein, chairman of Burma’s Securities Exchange Commission, told The Irrawaddy. The company, which has a major stake in the country’s largest operational special economic zone (SEZ), will float its shares on May 20.

“The IPO price for Thilawa SEZ will be announced officially in May,” Maung Maung Thein said. MTSH follows First Myanmar Investment (FMI), one of the country’s major conglomerates, which listed in March.

The company confirmed the date for floating its shares, but did not reveal what the initial offering price would be.

“When we started selling shares through private placements, the price was originally at 10,000 kyats (US$8.55) per share,” said Nyan Thit Hlaing, director of MTSH. “But then the price quickly rose to 80,000 kyats due to high demand.”

“We still have to finish our valuation for the offering price, however,” the director added. “But if the stock is priced well, it should go up on trading.”

According to the company, MTSH currently has approximately 20,000 shareholders who own 4 million shares.

“These are the shares which will be offered to the public at the IPO,” Nyan Thit Hlaing said. “We are not planning to issue additional stock.”

The Thilawa SEZ is located about 20 miles southeast of downtown Rangoon and is home to a car assembly plant, a deep-sea port and other manufacturing operations. MTSH owns 41 percent of the zone, with 10 percent held by the Burmese government, and the remaining 49 percent controlled by a consortium of Japanese investors.

Trading on the new bourse has been bullish so far.

FMI’s IPO price was 26,000 kyats, but it quickly rose to over 40,000 kyats before stabilizing at around 30,000 kyats as of Thursday.

Since its IPO on March 25, over 840,000 FMI shares were traded on the YSX, with a transaction volume totaling 30 billion kyats.

Myanmar Citizens’ Bank and First Private Bank are expected to follow the Thilawa SEZ listing with IPOs of their own later this year.

“Trading will get livelier on the YSX as more companies list and investors have more options,” said Thet Tun Oo, senior manager at the stock exchange. “But that will take time.”