Economy

Yangon Stock Exchange on Track for March Trading Debut

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 1 March 2016

RANGOON — The Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) is expected to begin shares trading by the second week of March, with dry-run testing already underway, an official from the Securities Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

Though the YSX officially “launched” late last year with six companies listed, no shares have yet been traded on the first-of-its-kind bourse. Burma’s deputy finance minister told media at a Dec. 9 ceremony marking the occasion that trading was expected to begin this month, with the delay chalked up to officials’ desire to ensure smooth operation of the new capital market.

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 were the six firms to initially list on the YSX.

“We’re now testing this trading internally, working with securities exchange companies. [Trading is] expected to start in the second week of March,” said Tin May Oo, a member of the SECM.

Six securities companies have been awarded licenses to serve as underwriters for shares traded on the YSX, including Kanbawza (KBZ) Group of Companies, CB Securities and AYA Securities, as well as the Myanmar Securities Exchange Center, which has experience in shares transactions thanks to its role as the over-the-counter trading predecessor to the YSX.

“Not all six listed companies will be ready for shares trading this March; some of them will be ready. I can’t provide details right now,” Tin May Oo said.

The six firms selected as underwriters will serve as liaisons between the listed companies and buyers and sellers of shares. These securities companies have been tasked with preparing the technical infrastructure required for trading to take place.

Nyo Myint, senior managing director of KBZ Group of Companies, said the conglomerate’s securities arm was ready for shares trading, adding that its banking unit was chosen from among five other lenders to handle stock shares transactions when trading begins.

“One bank is needed to provide service for stock shares’ transactions, that’s why KBZ Bank will provide this service,” he said.

Thet Tun Oo, senior executive manager of the YSX, said that the bourse was ready for trading to commence, pending approval from the Ministry of Finance.

“They [Burma’s outgoing government] want to start stock shares trading before the new government takes power, but we’re still awaiting approval from the Finance Ministry,” he said.

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