Japan to become catalyst for Myanmar stock exchange project

TOKYO — Japan Exchange Group and Daiwa Securities Group will invest several billion yen in a stock exchange being planned in Myanmar, providing broad support for creating capital markets in that country.

The duo is working with the Myanmar government to set up an operating company as early as June. It will help the country establish the necessary infrastructure, including trading systems and securities brokerages. Japan’s Financial Services Agency will also offer expertise for setting up oversight authorities.

The operator of the exchange will be established pending approval from Naypidaw. Myanmar will hold 51% of the company, with the Japanese side owning the rest. Japan Exchange and Daiwa Institute of Research are expected to provide several billion yen combined.

Back in 2012, Japan Exchange and Daiwa signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar’s central bank to establish a stock exchange, with the aim of opening the market in 2015. But shortages of qualified personnel and other factors caused the project to stall. Now, with Japan offering concrete support, it is expected to move forward.

In Asia, South Korea’s exchange is actively helping Laos and Cambodia open their own stock markets, including providing capital. Japan has lagged behind in such moves.

Through the latest public-private initiative, Japan seeks to strengthen its ties with Myanmar, a country with geopolitical importance.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

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