Citizens Bank targets July listing

Myanmar Citizens Bank hopes to become the third company to list on the Yangon Stock Exchange in early July, managing director U Myint Win said yesterday.

The bank has met the requirements set out by the exchange and hopes “to be listed as soon as possible”, he said. MCB was one of six companies that qualified to list on the exchange last December, and submitted a prospectus to the regulators in late April.

Founded in 1991, the bank was 55 percent owned by the Ministry of Commerce until earlier this year when the government stake was cut to 10pc. Its shareholders recently held an extraordinary meeting to discuss how to curtail the ministry’s decision-making power, U Myint Win said.

Senior officials including the chair and managing directors are still appointed by the ministry, but a new board of directors will be appointed at the annual general meeting in late July, he said.

“Amending our policies and structure took a couple of months – otherwise we would have listed earlier. Apart from that, we are familiar with the process of selling shares to the public and the company has met all the [YSX] criteria such as capital requirements and shareholder dividends.”

U Hla Tun & Associate Audits, lawyers Allen & Gledhill and MSEC Securities will help prepare the bank for listing, he said.

MCB was one of two companies listed on an over-the-counter market run by the Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre – the country’s only exchange until the YSX opened last December.

It will not raise any new capital initially. “We don’t have any experience being listed [on a modern exchange], so we will train ourselves first and may sell new shares after a year,” said U Myint Win. Myanmar Citizens Bank first sold shares in 1996 and has a paid-up capital of K52 billion. It currently has 19 branches and aims to open 31 more in the next five years, with two new branches to open in the next few months.

Shares were trading at K5000 when the MSEC over-the-counter market was closed at the end of last year. Anecdotally since then the bank’s 1700 shareholders have traded shares between themselves at around K6000 each.

Most shareholders did not expect the bank to be listed on the YSX when they first invested, said U Myint Win. He expects demand to pick up once the shares are floated on the exchange.

The Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have approved the listing and the bank’s documents are now being processed by the Directorate of Company and Administration Department.

Source: The Myanmar Times

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