More firms to be listed on Yangon stock exchange

PEOPLE’S interest in trading on the Yangon stock exchange does not seem to be growing 18 months after its launch but more companies are nevertheless keen to be listed, say officials.

Htay Chun, a member of Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar, says that at least two more companies hope to complete the necessary procedures to be listed by the end of this month. “Those two companies have completed around 70 per cent of the process while another two or three have finished of it, so we hope to welcome five more in the near future,” he said.

According to the official, the majority of registered public companies in Myanmar have indicated an interest in being listed on the exchange but less than 40 meet the requirements set by the securities regulator. “Only half of the registered public companies, around 155, have a licence to commence business operations,” he said.

“Companies need to pay 50 million kyats (Bt1.25 million) to get the licence and must also meet all the listing criteria. For one thing, they must have more than 100 shareholders, so it is out of the question for many of them.”

Htay Chun said the commission encouraged companies to propose projects that provided an attractive model for public listing that also ensured investor protection.

He said less than 10 companies were under consideration to be listed but would not reveal their names. To date, there are only four listed companies: First Myanmar Investment, Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings, Myanmar Citizens Bank and First Private Bank.

The exchange was established on December 9, 2015, soon after the Securities Exchange Rules published its listing criteria. The YSX has recently come in for criticism for its poor performance more than one year after it opened for business.

Thet Htun Oo, executive senior manager at YSX, said he was nonetheless satisfied with its performance so far. “We have seen a lot of improvements in trading, compared to the time when we first opened business,” he said.

Thet Htun Oo said listed companies were now eligible for a five per cent tax cut in a bid to attract more companies.

Source: The Nation