Extractive businesses asked to disclose ownership information

Companies and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) involved in Myanmar’s oil and gas production and transportation, mineral and gemstone industries are required from January 1 onwards to publicly disclose information on beneficial ownership and politically exposed persons.

This is in accordance with Notification No.104/2019 dated October 2019 and in line with Requirement 2.5 of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Standard 2019.

Myanmar collected data on the beneficial owners, their links to politically exposed persons and other related information from 158 companies and five SOEs operating in the relevant industries November and December 2019. These companies are included in the fourth EITI Myanmar report covering 2016-17.

Out of 163 companies that fall under the scope of disclosure, 18 companies disclosed some data but did not submit them, and 24 companies did not disclose any data. 121 extractive companies and SOEs both disclosed and submitted details on their beneficial owners and other related information.

”The country’s economy is on the way to creating a responsible business environment. Disclosure of beneficial ownership in the natural resources sector is an important role to show business integrity,” U Maw Htun Aung, Myanmar Country Manager for Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), told The Myanmar Times.

“Beneficial ownership information will be required for bidding or the licensing process, in line with EITI standards, to show transparency and responsibility in doing business. It should not be viewed as prohibitive for natural resources businesses,” U Maw Htun Aung said.

A taskforce has been set up to help companies comply with the disclosure requirements in Myanmar. The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) is the focal agency in collaboration with the Myanmar EITI National Coordination Secretariat.

The natural resources sector including oil and gas, minerals and gems accounted for 4.4 percent of GDP, 14pc of State revenue and over 20pc of total exports in 2016-17, according to EITI.

According to Myanmar EITI, politically exposed persons are defined as individuals who are or were entrusted with prominent public functions either domestically or internationally. This also includes the heads of Union Government and all individuals who can influence politically, economically, and socially.

Also, the beneficial owner is defined as the individual holds, directly or indirectly, 5pc of the shares or the voting rights or to appoint a majority of the boards of directors in the company. It has the right to exercise, significant influence or control over the company.

Source: Myanmar Times

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