Myanmar to Open Stock Exchange

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Jul. 18 – Myanmar is currently working to pass a new securities law bill recently introduced to its lower house of parliament and, as a result, the country is now shooting to have its own stock exchange by the end of this year. The stock exchange will be established shortly after the bill – entitled the “Security Exchange Law” – is approved.

The stock exchange’s opening, which is set for some time later this year, has been sped up.

“Earlier we planned to [begin work on opening up the stock market] in 2015, but it would be too late,” noted Myanmar’s Deputy Finance and Revenues Minister Maung Maung Thein.

To establish the stock exchange, the Central Bank of Myanmar will cooperate with the Daiwa Institute of Research Group – a leading Japanese think tank with expertise in economics and financial capital markets – and Japan’s Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Myanmar Stock Exchange will be located near Bandoola Garden, where Myawaddy Bank currently stands.

Myanmar-based economist Hla Maung expressed skepticism, noting: “It’ll be surprising if the stock exchange can be established in late this year. The sooner the better. But it is a financial market, so we need to have public companies and corporations that can sell shares. If not, the market will be weak and unsuccessful.”

Public companies that intend to sell shares on the stock exchange will need to submit detailed information on their company’s financial status and books (including any relevant tax information) to a supervising committee in order to list their shares – something experts say may be a problem for Myanmar-based companies that have been known to have their fair share of tax problems.

So far, only two public companies have already registered with the Myanmar Security Exchange Center.

Further, it was announced that Toshiba had won an order from Daiwa to supply the necessary parts and products for the Myanmar stock exchange’s data center. Thein also added that there will be a demonstration of how the stock exchange will operate later this month.

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