Foreign investors have purchased 4,458,136 shares of First Myanmar Investment (FMI) on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) as of February-end 2021, holding 13.46 per cent of shares, according to statistics released by the exchange.
The upper limit for foreign shareholding amount is at 14 per cent, with 4,635,357 shares. The foreign investors exceeded the buy order limit, and consequently, the status of buy order acceptance has been suspended.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) has allowed foreigners to invest in the local equity market from 20 March 2020. The foreign shareholding amount stood at 4,502,760 shares of four listed companies on the exchange as of February-end.
At present, shares of six listed companies — First Myanmar Investment (FMI), Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings (MTSH), Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB), First Private Bank (FPB), TMH Telecom Public Co. Ltd, and Ever Flow River Group Public Co., Ltd (EFR) — are available for local investors for trading. Of them, FMI, MTSH, TMH and EFR accepted foreign shareholding, and FPB permits block trade only. The foreign shareholding ratio of the companies on the exchange, except FMI, is less than one per cent.
As of February-end, foreigners hold over 4,458,060 shares of FMI, over 32,054 shares of MTSH, 5,445 shares of TMH and 7,125 shares of EFR.
The SECM, under the Ministry of Planning and Finance, issued a notice on 12 July 2019, announcing that foreigners would be allowed to invest in shares listed on the YSX.
After opening bank and securities accounts, an investor can send buying/selling orders under the stock trading rules stipulated in the Trading Business Regulations, the SECM notified.
U Thet Htun Oo, senior executive manager of the Yangon Stock Exchange, highlighted at the seminar held last year how foreign participation would entail better capital inflows, long term and sustainable investment, encourage good corporate governance, and support market orientation.
Regarding share trading, foreign investors must strictly comply with the Central Bank of Myanmar’s rules.
The security companies will monitor foreigners’ daily trades in keeping with the rules and regulations so that they do not exceed the limit set for each listed company.
Under Section 42 (a) of the Securities and Exchange Law and Section 4 of the Trading Participant Business Regulations, the YSX has granted trading qualifications to the following securities companies — Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre Co. Ltd. (MSEC), KBZ Stirling Coleman Securities Co. Ltd. (KBZSC), CB Securities Limited (CBSC), AYA Trust Securities Co. Ltd. (AYATSC), KTZ Ruby Hill Securities Co. Ltd. (KTZRH), and UAB Securities Limited (UABSC).
According to the stock exchange, investors have to send their buy or sell orders to the YSX through the securities companies that have been issued a licence by the SECM and a trading qualification by the YSX.—KK/GNLM