Myanmar needs to develop stock market for AEC plans

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Visitors look at the electronic board showing the stock exchange rates in YSX. Photo: Phoe Khwar

The Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) needs more listed companies and heavy investors, if it has to execute the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) plans, said U Thet Htun Oo, executive senior manager of YSX.
This is because an underdeveloped stock market is one of the key challenges for Myanmar, U Thet Htun Oo added.
“More companies must be listed on the stock market, while its investor base must be expanded. Currently, the number of investors is few,” said U Thet Htun Oo.
It is hoped the AEC will bring foreign investors to the stock market, and they will soon be authorised for stock trading, in line with the Myanmar Citizens Law. Local companies need to expand their businesses to keep up with international companies. If needed, preparedness plans, setting up public companies, involving joint ventures, and combining companies for mergers and acquisition should be done, he noted.
An underdeveloped stock market is one of the challenges in implementing the AEC plans, said Daw Saw Kalaya Su, director of Foreign Economic Relations Department, operating under the Ministry of Planning and Finance, at the AEC 2025 Workshop Forum held early March.
Besides these, other challenges for Myanmar are the lack of capital and technology for small and medium enterprises, less knowledge about AEC and the need to formulate an e-commerce law, she added.
Myanmar’s stock exchange market will soon complete two years. Currently, there are only five listed companies: First Myanmar Investment, Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings, Myanmar Citizens Bank, First Private Bank and TMH Telecom Public Co. Ltd.
Some 300 to 500 investors trade daily on the YSX. Some 10,000 shares are traded daily on an average, with their estimated value being Ks70 million. The value of share trading plunged by Ks30 million this year, compared with last year.
The decline in the stock trading value is attributed to the poor general economic climate, low income and the lack of knowledge about the stock market, said U Thet Htun Oo.
In a bid to attract more investors, YSX will double its matching time from the previous two sessions to four.
Additionally, officials from the YSX, under the guidance of the Planning and Finance Ministry, will conduct awareness campaigns about the stock market in Yangon and other towns outside Yangon, in cooperation with securities companies.
Five more companies, including Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation (MAPCO) and Great Hor Kham Public Co. Ltd, are preparing to be listed on the YSX, which is also ready to allow foreign investments in the existing listed companies.

 

By May Thet Hnin

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