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Myanmar's Yangon Stock Exchange to begin trading this month

by May Oo

YANGON, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), the country's first stock exchange, will begin trading on March 25, Dr. Maung Maung Thein, president of the country's Securities and Exchange Commission (SECM), told a press conference on Saturday.

First Myanmar Investment (FMI) will be the first listed company out of six to start shares trading on the YSX.

FMI is fully prepared, after having met all the criteria, while Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Limited (MTSH), the biggest public company in Myanmar, has not yet finished the process of changing its shares into electronic form due to its large number of shareholders, Dr. Maung Maung Thein told Xinhua after the press conference, which was held at the YSX office in downtown Yangon.

MTSH will start trading later this month, while that of the Myanmar Citizens Bank and First Private Bank, two other firms to initially list on the YSX, will begin next month.

Firms to initially list on the bourse also include Great Horkham Public Co. Ltd and Myanmar Agribusiness Public Coporation. The Great Horkham is expected to be last one among the six to make Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Many more local companies are interested to be listed, as the SECM have accepted many proposals. There will be at least 10 listed companies on the stock exchange by the end of this year, predicted Dr. Maung Maung Thein.

Five securities companies have been awarded licenses to serve as underwriters for shares traded on the bourse, including KBZ Stiriling Coleman Securities, CB Securities, the Myanmar Securities Exchange Center, AYA Trust Securities and KTzRH Securities. KBZ Bank, the country's the biggest local bank, will serve as the fund settlement bank.

YSX was launched last December with six listed companies, two securities companies and one fund settlement bank, although it was not ready for trading by then.

"Myanmar promises well for the future to develop capital market. The middle class is growing. It is not a problem that there are few listed companies in the initial period," U Soe Lin, managing director, AYA Trust Securities, told Xinhua.

If YSX's presence is at a larger stage, foreign investors will be allowed to invest, according to SECM.

Under an agreement signed on Dec. 23, 2014, YSX is owned by Tokyo Stock Exchange and Daiwa Securities Group with 49 percent, and the state-owned Myanmar Economic Bank (MEB) with 51 percent.

"We will keep going forward steadily. Although we got a late start, I believe we will succeed," Dr. Maung Maung Thein said.

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