Myanmar: Rules permitting foreigners to trade likely out this year

The Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) will release rules under the new Myanmar Companies Law which could allow foreigners to trade on the local bourse before the end of the year, U Yin Zaw Myo, managing director of the YSX, said yesterday.

The rules are currently being drafted together with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM), securities companies and the five YSX-listed companies.

The Myanmar Companies Law was enacted in December 2017 and enforced on August 1. According to that law, foreigners will be allowed to own stakes of up to 35 percent in YSX listed companies. Currently, only local investors are allowed to engage in stock trading on the YSX.

“The rules allowing foreigners to own up to 35 pc of the company is very important for us,” said Daw Zarchi Tin, executive director of First Myanmar Investment Co, one of the five YSX-listed companies. This is because more trading activity on the bourse will provide listed companies with the option to raise funds for further expansion.

“We will take about two or three months to draft and finalise the rules before we make an annoucement,” said U Thet Tun Oo, executive senior manager of YSX.

U Maung Maung Win, chair of the SECM, said the infrastructure for deeper trading on the YSX is already in place, “but we still need to improve the quality of the listed companies and investors.”

Earlier this year, the YSX doubled its stock trade matching times to four from two and said it would soon enable investors to trade online.