YANGON, March 26 (ABC NEWS) – Myanmar has launched its first stock exchange with just one listed company, with hopes the move could aid the country’s economic rise as it emerges from decades of isolationist military rule.
The Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) officially opened for trading 20 years after it was first conceived, and days before Aung San Suu Kyi’s party will form a civilian government.
Maung Maung Thein, head of Myanmar’s Securities and Exchange Commission, said it marked a “great day” for the country, which would now leave the tiny club of nations without a functioning stock exchange.
“We can now proudly and mightily proclaim to the world that we are no longer a backward nation,” he told an assembled crowd of business leaders at the YSX’s restored colonial-era building in Yangon.
Next week, Ms Suu Kyi’s party will replace a transitional administration of retired generals who oversaw five years of political and economic reforms.
Significant hurdles still lie ahead in a nation that still lacks a credit rating and is grappling with entrenched corruption and widespread poverty.
The YSX started trading with just a single firm — First Myanmar Investment (FMI) — one of the country’s largest companies with stakes in the aviation and health industries.
With its sister firm Yoma Strategic Holdings listed in Singapore and with around 6,800 shareholders through an in-house system, FMI already has experience of stock trading — a rarity in Myanmar.
Shares began trading at a base price of $28 (26,000 Myanmar Kyat) on Friday.
Source – AFP and ABC News http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-25/myanmar-launches-first-stock-exchange/7277268
Photo – AFP Hein Kyaw.