Burma remains on track to establish a stock exchange in the commercial hub of Rangoon by the end of 2015, Burma's Central Bank Deputy Governor Maung Maung Win said on Wednesday.
The official told a gathering of local and international would-be investors in Rangoon on Wednesday morning that the proposed Yangon Stock Exchange (YSE, using the official name for Rangoon, Burma's biggest city) is needed to boost Burma's economic growth. At present, local businesses must depend on bank loans for financing in what remains the only country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) without a stock exchange.
"The SEC [Securities and Exchange Law] is vital to the economic development of our country," the deputy governor said, adding that the law, which was sent back to Burma's Parliament in March by President Thein Sein, is expected to be discussed in Parliament over the summer with a view to it being passed before autumn.
Following that, securities and exchange rules are scheduled to be set in stone next year, prior to the establishment of the YSE in 2015.
Establishing a stock market is seen as key to reforming Burma's ossified financial architecture and ensuring that the country's economic potential is realized.
Few Burmese companies are expected to be ready to list by the time the YSE opens in late 2015. Gote of Daiwa Securities Group said he expects "between five and 10" companies to list during the YSE's first year of operation, with 10 to 20 listed by the end of 2017.
Though requirements for companies listing on the YSE have not yet been finalized, draft rules show that a minimum capital amount of 500 million kyat ($525,000) will be needed, with aspirant companies needing to show two years' profitability. YSE-listed companies will need a minimum of 100 shareholders and minority shareholders will have to account for at least 10 percent of total equity.
Editors note: I will be waiting. I was playing Myanmar via Yoma in Singapore but it became too overvalued so I sold a while ago. Looking for another vehicle to play Myanmar.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.