Myanmar has joined the global equities and capital markets community with the launch of its first ever stock exchange, the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), which is backed by a Japanese partnership, according to a JPX statement.
The YSX has begun live trading, characterized by its inaugural listing, the First Myanmar Investment Co., Ltd., focused on the real estate business in Myanmar. The unveiling of a stock exchange constitutes a huge leap for the country that recent years had yielded a nascent investment base, troubled by domestic instability and rampant corruption.
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One of the impetuses behind the launch of the YSX was its partnership with the Japan Exchange Group (JPX). The exchange itself was established by the JPX, Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd., and Myanmar Economic Bank, a state-owned bank under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
The triumvirate of entities all backed the establishment of the YSX, representing support from both the private and public sector. All of the aforementioned entities had entered into a joint venture agreement as far back as December 23, 2014, with the interval between then and now being reserved for preparations towards YSX’s business operations, culminating in the beginning of stock trading today on the exchange.
Despite the beginning of live trading on YSX, there remain several challenges for the upstart exchange, including the valuation of companies and its handling of other listings such as initial public offerings, etc. That the country has never had a domestic exchange will also present several barriers in its initial operations, though JPX and Daiwa Securities Group will continue to work with YSX to increase the number of listed companies in the hope of fueling the development of Myanmar’s capital market.