Yangon Stock Exchange’s New Year gift

YSX to go online - A woman speaks over over mobile phone in front of Yangon Stock Exchange. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

YSX to go online - A woman speaks over over mobile phone in front of Yangon Stock Exchange. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Officials from the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) and the Securities Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) say they believe that many people could be persuaded to invest in the country’s capital market, which has been operating for one and a half years, by using their new online trading platform.

On December 26, 2017, SECM granted the approval for online trading to a handful of securities companies, which passed online trading tests and are ready for the system.

The companies are the Myanmar Securities Exchange Center (MSEC), KBZ Stirling Coleman Securities (KBZSC), CB Securities and AYA Trust Securities. They will be ready to offer services to traders and investors in the fall of 2018.

Thet Htun Oo, senior executive manager of YSX, said in a press conference held on December 28 that they want to gradually develop the stock market volume as currently it is operating at a low participatory rate, adding they want to see people from the rural areas investing.

“We strongly intend the stock market to be active looking at the country’s mobile phone density. In order to achieve our mission, we need to do marketing by stimulating public awareness programmes throughout the country,” he said.

He added there are nearly 32,000 accounts in the securities houses.

“All of the people are be able to trade and invest through smart phones, tablets and computers, so I believe that the market will be more active and trade volume will develop,” Htay Chun, a member of SECM, said in response to the approval of his commission.

Before this, YSX has been working through securities companies using normal trading or offline trading starting from its official launch on March 24, 2016.

The customers and the investors will be able to download the online trading applications on both Android and IOS version from Google Play Store and Apple Play Store, or they can get these applications from the Securities houses free of charge.

Customers seeking to trade in the YSX using the online platform, including traditional offline trade, must have an agreement entitled, “Special Agreement of Online Trading,” recognizing the securities companies’ rules and regulations.

This includes the agreement that investors must maintain their own personal documents and profile information themselves.

“As of one agreement, they (investors) who want to trade by using the online trading system need to take care or keep their ID Password and we would to urge them to alternate  their passwords  as much as they can,” Khin Htwe Shwe, executive director at MSEC securities company.

Moreover, according to the agreement, the stock market limits the daily online trade amount to a maximum of 10 million kyat.

“There is different between online and offline trade. For online trade, only ten million kyat will be regarded for online trading, while normal trade or offline trade has no limitation,” she added.

Whenever the global financial institutions like the World Bank, Asia Development Bank (ADB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have regularly been reporting about the Myanmar economy, they are always pointing out the growth of the country’s telecommunication sector.

A report in Digital in Asia said as of January 2017, Myanmar had 33 million mobile users and a smart phone usage of 80 percent.

For this reasons, Ricky Oo Hpone Thet Oo, senior vice president at AYA Trust Securities, believes more people could become interested in investing, including youth.

“When we look at the country’s mobile penetration, Myanmar is reaching the world’s top three rank and almost everyone has a mobile phone in their pocket. Now youths or young people are becoming interested in the latest technology and they are eager to want to save more money,” he said.

Ricky Oo Hpone Thet Oo noted that the securities houses and XSX will look to increase public knowledge and education about investing.

“We will do a field service for the public to get awareness of the stock market regarding online trade. But we could see difficulties to share the opportunities for the 55 million of country’s population. For example, we could not be able to do for the remote areas like Kachin State and Chin State. So we are aiming to go the country’s major commercial cities with YSX,” he continued.

First Myanmar Investment Ltd (FMI), Myanmar Thilawa Special Economic Zone Holdings Ltd (MTSH), Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB) and First Private Bank (FPB) are currently offering options to invest in their companies through the Yangon stock market. In addition, a new public company, TMH Telecom Public Limited listed on December 1, 2017 and will begin trading in early 2018.

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