Securities commission targets illegal share sales
The regulator published a warning to public companies in state media after finding a number of adverts for unlicensed share sales in newspapers and online.
THE Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar warned companies against selling shares without its permission yesterday - the second time it has issued such a warning since the country’s first modern stock exchange opened at the end of last year.
The commission made an initial announcement through state media in February but public companies have continued to sell shares without permission, U Htay Choon a senior commission member, told The Myanmar Times.
More than 200 businesses in Myanmar are registered as public companies, meaning they are jointly owned by a number of private shareholders. Many such companies freely sold shares to the public until the Yangon Stock Exchange opened, including First Myanmar Investment and Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings which have both since listed on the exchange.
“Following this second announcement, we will start to take action under the relevant laws,” said U Htay Choon. “We have seen that some public companies are advertising share sales through their websites and through newspapers. That is why we have released the warning again.”
The statement, published only in Myanmar language, says that all public companies must ask the SECM for permission before trading their shares. They will need to comply with a notification released by the commission in February, which is aimed at protecting investors.
“Details about applying for permission are clearly outlined in the notification. Anyone who fails to comply will be punished under the Myanmar Securities Exchange Law,” U Htay Choon said.
The law states that public companies must submit a prospectus to the SECM before selling shares. Public companies with more than 100 shareholders can only sell shares on the new exchange or over-thecounter with permission from the regulator.
Companies that have already asked for permission to sell shares must submit a company report dating back at least six months and special reports as requested by the commission, former chair U Maung Maung Thein told media last year.
Only two companies have listed on the Yangon Stock Exchange to date but four more – Myanmar Citizens Bank, First Private Bank, Myanmar Agribusiness Public Company and Great Hor Kham Public Company – are expected to list later this year.
The names of two companies traded at the Myanmar Securities Exchange Centre, the country’s over-the-counter market are listed on a noticeboard.