Se­cu­ri­ties com­mis­sion tar­gets il­le­gal share sales

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - HTIN LYNN AUNG htin­lyn­naung@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

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.

Photo: Staff

The names of two com­pa­nies traded at the Myan­mar Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change Cen­tre, the coun­try’s over-the-counter mar­ket are listed on a no­tice­board.

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