On July 12, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar issued Notification 1/2019 which announced that foreign entities and individuals will be permitted to invest in the shares in Myanmar companies listed on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX). Ownership will undoubtedly be restricted at most to 35% of such shares, which corresponds with the designation of Myanmar companies with more than 35% foreign shareholding as “foreign” companies under the Myanmar Companies Law (2017). Foreign companies are subject to a number of restrictions, including a prohibition on owning land under the Transfer of Immoveable Property (Restriction) Act (1987), which would cause substantial complications for YSX listed companies.
Although it is not yet clear when foreign trading will begin, we understand that the necessary regulations are in draft form and that it is likely to become reality before the end of 2019. Apparently the YSX has already invested in the software systems necessary to process the new requirements.
Notably, we also understand that trading on the YSX will not be restricted to resident foreigners.
For more information on this development, or any of the legal aspects of capital markets in Myanmar, please contact Ross Taylor on [email protected].