Yangon — The planned opening of Myanmar's first stock exchange will be delayed for months due to upcoming elections.
"Yangon Stock Exchange will be opened only after the general election scheduled for November, as everyone will be busy with the election," Deputy Finance Minister Maung Maung Thein said yesterday.
The government announced the election schedule last week. The main opposition National League for Democracy, led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, announced on Saturday that it would participate.
"Actually, we are almost getting ready for the launch [of the stock exchange], but we decided to postpone it as the election is more important for the country's democratic transition," Maung said.
"Only about five companies will be listed at the beginning of the stock market," he said.
To date, three companies — Asia Green Development Bank, Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation and First Myanmar Investment Company — have committed to list on the bourse, according to media reports.
The Myanmar Security Exchange Commission said 57 companies had applied for licences in one of the four categories offered.
Twenty companies bid as underwriters, two to be dealers, five to be brokers and 30 are seeking to be registered as consultants.
Myanmar's central bank signed a joint venture agreement in September 2013 with Japan Exchange Group and Daiwa Institute of Research, the research arm of Daiwa Securities Group, to set up and run the Yangon Stock Exchange.