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IFC and Myanmar Securities Regulator Ink Deal to Improve Regulation, Boost Investor Confidence

Yangon, Myanmar, March 17, 2017 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar today signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen corporate governance regulatory standards and practices in the country. A better regulated market will bolster investor confidence and help draw more investment to Myanmar as the country continues to open up.
Over the next year, IFC will help the commission build its capacity by providing corporate governance training to its teams, sharing best practices on themes specific to capital markets and regulators such as disclosure and investor rights. IFC will also support the commission in reviewing new regulations that may be developed to enhance corporate governance regulatory standards. The two parties will work together to raise public awareness of corporate governance through a series of public conferences and seminars.
“With the Yangon Stock Exchange in its early stages of operation, it is high time to introduce good corporate governance practices in the Myanmar market,” said U Maung Maung Win, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar and Deputy Minister of Planning and Finance. “The cooperation between IFC and the commission is a great step forward in that direction.”
The Yangon Stock Exchange was established in December 2015 and securities trading began in March last year. Currently, only four companies are listed on the exchange, but more are preparing to list. Many Myanmar companies have rudimentary control frameworks and can benefit from adopting international corporate governance practices.
“Implementing good corporate governance practices is a prerequisite to the development of a more mature and robust capital market,” said Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer. “Well-run companies will generate greater returns for shareholders and contribute to the sustainable development of Myanmar’s private sector and overall economy.”
The Myanmar government is keen to develop the country’s stock market to an international standard and boost local companies’ ability to raise capital. Part of its efforts is to strengthen Myanmar’s regulatory framework by implementing the Financial Institutions Law and updating the Companies Act. These legislations aim to improve risk governance in companies, clearly define director duties, and strengthen shareholder protection.
In February 2016, IFC launched its Corporate Governance Program in Myanmar at a forum that attracted more than 400 participants. IFC is working with other partners including the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), a nongovernmental business group, to provide corporate governance training for companies. The program is implemented in partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, U.K. Department for International Development and the U.K. Financial Taskforce.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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About the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) was formed on 19 August 2014, according to the Notification No.64/2014 of the office of Union Government. It is composed of 7 members headed by Chairman cum deputy minister of Ministry of Planning and Finance. The Commission is regulatory body for the Securities Industries responsible for the establishment of Stock Exchange, and also formation of a fair, efficient, and transparent market in Myanmar.