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IFC, Myanmar Securities Regulator Help Listed Companies Improve Transparency

Yangon, Myanmar, June 21, 2017¯ IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM) are holding a forum today to help listed firms raise transparency and disclosure standards in company reporting. Studies show that greater transparency can bolster investor confidence and improve companies’ access to capital.  
At the forum, speakers from IFC, SECM, and the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business will share their views on how Myanmar companies can benefit from improving disclosure practices; they will also explain the differences between reporting to regulators, the stock exchange, and the investing public. More than 80 participants, including representatives from the Central Bank of Myanmar, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration as well as securities and listed companies, are expected to attend the forum.
“The Yangon Stock Exchange is still at an early stage of development. Listed companies and those planning to list in Myanmar can significantly benefit from a better understanding of best practices to raise their transparency and disclosure standards,” said SECM Commission Member U Htay Chun.
Regulators, stock exchanges, and investors around the world have been urging companies to disclose both financial and non-financial information in a timely manner to enable investors to better assess investment risks and make more informed decisions. Studies on emerging markets found that better governance is associated with higher valuations of firms. Investors find companies with fuller disclosure more trustworthy and less risky for them to invest in, thus lowering the cost of capital that then translates into higher valuations.
“The concept of ‘sustainable investing’ is gaining prominence, with a growing number of investors looking not only at a company’s financial results but also the impact its operation has on the environment and society,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar. “To attract foreign capital, Myanmar companies need to work hard on raising their corporate governance and disclosure standards. This will also ensure the sustainable development of Myanmar’s capital market.”
Today’s forum is part of IFC and SECM’s cooperation to strengthen corporate governance regulatory standards and practices in Myanmar. The Myanmar government is keen to further develop the Yangon Stock Exchange, which was established in December 2015, and boost the ability of local companies to raise capital. It is working on new legislations and updating existing ones to improve risk governance in companies and strengthen shareholder protection.  
IFC launched its Corporate Governance Program in Myanmar in February last year. The program is implemented in partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the U.K. Department for International Development.
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 more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY16, we delivered a record $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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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.