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IFC, Regulators Assess Corporate Governance Practices of Myanmar Firms to Raise Standards

Yangon, Myanmar, January 16— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with Myanmar regulators to benchmark the corporate governance practices of Myanmar companies against international standards to help them improve performance. Numerous studies show that stronger governance helps companies operate more efficiently and manage risks better.
In cooperation with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar (SECM), the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), and the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), IFC is hosting a two-day workshop that begins today in Yangon for dozens of Myanmar companies to learn about the importance of corporate governance and best practices.
At the workshop, IFC experts lead participants in evaluating the corporate governance practices of listed Myanmar companies as examples. The assessment is based on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Corporate Governance Scorecard – the regional benchmark of best practices; company performance is rated on various areas such as equitable treatment of shareholders, responsibilities of the board, and disclosure and transparency.
“Corporate governance assessments can help Myanmar companies analyze their performance, identify areas for improvement, and bring their practices in line with international standards,” said U Htay Chun, a Commission Member of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar. “This will help companies set realistic goals for reform, improve their performance, and attract more investment.”
Many Myanmar companies have underdeveloped board of directors, poor transparency, and rudimentary control frameworks. To tackle this, IFC and SECM initially plan to assess the corporate governance practices of around 30 Myanmar companies based on the ASEAN corporate governance methodology. The scorecard system is a recognized way to raise awareness of the importance of corporate governance and promote good practices in the market. The assessments may expand to cover more Myanmar companies as the project progresses.
“We have conducted similar initiatives globally with great success and strongly believe this will help Myanmar companies close the gap against international standards,” said Chris Razook, IFC’s Corporate Governance Lead in East Asia and the Pacific. “As an investor, we’ve seen firsthand how good governance can help companies attract capital and improve long-term performance. This will also spur much-needed investor confidence in Myanmar’s nascent capital market.”
IFC has also been promoting good corporate governance practices among Myanmar’s family businesses, which are a key fabric of the country’s economy. IFC’s Corporate Governance Program in Myanmar 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 sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 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 seven members headed by Chairman cum Deputy Minister of Ministry of Planning and Finance. The Commission is a regulatory body for the Securities Industries responsible for the establishment of the Stock Exchange, and also the formation of a fair, efficient, and transparent market in Myanmar.