Myanmar Monitor


Photo Credit: Mizzima

Economy, Investment and Trade

Yangon Stock Exchange goes online
(1 January 2018) The Securities Exchange Commission of Myanmar granted the approval for online trading to a handful of securities companies. These companies will be ready to offer services to traders and investors in the fall of 2018 and will house nearly 32,000 accounts. Thet Htun Oo, Senior Executive Manager of Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX), said that they want to develop the stock market volume as currently it is operating at a low participatory rate. Before this, YSX has been working through securities companies using normal trading or offline trading starting from its official launch in 2016, now investors will be able to trade via apps on their phones.
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Foreign investment in Myanmar exceeds US$5 billion
(30 December 2017) Foreign investment volume reached more than US$5 billion (6.76 trillion kyat) in the third week of December 2017. The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) said that this exceeds 90 percent of the target set for foreign investment for the year. MIC approved 174 businesses and nearly US$4.15 billion up until the third week of December 2017 with the rest coming from investments. The target set for 2017 was US$6 billion.
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Government to increase support for SMEs in 2018
(2 January 2018) State-owned Myanma Economic Bank (MEB) will extend loans of 3 to 5 years to small and medium enterprise (SMEs) in the manufacturing, export and import substitution, recycling and energy saving and other technology-based sectors.Minister of Planning and Finance U Kyaw Win said that the government is offering low interest rate loans to SMEs because local businesses are hugely disadvantaged in the market compared to other regional competitors. Private banks also extend commercial loans to the SMEs but with interest rates of up to 13 percent.
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Businesses demand more clarity in doing business in Myanmar for 2018
(2 January 2018) The Myanmar business community is demanding to see stronger leadership in Nay Pyi Taw and direction from the government in liberalising individual sectors, accelerating tax, infrastructure and land reforms and implementing the new Companies Law as soon as possible. The European Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar said the latest business confidence survey conducted by them suggests that European companies are still facing many challenges and barriers to investment in the country. Australian Myanmar Chamber of Commerce said Nay Pyi Taw should continue to focus on the peace and reconciliation process while working on its economic policies and strengthen the regulatory regime. British Chamber of Commerce said the administration should focus on implementing “meaningful policies” which will stimulate and liberalise trade and encourage inward investment.
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High stamp duty affects demand in property market
(29 December 2017) The property market in Myanmar has has slowed markedly since prices first surged in 2011. One of the reasons for this slowdown is the high stamp duties imposed under a new tax system introduced in 2016. Buyers of residential properties worth up to K30 million (US$ 22,200) must pay a stamp duty of 15 percent of the property value, while those who purchase properties valued between K31 million and K100 million (US$74,00) must pay 20 percent in stamp duties. Real estate agents are in agreement that stamp duties should be lowered to once again kickstart the property market in the region.
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