Yangon’s Stock Exchange in Comparative Analysis

Abstract

In the political sphere, the citizens of Myanmar have witnessed and taken part in an expanding and deepening process of democratization and political liberalization in the past few years. In the economic sphere, changes are also underway that indicate a growth of economic liberalism. One part of that process is a slowly increasing financialization as indicated by the new Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) set to begin trading operations in late 2015.

This paper will analyze what this new stock exchange means for the citizens of Myanmar by placing it within a regional comparative analysis of stock markets across Southeast Asia, including the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE), the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX), the Lao Securities Exchange (LSX), and the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX). The main argument is that despite calculable risks in terms of business transparency and national politics, the potentialities for a successful YSX are in place. The main socioeconomic conditions that warrant investment, both from the domestic as well as international perspective are 1) the depth and diversity of Myanmar’s adult population size, 2) Myanmar’s rallying industrial sector, 3) Burmese businesses’ current lack of bank financing, and 4) Burmese citizens’ little-to-no holdings in financial assets as compared to other non-financial wealth holdings.

The YSX will not be an overnight success for either domestic Burmese investors or for domestic Burmese enterprises seeking new avenues to finance growth and project investment. However, the systemic socioeconomic conditions are in place for the Yangon Stock Exchange to parallel more closely the experience of the Vietnamese HoSE and HNX than that of the other Indochinese exchanges of LSX and CSX.

Keywords: Yangon Stock Exchange, YSX, Myanmar, political economy, finance, wealth

Introduction

For the first time in its nation’s history, Myanmar will soon possess a full-fledged, independent, and computerized national bourse: the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX). Though a late start has already been announced, a visit to the neoclassical Palladian building on the southeast corner of Sule Pagoda Road and Merchant Street in Yangon, where the old Reserve Bank of India used to issue banknotes during the 1940s, allows one to see the hustle and bustle of construction and renovation—all evidence that a stock market is indeed going up. Entering from the front stairs and into the center of the building, one sees a large square pit in the center of which will be placed a massive LED screen to display trading activities. To the left, a glass-paneled conference room for future investors is being built, whilst to the right, small rooms to be rented for representatives of underwriters, brokers, and advisors are being partitioned. The press corps will also have their own spot in the balcony. And to the very far right, one sees the shell of a future coff ee shop meant as something of a historical tribute and “for good luck since the world’s oldest stock exchange was in a coffee shop.”

But then again, this is just a building. Though it is a good sign that there is active construction, there is nothing here that suggests at first glance that the Yangon Stock Exchange will be a success. Two other grand-looking buildings in Southeast Asia also house exchanges—these are the Lao Securities Exchange (LSX) off Kampheng Meuang Road in Vientiane, Laos; and the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) along Preah Mohaksat Treiyani Kossamak in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia. However, neither of these bourses are, by any standard definition, successful stock exchanges. What might indicate that the upcoming YSX will be different?

To varying degrees, other more successful stock exchanges can be cited in Southeast Asia. Examples include, from newest to oldest: the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX); the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE); the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX); the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET); the Singapore Exchange (SGX); Bursa Malaysia (MYX); and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). The two exchanges in Vietnam, unlike the neighboring LSX and CSX, are the best example of stock exchanges begun in the twenty-first century that are performing at, and in some ways exceeding, what a successful stock market exchange means for a developing country in Southeast Asia. The HNX and HoSE have become invaluable to both companies and investors of the capital market in Vietnam. What might indicate that the exchange in Yangon will follow the example in Vietnam as opposed to the one in Cambodia or Laos?

This article contends that despite the many challenges facing the introduction of a new stock exchange in Myanmar, the Yangon Stock Exchange will likely have more in common with… [click here to continue to read full text]

*Originally published in Journal of Burma Studies by T. F. Rhoden; image-photo credit for this post via Frontier Myanmar. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 

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Yangon and Shwedagon Pagoda

Newest guidebook by T. F. Rhoden!

The newest travel guidebook from Other Places Publishing is called Yangon and Shwedagon Pagoda. Guidebook is available on Kindle and in paperback from all major book distributors, including the publisher, and on Amazon.

Description

Myanmar is turning a new page and Yangon is at the center of a vibrant cultural, political and economic renaissance. This publication, the first travel guide in over half a century to focus only on Myanmar’s most famous city, explores this transforming city from a local’s perspective with firsthand, on-the-ground research that highlights the city’s best sites, restaurants and eateries while providing all the context and insight a traveler needs to fully appreciate the local culture. Written by people who love to travel, let us be your guide to this amazing town, and reveal the most unique and memorable experiences that Yangon has to offer.

– Unique insight into Yangon’s history, people and culture, plus need-to-know information on preparing for travel and what to expect when visiting Yangon.

– Reviews and personal recommendations for 102 sites, 111 nightlife venues, 164 accommodations (from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels), and 343 eateries.

– A chapter dedicated solely to Shwedagon Pagoda, including a full write-up of the major halls and stupas found in and around the temple complex.

– Detailed maps, sprawled over 35 pages, cover nine unique areas of Yangon.

Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: Other Places Publishing (2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935850164
ISBN-13: 978-1935850168
Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight: 15 ounces

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*Original copyright for book is held by T. F. Rhoden; photo credit for image of this post as well as cover of this book publication goes to Daw Yi Yi Win. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 

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Making Out in Burmese

Zaniest book on Burmese language ever!

New language phrasebook by T. F. Rhoden entitled Making Out in Burmese, published by Tuttle Publishing. Find a traditional book stores and online at Amazon.

Description

Making Out in Burmese is a fun, accessible and thorough Burmese phrase book and guide to the Burmese language as it’s really spoken.

Nihn yeh myiht lohn goh jait deh. Beh daw teht-dway ja oo me-lah?—(You have beautiful eyes. When can I see you again?) Answer this correctly in Burmese and you may be going on a hot date. Incorrectly, and you could be hurting someone’s feelings or getting a slap! Burmese classes and textbooks tend to spend a lot of time rehearsing for the same fictitious scenarios but chances are while in Myanmar (Burma) you will spend a lot more time trying to make new friends or start new romances—something you may not be prepared for.

If you are a student, businessman or tourist traveling to Myanmar and would like to have an authentic and meaningful experience, the key is being able to speak like a local. This friendly and easy-to-use Burmese phrasebook makes this possible. Making Out in Burmese has been carefully designed to act as a guide to modern colloquial Burmese for use in everyday informal interactions—giving access to the sort of catchy Burmese expressions that aren’t covered in traditional language materials. As well as the Romanized, each expression is now given in authentic Burmese script (myanma bhasa), so that in the case of difficulties the book can be shown to the person the user is trying to communicate with.

This Burmese phrasebook includes:

– A guide to pronouncing Burmese words correctly.
– Explanations of basic Burmese grammar.
– Romanized forms of words and phrases.
– Complete Burmese translations including Burmese script (myanma bhasa).
– Useful and interesting notes on the Burmese language and culture.
– Lots of colorful, fun and useful expressions not covered in other phrasebooks.

Titles in this unique series of bestselling phrase books include: Making Out in Chinese, Making Out in Indonesian, Making Out in Thai, Making Out in Korean, Making Out in Hindi, Making Out in Japanese, Making Out in Vietnamese, Making Out in Burmese, Making Out in Tagalog, Making Out in Hindi, Making Out in Arabic, Making Out in English, More Making Out in Korean, and More Making Out in Japanese.

Series: Making Out Books
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Bilingual edition (2011)
Language: English, Burmese
ISBN-10: 080484173X
ISBN-13: 978-0804841733
Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces

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*Original copyright for book is held by T. F. Rhoden; photo credit for image of this post via Jessica Mudditt. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 

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