By Myanmar Eleven
First Myanmar Investment experienced volatile trading in its first days on the Yangon Stock Exchange.Turnover on the first day, March 25, was 3.4 billion kyat (Bt98.3 million), rising to 8.6 billion on Tuesday and 2.5 billion on Thursday.
On the first day, due to slow trading, YSX did not apply continuous trading but matched sell and buy orders in two auctions.
Thura Swiss, a consulting firm, said the inexperience of investors and the lack of institutional investors could generally lead to high volatility in the stock market in the near future.
CTBC opens office
Nine months after winning the Central Bank of Myanmar’s approval, Taiwan-based CTBC Bank opened its representative office in Yangon.
The bank hopes to eventually win a banking licence.
CTBC recently bought a stake in Thailand’s LH Bank in its bid to expand in Asean.
NLD eyes hikes in land rents
The new government plans to review the rent for land where Yangon Zoo and Kandawgyi-Mhyaw Sin Kyun Park sit.
MP Yan Aung of the National League for Democracy said the rents were too low compared to market rates.
The current deals needed to be reconsidered and “will be adjusted to a price so that the country will not lose out on huge amounts of income”, he said.
Observers said both pieces of land, with large areas, cost the country millions in lost taxes every year.
According a Yangon Region report, Zay Gabar Co, which pays 300,000 kyat a year for the Kandawgyi-Karaweik Park site, earns 8.6 billion kyat each year from the property.
Disturbing the peace charges dropped
A Yangon court sentenced politician Dr Myat Nu Khine, charged under Section 147 for rioting, to one year in prison with hard labour for participating in a protest in front of the Chinese embassy in 2014. Yet, she was found not guilty of breaching Section 505(b) for disturbing the peace. During the Thein Sein administration, everyone charged under this section was sent to prison.
Myat Nu Khine was denied bail because of the section. But she was the first charged under this section and was not found guilty.
“I won’t say I’m satisfied with the ruling. I’m innocent. The new government should first consider releasing political prisoners,” she said.
Her lawyer Than Zaw Aung said the decision was likely a result of the transfer of power to the new government.
Myat Nu Khine was due to run in last year’s general election as an independent candidate but was arrested while campaigning.
11 jailed for Arakan Army connection
The Kyauktaw Township Court in Rakhine state on March 31 sentenced more suspects for involvement with the Arakan Army.
Eleven more people were sent to jail after 12 were sentenced on Thursday.
The latest convicts are from several Rakhine townships. Three of them were sentenced to five years in prison and the rest to three years.
“A total of 36 people were detained in Kyauktaw for connection with the unlawful armed group. Yesterday, 12 were sentenced. And today 11 more were sentenced. They are all sent to Sittwe prison,” said Kyaw Hla Myint, a Kyauktaw activist.
IT firm denies ex-minister’s claims
RedLink, a data communications service provider, has spoken out against comments made by former information minister Ye Htut regarding tax evasion.
It said the firm was of good standing and was listed three years in a row for paying extremely high levels of tax. Ye Htut’s claims were a low political blow to Thura Shwe Mann, whose son Toe Naing owns shares in the company, it said.
According to February 26 editions of state-owned newspapers, Ye Htut claimed that “RedLink and Yatanarpon Teleport have been using the 2500MHz frequency for profit ever since 2009 and so in order for the country to stop losing more tax money, an auction was held.
“There are also plans to ask for compensation fees for the three years of free use.”
EU urges improvement in election process
The European Union Election Observation Mission to Myanmar congratulated the country on holding the peaceful election in November but said several laws and regulations can be improved to make the process more transparent and fair to all.
Chief observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said the provision for 25 per cent of seats to be filled by appointees is not compatible with these standards and should be abolished.
The criteria used to determine who is a citizen should not be discriminatory or arbitrary, as all should enjoy the right to vote. “The right to stand for election needs to be reasonable and inclusive. A 10-year residency obligation for parliamentary candidates, for example, is too strict.”
Phone number auctions
Telenor Myanmar’s second public auction of special numbers in Mandalay on March 25 netted 357.9 million kyat from 43 special numbers.
The highest bid of the day was received for phone number 0979 9999999, which was sold for 80.2 million kyat.
Telenor has said all profits above the reserve price of 3 million kyat per number – in this case 228.9 million – will be donated to build a monastic school building and digital education centre in Myat Lay Yone Monastic School in Kwan Chan Gone township of Yangon, the company said in a statement.
More auctions in other cities are planned.