Myanmar is trying to lure foreign investors by updating its legal and regulatory framework, and opening its stock exchange within the next two years.
Foreign banks will be able to set up joint ventures with local banks by 2015, said Myanmar-based tax advisers at PricewaterhouseCoopers. After establishing JVs, foreign banks will build their own subsidiaries.
About 18 foreign banks have already set up a representative office in Myanmar. Standard Chartered is the latest, having won a licence in January.
The government aims to unbind the limitation by reviewing and updating the existing Financial Institutional Law, and expects to complete the process by 2015. Meanwhile, it is preparing to enact a securities exchange law by the end of this year.
At the same time, Myanmar is preparing to establish a stock exchange by 2015. The exchange will have agencies, brokers, dealers and underwriters, as well as new share offerings by that time.
Banks, miners and hotels are likely to be among the first to list on the Yangon Stock Exchange, as early as October 2015, said PwC.
Myanmar also plans to further develop its interbank market, bond market and currency market.
“People need to be very patient, because the market is 50 years behind and trying to catch up with international standards,” said Jasmine Thazin Aung, a Yangon-based director in advisory with PwC.