The Myanmar government will soon introduce new guidelines for corporate governance. Speaking to state media, U Aung Naing Oo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, said the new regulations would be published in April. They will apply to Myanmar’s 250 publicly-traded companies, including the six companies listed on the Yangon Stock Exchange, and they will cover four areas: internal control system, audit committee, independent directors and disclosure. The regulations will be derived from the 2013 Securities and Exchange Law and the 2017 Companies Law.
“With this notification, Myanmar’s capital markets will boost investor confidence and increase economic efficiencies. We will continue to strive to improve corporate governance and contribute to the further development of capital markets in the country,” U Aung Naing Oo said.
Myanmar’s reputation for poor corporate practice has driven away potential foreign investors. In the International Finance Corporation’s 2018 Myanmar Corporate Governance Scorecard, Myanmar firms scored on average 30 percent, well under the overall ASEAN average of 69 percent. The regulations could be an important step in closing the gap.