Mar 6, 2013

Thai firm to help Asia Green Development value its shares

Thailand’s KSecurities, will provide valuation services for Asia Green Development Bank (AGD) as part of the Myanmar lender’s transformation from private to public company, the bank’s managing director, Ye Min Oo, said, adding that it plans to begin selling shares next month.

“To turn AGD into a public company, we will work with KSecurities of KBank, which provides a share valuation service to the Thailand Stock Exchange, and announce the share price,” Ye Min Oo said. KSecurities, also known as Kasikorn Securities, is a unit of Kasikorn Bank, one of Thailand’s largest lenders. It opened a representative office in Yangon in January.

Than Yi, chairperson of AGD, said last month that the bank had received approval from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration to become a public company and that it would begin selling shares to the public. It received approval on February 18, Than Yi said.

Ye Min Oo said AGD shares would be sold in two stages. It will begin by selling its shares to its staff and when the Myanmar Stock Exchange opens in 2015 it will sell shares to the public, he said.

The bank reaffirmed that it will consult with the Central Bank of Myanmar in valuing its shares and its share sales will be subject to the Central Bank’s approval.

“If the bank becomes a public company, major changes will be been seen in our administration and decision-making [processes]. In the past, we made decisions ourselves. If the company becomes public, we must discuss them with the BOD [Board of Directors]. We will have to work according to what shareholders want. As the company goes public, it requires more transparency. The company will need to pay tax correctly,” Ye Min Oo said.

In February, Than Yi insisted that AGD has no connection with arms or drugs trafficking. He stressed that United States had eased sanctions against AGD because the bank had no links to the illegal businesses. It complied with the central bank’s rules and regulations as well as international banking standards, he said.

AGD bank was founded by the Htoo Group of Companies, which is controlled by tycoon Tay Za, a business associate of the previous military regime. It opened its first office in August 2010 and became the first bank in Myanmar to offer online banking a year later. It now has 25 branches.

Myanmar has four state-run and 19 privately owned banks. Among the largest private banks are Kanbawza, Ayeyawady, Cooperatives and AGD.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media