Friday, 7 March 2014

Delays and confusion over Thilawa IPO

Customers cued in various banks on March 3 ready to buy into the Thilawa SEZ Holdings Public Ltd., the company managing one of Myanmar’s most promising development projects, only to be turned away and told shares were not on sale.

The company was scheduled to start its initial public offering (IPO) by selling shares in various local banks on Monday, but many branches had not received orders and had to turn away customers.

“We went to the banks today as we want to buy shares in Thilawa Company. But they said they didn’t have any instructions from above. They just noted down our names and phone numbers. They didn’t say on which date shares would be sold. They said they will contact us back,” said Htar Myat, a resident from Yangon.

Thilawa SEZ Holdings had teamed up with Kanbawza Bank, Ayeyawady Bank, Myanmar Apex Bank, Cooperative Bank and Yoma Bank to sell a total of 2.1 million shares at Ks 10,000 (US $10) a piece.

The company aims to raise US$ 21 million from the IPO to fund the first phase of Thilawa Special Economic Zone, a sprawling industrial complex located about 20 km south of Yangon, which will include a deep sea port, factories and housing projects.

Thilawa SEZ Project is jointly owned by Myanmar and Japan on a 51/49 percent ownership ratio and is expected to be operational by 2015.

“It’s still in planning. Wait a few days… Share sales depend on them [Thilawa SEZ Holdings] and banks just collect money. So it will work only after clear decisions are made regarding financial and accounting issues,” said an official from the Kanbawza Bank.

Sett Aung, chairperson of Thilawa SEZ Management Subcommittee, insisted that the company shares were only on offer only in some banks branches and admitted to some clumsiness with the initial offering.

“Actually, shares are on sale. The situation is that banks offer the shares only at some branches… but they are giving information to all of their branches now. There may be some clumsiness on the first day,” said Sett Aung.

In offering shares, small buyers will be prioritised according on a pro rata basis. The Thilawa SEZ is the most advanced of several special economic zones that aim at attracting foreign investment and industry to Myanmar.

source: Eleven Myanmar
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