Government reluctant to sell some state-owned enterprises’ sharesNidup Gyeltshen, Thimphu
Feb 13 2016
The government is still not yet ready to sell shares of some of its state-owned enterprises to strengthen the country’s stock market. Bhutan’s stock market, the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said is still the smallest and the slowest in the world.
While the government promised extensive reform in the financial sector to strengthen the stock market, there are still very few measures the government can adopt to achieve that target.
Besides, it is also not in favor of selling shares to the public by divesting some of its profitable government organization.
Lyonchhen explained if government shares were floated to the public, only few people with means and expertise might benefit.
“The idea of selling government shares sounds good, but government organizations contribute a lot to the revenue that is used to provide free education and primary health care to a vast majority. By divesting, the government is compromising a major chunk of its revenue and it will impact, health and education facility.”
However, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said the stock exchange today was looking to establish a separate commodity exchange, where commodities including agriculture produce and minerals would be listed in the stock exchange like shares.
“Once the mega hydropower projects are completed, they would fuel industrial growth, and then, many industries will then be listed in the stock exchange and floating their shares to the public.”
Bhutan’s stock market is the smallest in the world besides the Maldives.