History lives on in Yangon

YANGON, 26 May 2017: Yangon Heritage Trust has recognised the Yangon Stock Exchange building as the latest historic landmark to receive a Blue Plaque.

According to YHT, the Blue Plaque installed at the Yangon Stock Exchange was the trust’s 18th plaque.

YHT awards Blue Plaques to distinguish Yangon’s top architectural landmarks. Blue Plaques are permanent signs installed on public places to commemorate a link between locations and a famous person, event, or landmark. They serve as historical markers.

Located on the corner of Sule Pagoda Road and Merchant Road, the building was originally designed to house the Reserve Bank of India and completed in March 1939. Before the Reserve Bank took over the site, it was occupied by the Recorder’s Court.

The Reserve Bank of India was established in 1935 and Yangon’s branch was opened in 1937 the same year Burma was separated from India. During the Japanese Occupation, the building was used as People’s Bank of Burma and issued Japanese banknotes.

After independence in 1948, the building was turned over to the Union Bank of Burma. The first Kyat currency was issued here 1 July 1952. The bank was restructured to become the Central Bank of Myanmar in 1990 and relocated to Yankin Township in 1993.

Then, Myawaddy Bank occupied the premises for several years before the country’s first Yangon Stock Exchange was opened 9 December 2015. Stock trading began 25 March 2016.

YHT’s founder and chairman, Dr Thant Myint-U, said revitalisation of heritage sites could create tremendous opportunities for tourism in Yangon’s downtown area.

“The renovation of the old Central Bank building to be the new Yangon Stock Exchange is a great example of how heritage sites can be reused.”

The commemorative Blue Plaque is a part of Yangon Heritage Trust’s efforts to highlight historical buildings and renowned residents who contributed to the narrative of the city. It is also is part of YHT’s efforts to protect Yangon’s architectural and cultural heritage.