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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   19 April  2012

Cambodia’s first securities issue attracts considerable interest

19 April, 2012

Cambodia's first securities issue, an offering of shares in Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, has attracted considerable interest among foreign investors, market sources said.

Svay Hay, director of Acleda Securities Plc, a unit of Acleda Bank Plc which was transfer agent for the issue, said foreigners accounted for around a third of the subscription in the primary market. He said these investors were mainly from China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Europe.
Foreigners may be attracted to the Cambodian market because of its openness, he said. Under local market rules, only 20 per cent of shares issued have to be allocated to domestic investors with foreigners allowed to take up to 80 per cent.

Once source, who asked not to be named, said foreigners bought at least 50 per cent of the shares that changed hands yesterday, the first day of trading at the Cambodia Securities Exchange with turnover of 8.2 billion riel (US$63 million).

Ghanty Sam, a finance professor, said Cambodia needed more local investors to promote market stability, noting that foreigners can quickly withdraw their funds from Cambodia.

"It's better that we have more Cambodian investors who are long-term investors," he said, adding that local awareness of the market needed to be raised to attract domestic interest.

Underwritten by South Korea's Tong Yang Securities (Cambodia) Plc, the Phnom Penh Water issue was equivalent to 15 per cent of the utility's capital. The remaining 85 per cent is held by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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