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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs      30  December 2010

Private companies look at Cambodian bourse

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Many private companies are exploring the possibility of listing on the Cambodia's planned stock exchange, but are also cautious ahead of its launch, according to Han Kyung-tae, managing director of Tong Yang Securities.

Tong Yang is one of seven underwriters approved by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and is set to handle the expected IPOs by state-owned Telecom Cambodia and Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority.

Private firms are adopting a wait-and-see approach to listing, said Han Kyung-tae.

"They would like to be more certain whether the new financial market will work properly and operate well," he said.

"The most important thing is setting up an example of a good IPO. The first IPO is a very, very important step toward the successful launching and operation of a stock exchange."

He said they were from several different industries, notably banking, telecoms, manufacturing, and service companies.

The Cambodia Stock Exchange is set to launch by July 2011.

Tep Virak, general manager of Express Food Group - a subsidiary of Thai company RMA Group - has said the company planned to list, contingent on its business operations. The firm operates Cambodian fast food outlets such as Swensen's and the Pizza Company.

Dieter Billmeier, vice president at Canadia Bank, said that a possible public offering on the bourse was a constant discussion point among senior management in leading banks.

"This discussion has been on the table for quite some time, however not limited to the Cambodia Stock Exchange, but for an IPO at regional stock exchanges like Hong Kong or Singapore too," he said.

"There are no plans for the immediate future as far as 2011 or 2012 is concerned. But who knows, if an exceptional situation may arise, plans can change," he said, highlighting the rapid pace of growth in the banking and finance industry over the last five years.

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