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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Canadia Tower pencilled in as temporary bourse home

Canadia Tower pencilled in as temporary bourse home

Negotiations under way for Cambodia’s tallest building to host stock exchange

THE Cambodian Securities Exchange (CSX) could be launched in Canadia Tower at the year’s end as construction on its planned site in Phnom Penh’s Camko City has not begun, officials said Wednesday.

Negotiations are under way to secure one to two storeys in the Kingdom’s tallest building as an interim home for the bourse and are expected to wrap up within two months, CSX General Director Hong Sok Hour said.

“The decision to rent floor space from Canadia Tower is because work on the dedicated CSX building at Camko City has not yet begun. We will move into Camko when construction is completed there,” Hong Sok Hour said.

The exchange has announced it will open by the end of this year, after missing its previous self-imposed deadline in 2009.

Charles Vann, Executive Vice President of Canadia Bank, owner of the 32-storey tower, said Wednesday that a final decision on location rested with exchange officials.

“No agreement has been reached, but it is the Finance Ministry’s decision,” he said.

Neither party would comment on the proposed rental fees or the duration of the contract now under discussion.

Other prominent Phnom Penh developers have recently attempted to woo the exchange to their project site.

President of Vattanac Properties Ltd, Chhun Leang, proposed its Vattanac Capital high-rise as a future site for the CSX when construction on the US$150 million project wraps up in September 2012.

“I would request the government to consider the feasibility of choosing Vattanac Capital as the formal location of the Stock Market of Cambodia,” she said earlier this month, at an event attended by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.

The Korean Exchange, a 45 percent stakeholder in the CSX, told the Post earlier this month that it is up to the government to decide the physical location of the exchange.

“It’s really up to the government to make the decision. Korean Exchange does not mind if it is in Camko City, Canadia Tower, or the future Vattanac Capital,” project director Inpyo Lee said.

Questions surround whether the bourse will open this year, or whether it will miss its second self-imposed deadline.

Security and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) General Director Ming Bankosal said the CSX had not yet applied for its licence to operate, or finalised the requirements for securities firms and representatives interested in operating as brokers, traders, and underwriters for the exchange.

“But it will be finalised, and officially announced soon,” he said Wednesday.

According to a prakas, or edict, on the licencing of securities firms and securities representatives, companies seeking to operate as securities underwriters must possess minimum capital of $9.52 million, whereas securities dealers need minimum $6 million in capital and brokers require $1.42 million.

Investment advisory firms will need a minimum of $96,000, and will be required to lodge $4,800 bonds with the National Bank of Cambodia.

The prakas also stipulates requirements for human resources and professional experience.

Three state-owned enterprises – Telecom Cambodia (TC), Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, and Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) – have been instructed by the government to list at the opening of the exchange.

Though analysts say the PPWSA is in a fairly strong position to prepare for listing, the port has yet to receive an independent audit, and TC did so only in 2008.

An independent audit is a prerequisite set by the SECC for listing.

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