Construction set to begin on new bourse this month, says finance official
THE construction of Cambodia’s stock exchange will finally begin this month at Phnom Penh’s Camko City after delays caused by a redesign of the US$6 million structure, a finance official said Tuesday.
Mey Vann, director of the Industry and Finance Department, told a signing ceremony for the building between the government and contractor World City Co Ltd that architectural plans had been finalised, and that the structure would be finished by the end of next year.
“We will delay opening the stock market in Cambodia until the end of 2010 because of the global financial crisis,” Aun Porn Moniroth, secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said at the ceremony in Phnom Penh, which included Minister Keat Chhon.
The Finance Ministry rejected a previous blueprint for the four-storey structure in July and asked South Korea’s World City to revise the plans to incorporate more Khmer elements to the design. Construction was previously scheduled to begin immediately after the end of the rainy season last month, but the design revisions pushed this date back further.
The new design combines both modern and traditional Khmer features, said Mey Vann, adding that the size – 6,682 square metres – and the cost remain unchanged. World City is covering the cost of the designs, building and land, he added.
Kheng Ser, assistant to World City Vice President Duk-kon Kim, who was unavailable for comment Tuesday, said all infrastructure for the site was complete, confirming that the firm would “this month break ground on the project”.
Mey Vann told the Post on November 12 that the new bourse would receive a soft launch in January or February with still only 10 of the necessary 30 regulations related to its operation passed at that time.
No trading will take place, however, until the new building is constructed, before which time the Finance Ministry will run an office at which it will receive listing applications from interested companies.
Three companies are scheduled to list on the new exchange next year: Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, Phnom Penh Port and Telecom Cambodia. Other companies – mostly banks – have said they are interested in listing, but most have said they will wait to see how Cambodia’s first bourse performs before making a final decision.
Construction to take a year
The new building is scheduled to take eight months to complete, according to Duk-kon Kim, with a further three months needed to bring necessary systems online, meaning the first opening bell is not likely to signal the start of trading until November 2010 at the earliest, nearly a year after the already revised opening date of the end of this month.
This means Cambodia is likely to now begin its first securities trading after neighbouring Laos, which in July signed a deal to open its first bourse in October, according to Bloomberg, also in conjunction with Korea Exchange.