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Economic zone may go public

The Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ) plans to raise money to fund an expansion through an initial public offering, a senior official from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC)
said yesterday.

If successful, PPSEZ could become one of the few companies to list on the faltering Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), joining the stagnant Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, shares of which have hit record lows in recent months.

Sok Dara, deputy director general of the exchange commission, which regulates the CSX, said on Monday that PPSEZ submitted a letter of intent a few months ago.

“PPSEZ applied their intention letter to SECC since September because they want to issue shares to take some money for their investment expansion,” he said, without going into more detail.

The letter is a mandatory first step in the IPO process.

“They are midway between application of intent and IPO proposal,” Dara said.

Disclosure documents and separate filings to go public are still required.

PPSEZ was established on the outskirts of Phnom Penh in 2006 with capital of $68 million. Today, 63 companies operate there. Most are factories and more than half are Japanese-owned.

Oknha Lim Chhiv Ho, president of LCH Investment Group, is chairwoman. She could not be reached yesterday.

The zones make money by renting land out to companies, which in turn can export goods more efficiently through a single-window system.

The PPSEZ isn’t alone. A Taiwanese-owned garment factory, Grand Twins International (Cambodia) Plc, submitted a letter in 2012, but its IPO has yet to materialise. Letters from companies that the SECC would not disclose have also been submitted, and plans to list are never in short supply.

Sung Bonna, chairman of Bonna Realty Group, said yesterday that “we are working on it”, as did the chairman of VTrust, another property firm.

The sole stock closed at 5,480 riel yesterday. Not a single trade was completed.

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