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Financial training deal inked

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Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon (front right) greets Anthony Muh, chairman of Hong Kong Securities Institute, before a signing ceremony yesterday.

A representative from a Hong Kong-based financial industry body and training school inked an agreement with a Cambodian institute today to improve human resources for the Kingdom’s planned stock exchange.

The memorandum of understanding will see the Hong Kong Securities Institute assist the Kingdom-based Financial Institute of Cambodia by providing advice on training curriculums.

The deal also paves the way for an exchange of professors between the two institutions.

Cambodia’s FIC was established last July and aims to prepare students for a future in securities trading, according to its chairman Sorn Sokna.

Some 300 students have been attracted to the organisation so far.

“Today’s MoU is to build human resources for Cambodia, especially for the establishment and development of a stock market in Cambodia, consistent with transparency, accountability, safety, effectiveness, fairness and investor protection,” said Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon at the signing ceremony in Phnom Penh today.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia was also a signatory to today’s agreement.

Huot Pum, economics specialist at the Royal University of Law and Economics, said the exchange would benefit from more human resources training, as the securities sector was new for Cambodia.

“What we want to do is try our best to educate more and more people – as many as we can,” he said.

HKSI chairman Anthony Muh said the agreement would allow both professional bodies to improve continuous training in the finance and investment field.

“This has marked the beginning of a new phase to promote sharing of market experiences and best practices among professionals from two sides,” he said. HKSI was founded in 1998 and aims to assist students with pursing careers in the financial services industry, according to its website.

“To successfully perform our important mission, we need strong cooperation from two critical organisations [the SECC and Hong Kong Securities Institute],” said FIC’s Sorn Sokna.

Meanwhile, the SECC is also slated to hold a public consultation today to discuss what currency will be used on the stock exchange when it launches in July.

Experts have voiced support for several options, including the riel, the United States dollar, or allowing listings in both currencies.

OSK Indochina Bank country head Lim Loong Seng said he supported choosing just one currency – either the dollar or the riel.

OSK has been approved to act as an underwriter on the exchange.

In Channy, chief executive officer of ACLEDA Bank, one of four approved brokers for the exchange, has previously told The Post that he supported use of the riel.

Economic Institute of Cambodia senior researcher Neou Sieha said he supported listings in both currencies, adding the dollar would initially be the most widely used under that scheme, but would gradually be overtaken by the riel.

SECC Director General Ming Bankosal said no decision had yet been reached on the issue.

“We have not decided on a currency because we want to receive input from stakeholders first, before submitting our plans to the government for final approval,” he said today.

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