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Investment accounts open

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The official opening of the Cambodia Securities Exchange on July 11. Photo by: Sovan Philong

SEVERAL securities firms are opening accounts, even as the first listing on the Cambodia Securities Exchange are not expected until later this year, company officials said yesterday.

The CSX was launched on July 11 without any listed firms, though state-owned Telecom Cambodia, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port are expected to trade later this year by listing via Initial Public Offerings.

Sonatra Securities Operations Officer Sokhna Rachana said yesterday the firm had opened accounts for both foreigners and locals.

“Most of our clients have knowledge about the market, so it will not be difficult to explain [the market’s workings] to them,” she said.

Approved underwriter Phnom Penh Securities Director Kuy Vat said it was working towards attracting retail investors with its accounts.

“[So far] they are mostly foreign investors who have experience in their home countries. Many potential local investors are not ready to invest in the market,” he said.

However, officials from other firms with roles said they had yet to begin offering investment accounts.

ACLEDA Bank aims to eventually attract between 5 and 10 percent of its total depositors to eventually brokerage accounts, said ACLEDA Securities Director Svay Hay.

ACLEDA had more than 700,000 depositors on its books at the end of last year, according to its annual report.

“[The CSX] is a long-term investment, so buying into the first share issue in the new market, we can expect share prices to increase by 50 percent later on,” said Svay Hay

The market offered ways for retail investors to diversify and find new profit streams, he added. ACLEDA is working to connect its system to the CSX, aiming to make accounts available soon.

Sacom Securities also claims to be seeing interest from retail investors, but is holding off opening accounts until it receives further information from the CSX.

“I believe that may be six months after the stock market proves to be successful, then lots of people will come to our company,” said its Securities Representative Nguyen Thanh Toan.

SBI Phnom Penh Securities, approved underwriter for Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, is working hard towards a late 2011 deadline for the firm’s IPO.

“We are trying our best at the moment, but you know there are so many things to consider,” said director Jeremy Ha.

According to a prakas, or edict, firms must provide detailed information such as names and address of retail investors who open accounts to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC).

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