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Mock trading launched

090220_13.jpg
090220_13.jpg

Joint venture agreement postponed as mock trading system opens

BLOOMBERG

Dealers at the Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul. A new training system aims to teach Cambodians how the trading system works.

Exchange timeline

  • May 2006 Cambodian and South Korean finance ministers sign exchange MOU
  • Nov 2006 KRX signs joint venture MOU with government
  • Sept 2007 First securities law passed
  • Oct 2008 Government indicates project may be delayed
  • Feb 2009 Mock trading system launched

ASIGNING ceremony for a joint venture agreement on Cambodia's proposed securities exchange was postponed Thursday, but the launch of a mock trading system to educate market operators and participants went ahead as scheduled.

Korea Exchange (KRX) Chairman and CEO Lee Jung-hwan put off  the scheduled signing ceremony with the Cambodian government because of a back injury sustained last week, said KRX project manager Inpyo Lee. He said the agreement would be delayed until the CEO recovered and was fit to travel, but said no date had been set.

In the absence of the CEO, KRX representatives and Finance Minister Keat Chhon oversaw the launch of a computer training system aimed at teaching participants how to place bid and offer orders on the exchange, as well as how to conduct daily exchange and securities firm business.

The US$10,000 program, which was specially designed for Cambodia, aims to promote awareness of the exchange, Inpyo Lee said. He added he expected the exchange to launch by December.   

However, the global economic crisis and the abysmal performance of exchanges in the Southeast Asian region over the past year have led to mixed messages from government officials on the timing of the bourse's launch, which was originally set for September 9, 2009.

The finance minister said Thursday there is "no change in our program for the stock exchange ... the global financial crisis has delayed the launch. We have to take into account the warnings of our prime minister."

The exchange will only use riels, he said, contrary to Inpyo Lee's statement last week that it would start operations in dollars with riels possibly introduced later.

Prime Minister Hun Sen raised the issue of the stock exchange launch at the Business Roundtable in Siem Reap this week saying that the absence of an exchange in Cambodia had helped the country escape the worst effect of the global economic crisis.

"If it is born just to die, we shouldn't let it be established at this time," he said.  

The finance minister said that three Cambodian companies will be listed on the exchange when it launches this year, but would not confirm which companies they would be.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY NGUON SOVAN

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