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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official preparations begin for three IPOs

Official preparations begin for three IPOs

THE government announced the start of preparations for three state-owned companies to list on the forthcoming stock exchange in a meeting Wednesday at the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA), Telecom Cambodia and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port held a meeting on initial public offerings with Minister Keat Chhon, who said the companies would act as an example to the rest of the private sector during the bourse’s initial stage. The main benefit from listing would be good corporate governance, he said.

“The listing is a method to mobilise financial resources for these enterprises,” he said, adding that all three had been the subject of takeover enquiries by foreign firms, the reason they had been selected to list.

Chhun Sambath, director of the department of securities issuance at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia, announced Wednesday the financial requirements for listing in the Kingdom, the first time the regulations have been made public, although these have not yet been finalised.

A minimum capital of 10 billion riels (US$2.39 million) would be required, he said, along with a minimum annual net profit of 1.5 billion riels during the previous period. Over the prior three years, a combined net profit of at least 3 billion riels would be set, he added.

A public offering would be at least 300,000 shares, Chhun Sambath said, at a minimum of 4,000 riels per share, meaning a total value of 1.2 billion riels.

An independent auditor would have to check all accounts for the previous three years prior to listing, he added.

Han Kyung Tae, chief representative of Tong Yang Securities of South Korea, which is serving as financial adviser to the ministry on matters related to the exchange, said it was still too early to tell whether the three companies selected were up to the required standard – this would normally be determined over about the next six months of preparations, he said.

“But we can speed this up and possibly finish in four months,” he said.

Last month, the heads of the three companies told the Post they had been ordered to list by the government.

Although the government has previously said it would plan to launch the exchange – in partnership with Seoul-based Korea Exchange – by the end of 2009, Keat Chhon declined to comment Wednesday on a possible start date.

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