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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SECC tells public to shun bogus securities

SECC tells public to shun bogus securities

THE Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) warned the public Thursday to be wary of companies trying to sell securities or bonds without approval.

Some companies had taken out advertisements inviting the public to buy their financial instruments in violation of the law on the issuance and trading of nongovernmental securities, the SECC said in an announcement Thursday.

Seang Thirith, director of the SECC's Department of Legal Affairs, identified SMCB Service Corporation Berhad as an offender Thursday, He told the Post the company had advertised in Nature Magazine that it was looking to sell shares from April until June.

According to the advertisement, the firm was selling bonds to the public on a seaweed plantation on Kep province's Rabbit Island. The company claimed it would provide a 30 percent return on the first year, 51 percent in the second year and 75 percent in the third year.

Mei Ratha, a representative of the company in Cambodia, was in Hungary on Thursday. A woman claiming to be his wife confirmed the company intended to sell bonds for the seaweed plantation, but it was not clear if it owned a plantation.

"This is my husband's plan, but as far as I know he has not bought any seaweed plantation in Kep yet," she said.

Seang Thirith said he had twice invited the company for talks, but that it had failed to appear. "For the first step, we just inform the public to be careful they are not cheated by this company," he said. "If the company continues to advertise in order to cheat the public, we will take legal action against them."

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