Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SMEs get support to go public

SMEs get support to go public

A man points to figures displayed by the CSX at a listing ceremony for the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone last year.
A man points to figures displayed by the CSX at a listing ceremony for the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone last year. Athena Zelandonii

SMEs get support to go public

In a move to urge small- and medium-sized businesses to list on the Cambodian stock exchange’s Growth Board, more than 70 companies have joined a new initiative offered by the market regulator that will provide professional guidance on how to meet listing criteria, paving the way to having a first listing sometime next year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) launched its “Excellence Program” today with the aim to help companies develop the capacity to prepare adequate financial reports, establish proper accounting principles and learn about how the growth board can provide additional funding sources.

“This programme will be a major contributor to developing the capacity of SMEs in order to meet listing criteria,” SECC Director Sou Socheat said yesterday. “We are optimistic that there will be at least three or four companies that can be listed on the Cambodia Securities Exchange’s Growth Board next year.”

The Excellence Program is a three-day seminar that will choose five companies for in-house consultation by the SECC and underwriting firms. The seminar is designed for owners and top management of local companies.

The Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) has struggled to attract a single SME since the launch of its Growth Board in late 2015. According to SECC regulations, companies are required to have a minimum of $500,000 in operating capital to list, compared to $7.5 million on the main board. Companies that list on the platform are also required to release one year of audited financial results, compared to the two years required for bigger companies.

Seng Chan Thoeun, head of corporate finance at SBI Royal Securities, said that the initiative would strengthen SMEs’ ability to meet the SECC requirements.

“Without the programme, SME owners will remain hesitant to list while even underwriting firms have difficulties in evaluating companies,” he said. “When they join the programme and qualify, companies can access funds through the capital market either by listing on the stock market or issuing bonds.”

Lamun Soleil, director of market operations at the CSX, said that SMEs face more difficulties in listing due to a lack of qualified personnel, corporate governance standards and smooth internal financial policies. He added that SMEs generally face more upfront costs to list as they have to restructure a company to be compliant.

“Hence, the programme would hopefully assist them in terms of advice and guidance by showing a more correct and shorter way that lowers expenses,” he said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the