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Stock exchange licensed to operate

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Finance Minister Keat Chhon shakes hands with Hong Sok Hour, CEO of Cambodia Securities Exchange, today.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia today certified the Cambodian Stock Exchange as a market operator while accrediting several companies for roles on bourse.

Cambodia Securities Exchange chief executive officer Hong Sok Hour said the licences were an indispensable element for the exchange, which is due to launch in July this year.

“We are optimistic about the opening of the securities market in Cambodia, but we are not sure whether it will be successful or not as we don’t have all the components in place yet,” he said.

Today the bourse was approved as a securities market operator, operator of a clearing and settlement facility and operator of a securities depository.

SECC Director General Ming Bankosal confirmed today it had certified the Cambodia Securities Exchange, meaning another hurdle has been cleared before its launch.

Meanwhile, firms received certificates at Phnom Penh Hotel to act as cash settlement agents, securities registrars, and accountants and auditor firms today.

Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon said the firms that were chosen for these roles would play important roles in allowing the exchange to operate.

He also called upon private firms to consider mobilising capital by listing securities on the exchange, and announced that companies that did so would receive benefits from the state.

“The government will encourage issuers of public securities with tax incentives,” he said at the conference today.

Keat Chhon is also chairman of the SECC.

Canadia Bank Vice President Dieter Billmeier said the bank had been approved to operate as a cash settlement agent, which meant it can handle clients’ cash settlement accounts and resolve cash transfers to buyers and sellers involved in stock transactions.

“We have already prepared ourselves technically and organisation-wise for the new business challenge … though our subsidiary Cana Securities,” he wrote today.

Acleda Bank and BIDC have also been approved for the role as cash settlement agents.

Three firms were accredited to act as securities registrars, transfer agents, and paying agents.

These firms are involved in areas such as paying dividends, and maintaining security owners’ books, according to an SECC prakas outlining the roles released last year.

A further three firms were approved as accounting firms, including global giants KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Last month, a representative of Telecom Cambodia, one of the three state-run firms set to float on the exchange said its shares may not become tradeable until year end. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JEREMY MULLINS

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