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Cambodians form backbone of securities market


Local stock-exchange staff will be trained by foreign experts


Overseas experts will play an important role in the start-up of the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), says Larry Ng of Cana  Securities.

“Foreign investors will lead the CSX and securities market at the beginning because they have the expertise and the experience. However, sooner or later, local people and companies will eventually play a major role in this securities market and also cooperate with foreign investors to make this market grow,” Ng says.

“The first group of local Cambodian  experts will be born during the CSX start-up period.

“Those people who participate in the opening of the CSX and initial stage of the securities market will be able to take this opportunity and learn from the overseas experts.

“ These Cambodians will become the future backbone of the securities market in Cambodia.”

Young Cambodians under 30, who constitute 70 per cent of the Kingdom’s population, should be making use of this precious opportunity to equip themselves and get a taste of  this market, Ng says.

“What I can see from the young generation now is their flexibility and ability to adapt to the situation quickly, yet some are still passive. For the young owner or investor, they always try something new and professional to run their own business.

“I believe they will be the new generation for this century.”

Ng says that when the New York Stock Exchange was founded in 1817, the volume of stocks traded increased six-fold in the years between 1896 and 1901.

“They realised a larger space was required to conduct business in the expanding marketplace and it took more than 80 years to build enough confidence for people to deal with the stock exchange,” he says.

Larry Ng Shuen Fai, originally from Hong Kong, graduated with a degree in accountancy from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and has been working in the financial sector since then.

His CV includes a stint at Price-waterhouseCoopers, where he mainly focused on taxation issues and mergers and acquisitions.

Ng was an assistant to the chairman of Canadia Bank before starting Cana Securities in October, 2010. It is a fully licensed securities firm accredited by the SECC.

“In order for trust to exist and for people to express confidence in the stock market, people have to believe in the company they invest in.  That’s why corporate social responsibility and the security of the country are the important parts of decision-making.

“As an owner of a company, your objective is to maximise profits for your company. But you also need to care about social responsibility for your people.

“When you go to the public with your company and have an IPO, you may lose some control of the comp-any, but what you gain would be a better corporate image, more funding and better company management.”

In Cambodia, corporate social responsibility is one of the most important factors in people’s decisions to invest their money, Ng says.

“If I buy shares from you, I would like to hear good news about your company. When people own shares of one company, they are proud to be one of the shareholders, not only focusing on making money but also taking pride of ownership.”

Advantages for Cambodia of having a stock-exchange market

THE stock exchange in Cambodia will bring in a lot of domestic investors and foreign investors who will be combined to open new investment channels, Ng says.

The agriculture sector is Cambodia’s biggest and employs about 80 per cent of the population.

“Most farmers have land but not much money, so they look for domestic or foreign investors to invest in their crops,” Ng says.

“The securities market will create an important channel for overseas investors because it enables an exit plan through the selling of shares when projects are completed.”

Ng says the government should encourage foreign investors to come to Cambodia and to list on the CSX as well.

“Foreign companies will create job opportunities and help boost the economy. We should encourage them to establish their businesses here in Cambodia and eventually they will come to one of the securities firms and we can assist them to be listed on the CSX,” he says.

“In China, the government policy is  to encourage people to invest outside China. Investment in the ASEAN region, especially in Cambodia, is still reasonable and affordable. We need to attract outsiders to establish their business in Cambodia.

“The reason is Cambodia is attractive is because it has an open curr-ency policy.  To make the securities market a success, a stable currency policy and strategy are critical.”

A commodities index

NG says that in the future, Cambod-ians ought to consider the development of a commodities index to list palm oil, rubber, pepper, rice, coffee, cassava, gold, coal and other commodities Cambodia has.

“A good commodities index may provide a positive impact on the agriculture industry of Cambodia, encourage more agricultural production and attract more investment in this sector,” he says.



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