Based on the Royal Government of Cambodia’s July 2005 “SME Development Framework”, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined as businesses with fewer than 100 employees and an asset value of less than $500,000.

According to the 2018 Annual Report of the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation, and statements by HE Heng So Kong, secretary of state at the Ministry of Industry, there are approximately 520,000 SMEs in Cambodia.

They account for 99.8 per cent of all companies, provide employment to 70 per cent of the population and cover 58 per cent of the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP).

These enterprises are largely responsible for driving innovation and competition in the Cambodian economy.

Why invest in SMEs?

Investment in SMEs provides investors with a distinct set of benefits often not found when investing in larger firms.

Growth opportunities

Investing in large companies most certainly provides investors with the most stable potential for profits – however, due to their already substantial size, their room for growth is naturally more limited.

Today’s large and successful corporations all started out their journey as small businesses.

Investing in SMEs allows investors to start from the very beginning or at very early phases of a company’s development cycle.

As today’s trends keep moving towards new, creative and exciting products and services, younger firms offer investors the chance of discovery and the opportunity to jump on board towards new and untapped investment potential.

Because small businesses have yet to reach the point of saturation, gains are more linear, and investors can expect greater growth rates than those seen in large companies.

Dividend growth

Regardless of the company’s size, investors can expect to reap the benefits of dividend payments.

Small companies, in particular, provide investors with the distinct characteristic of increasing dividend growth as the company matures into a larger business.

Dividend payments are a fantastic indicator of a company’s profitability and growth.

As companies continue to develop, investors can expect increased dividend payments year on year in return for continuous investment.

Better access

Because many institutional investors choose to invest in established enterprises with proven returns rather than small businesses, the market for small and medium-sized enterprises is less congested than that of large corporations.

Generally, when institutional investors enter the market, they usually do so in a big way, driving up the price.

Individual investors can take advantage of the opportunity to get into the market ahead of institutional investors and benefit as the price rises.

Easier to keep track

Larger companies frequently spread their operations over many diverse industries, which can be difficult for some investors to follow – especially specific industries.

While this diverse engagement is beneficial for investors seeking long-term growth and diversity, the company’s capacity for growth can also stagnate for that very reason.

SMEs, meanwhile, focus their financial resources on a single sector.


While there can be major benefits to investing in smaller companies, each type of investment comes with its own set of risks.

Investing in large corporations is generally safe owing to the firm’s proven worth – instead, SMEs need time to build stable foundations.

Due to their smaller size and business structure, SMEs often fail to conduct proper and systematic risk management.

This can negatively impact their business and prove to be fatal. Such risks include but are not limited to financial, reputational, legal, supply chain, operational, strategic, intellectual property and security.

Opportunities in SMEs on CSX

Balancing such potentials and risks, investors can easily look for just the high potential SMEs.

Investors can consider investing in Cambodia’s publicly listed SMEs on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).

These listed SMEs have been verified and approved by the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) to have met strict requirements and standards, in areas such as corporate governance, profitability, financial stability, transparency and accountability.

As such, these SMEs are most likely steering safe from pitfalls and can be considered the gold standard of all the Kingdom’s SMEs.

SMEs are listed on the CSX’s Growth Board, as opposed to the Main Board targeted for large companies.

Currently, there are only two companies that have met the requirements and listed on the Growth Board.

These are DBD Engineering Plc and JS LAND Plc.

DBD Engineering (CSX:DBDE) went public on September 6, 2021 with an initial public offering (IPO) of 2,400 riel.

DBDE’s cash dividend per share for 2021 was 131 riel. The stock has traded at a low of 2,170 riel and reached a high of 2,630 riel.

Investors interested in real estate may consider JS LAND Plc (CSX:JSL), a condominium development company listed on the CSX’s Growth Board.

This stock went public on February 10, 2022, with an IPO of 1,900 riel.

The stock has seen a major price increase, doubling its initial public offering value almost immediately after listing on the CSX.

JSL has been traded at a low of 2,420 riel and reached a high of 7,500 riel.

This translates to a nearly four-fold increase in profit should an investor make the right moves in following the trends.

Investors can profit from buying or selling stocks when the price fluctuates or hold their position for long-term gains as a company grows rapidly and still receives yearly dividends.

More information about these companies and the CSX’s Growth Board can be found on the official CSX website:

Prepared by: Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), Market Operation Department

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 023 95 88 88 / 023 95 88 85