Acleda Bank Plc will target individual investors when it floats its shares on the local stock market later this year, the bank’s president said.
Acleda Bank, the largest locally-owned commercial bank in the Kingdom, will launch an initial public offering (IPO) during the first quarter or second quarter of the year.
Speaking at a seminar to promote the IPO on Wednesday at the bank’s headquarters, In Channy said most of the firms listed on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) focus mainly on institutional investors.
But Acleda Bank’s goal is to enhance investment opportunities for all Cambodians so more people can benefit from the bank’s growth.
“Our main focus is on individual investors. It is not difficult for us to sell securities to institutional investors but the intention is to sell securities to individuals as much as possible.
“Both individual and institutional investors can be shareholders of Acleda Bank. As far as we are concerned, there is no difference between these types of investors,” Channy said.
Since its humble beginnings 27 years ago as a national NGO meant to provide credit to small enterprises, the bank has increased its capital 700-fold and its net profit nearly 2,000-fold. Its assets are now valued at $6 billion.
One of the key challenges for the firm ahead of the IPO is increasing awareness of the stock market among potential investors.
“We have been trying to educate the public and reach out to them regarding investments in the securities market. Despite the fact that CSX was launched in 2012, it is still not broadly understood by the people.
“I want individual investors to buy 100 per cent of the issued securities. We want to share our growth with the people,” Channy told potential investors.
He noted that institutional investors are also welcome. “We will also sell securities to them if they comply with the existing rules and regulations of the Securities Exchange Commission of Cambodia,” Channy said.
Sophan Pheakdey, a representative of a private firm who attended the seminar, said he was “quite interested” in the IPO as the firm was one of the largest banks in the Kingdom and generated strong revenues.
“I have already invested in the local stock market, and I think the securities of Acleda Bank have much more potential than those of other listed firms.
“Acleda Bank is the largest and best-known bank in Cambodia and consistently generates a lot of revenue every year. I am extremely interested in investing,” he said.
A French-Cambodian investor who identified himself as Tomas told The Post: “I am looking forward to investing in the bank, particularly now that Acleda Bank has announced it will allow individuals to become shareholders.
“The bank has many branches across the country, which reflects its strength and market share. I am not afraid of adding it to my portfolio because I consider it to be a long-term investment.”
Acleda Bank was the first Cambodian commercial bank to be granted permission in principle to issue securities on CSX. The bank was officially granted permission by the National Bank of Cambodia on November 26.