Security Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) director-general Sou Socheat said there will be two or three small- and medium-size enterprises (SME) listed on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)’s Growth Board as early as next year, which will be another move for the stock market in Cambodia.
Socheat said at a forum late on Thursday that since the CSX was launched more than seven years ago, it had attracted only five companies to its securities market and three financial institutions to offer corporate bonds.
He said there will be a few more SMEs listing early next year.
“The SECC hopes that for next year, besides Acleda bank which would be listed, there will be some small- and medium-size enterprises listing on the Growth Board early next year.
“For our CSX, we have the Main Board for big companies like Acleda and the Growth Board for the SMEs which are required to have a minimum capital of $500,000. We will see around two or three SMEs to be listed next year,” he said.
The Cambodia Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025 report said the government targeted 80 to 95 per cent of SMEs to be officially registered, out of which 50 to 70 per cent have an accurate account and balance sheet.
Ministry of Industry and Handicraft secretary of state Heng Sokong said at a forum recently that accessing finance is one of the challenges for local SMEs.
He suggested that they should consider going public, allowing their shares to be purchased and traded on the local bourse.
“They will be able to stay competitive as they have a source of finance to expand productivity. However, they should be ready themselves and ensure their businesses are registered and have accurate accounts and balance sheets,” said Sokong.
He said the target is simple but important as proper bookkeeping is one of the mechanisms to check the business status and operation of enterprises and provide accountability to shareholders.
Sokong said SME owners should realise how much they can benefit when their businesses are registered, noting that there are about 520,000 SMEs in Cambodia, with about 150,000 of them registered as manufacturing entities.
“The SME sector is the backbone of economic growth. If the sector goes strong, it will help a lot to contribute to the country’s development,” he said.
In early January, Prime Minister Hun Sen released a sub-decree granting a huge tax incentive to companies listed on the local bourse.
The firms that listed on the bourse within three years of the sub-decree received a 50 per cent reduction on their income tax and elimination of all tax debt.