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CSX head urges use of private equity

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Hong Sok Hour, CEO of the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX). Heng Chivoan

CSX head urges use of private equity

The head of the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on Wednesday urged businesses in the Kingdom to consider utilising private equity funds, saying it would help them grow faster and make it easier for them to list on the exchange in the future.

Speaking to reporters at a seminar on Wednesday called “Raising Money from Private Equity Funds”, CEO Hong Sok Hour said there are more investment funds available for Cambodian entrepreneurs and they should take advantage of the funds in order to expand their businesses.

According to Sok Hour, private equity firms are not just a source of money but have expert teams in place to give technical support and provide efficient business management advice.

“We have changed our strategy from just finding companies to list on our exchange to the creation of initiatives to support SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] in our country to grow faster,” he said, adding that private equity funds will make for a clean financial record, making it easier to list on the bourse.

Over a hundred entrepreneurs attended the event and listened to guest speakers Kem Bora, a partner at private equity firm Mekong Strategic Partners, and Pech Bolene, founder and CEO of Westline Education Group, which has experience in receiving funds and support from private equity firms.

Bora said that the market for private equity funds has been increasing noticeably in the Kingdom over the past few years, as more firms reserve larger sums to support the growth of SMEs.

While there are many equity firms in the market, Bora said that the five largest – EMIA, Belt Road Capital Management, Smart Axiata, Leopard Capital, and IFC, the World Bank’s lending arm – have earmarked $300 million for SMEs.

“There are more funds available for SME owners to grow, but it is just a matter of whether they are ready and qualified,” he said.

Prom Pharavatey, CEO of internet service provider ATA Telecom, said her company was founded with funding borrowed from family and friends, and has limited growth opportunity due to capital limitations. She said being able to get capital from equity firms would indeed help them growing faster.

“It is not easy to obtain capital from equity firms, but it is better to know the criteria and prepare ourselves to obtain funding in the future.”

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