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CSX: Six months down the line

CSX: Six months down the line

A screen shows activity on the CSX on its first day of trading, April 18, 2012. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Trading on the Cambodian Securities Exchange remained low yesterday, which also marked six months of operation for the bourse. An official said this is due to a lack of public awareness and listed companies.

Ming Bankosal, General Director of the CSX, said that as listed companies increase so will public interest and trading.

“If there are more companies, they [traders] can sell shares from one company to buy shares in others. For these companies the share value will increase considerably,” he said.

Ming Bankosal said the promotion of the companies’ progress is also important for enhancing awareness among the public to participate in trading on the CSX.

On the first day of trading, state-run company Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority closed up 48 per cent at 9,300 riel (US$2.33) from an IPO of 6,300 riel.

A mix of institutional and retail investors traded 487,110 stocks worth $1.13 million, according to the Post’s report in April.

A day later, the PPWSA’s share price jumped again to 9,750 riel as an increasing number of retail investors bought into the company. A total of 488,528 shares were traded.

However, PPSWA’s share price dropped to 6200 riel – lower than its IPO – on September 27  and there were only 13,323 shares traded. Yesterday, only 2,000 shares were traded with the price of 6,350 riel per share at the closing hour.

Douglas Clayton, CEO of Leopard Capital, wrote via email that PPWSA seemed to have found its valuation, which happens to be back at the IPO price.

Until there is an earnings growth catalyst investors cannot expect the price to rerate higher. Water utility stocks tend to have low price volatility, he said.

“The CSX has been slow to attract new listings,” he said.

“The government should consider offering better tax incentives to encourage private sector companies such as banks, telecom operators and hotel groups to list,” said Clayton.

Ming Bankosal said that according to traders, most of them bought and then kept their shares because they have confidence in PPWSA, which as a state-run company in the CSX will never lose value or go bankrupt.

“If we analyse the situation of the state-owned company which is stable, it will not go bankrupt,” he said. “This company will live with us forever because we all need water daily.”

Cambodia attempted to list some state-run companies such as Preah Sihanoukville port, Phnom Penh Port or Telecom companies on the CSX, but officials could not confirm the date for finalising the documents.

Lou Kim Chhun, chairman and CEO of Sihanoukvillve Autonomous Port, said the port’s officials have been going through the process to list on the CSX, but he would not know because the work to become listed on the CSX is an unfamiliar process.

He said the port experienced about 8 per cent growth each month year-on-year, but he was not certain whether this growth would continue if the company were on the CSX.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]
Erika Mudie at [email protected]