The Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on February 22 held a soft launch ceremony for the CSX Trade app, which seeks to provide clients with a more modern, user-friendly platform to trade securities.

Available free-of-charge for devices running Android and iOS 12.0 or later, the app is based on the CSX’s Mobile Trading System (MTS) launched in 2018.

At the ceremony, CSX CEO Hong Sok Hour said the app was fully developed by the bourse operator’s own technical team, integrating the main features of the MTS – a web-based system – but with the addition of security features, a special design, and server capacity to boost speeds.

“Of course, we cannot expect perfection from a first app, but we expect improvements and higher efficiency through continued development … the initial launch is very important to test and measure capabilities.

“Taking this opportunity, I would like to ask all investors to download the app. Try it out and provide feedback so that we can improve it before the official launch, set for May,” he said.

Sok Hour said the app would help ease the burden on securities brokers and other market players, especially in their formative stages.

At the same event, Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) deputy director-general Seang Thirith said the MTS has greatly reduced the amount of wasted time and investment opportunities in the field, and cleared many of the hurdles involved in investing in the CSX.

Although the MTS now accounts for 96 per cent of trading in local securities, the web-based system still lacks flexibility and can result in some inconveniences, he said. Thirith expects CSX Trade to attenuate these short-comings and broaden the horizons of the Cambodian securities market.

“Modernisation and digitalisation require a lot of innovation, inclusion and creation, and market participants must not be afraid to take the first step, on a small scale but with a long-term vision, and must make haste to respond to market demand,” he added.

According to Sok Hour, the average daily trading value on the CSX soared from around $15,000 in the mid-2010s to nearly $160,000 in 2019, before declining slightly in 2020 due to pressure from the Covid-19 crisis.

He noted that those records were shattered in 2021, with figures topping one billion riel – or more than $270,000 – representing an increase of up to 127 per cent over 2020 levels.

The total number of orders placed in the market last year ballooned to nearly 500,000 orders – a 32-fold increase over 2017 – 99 per cent of which were executed through the MTS, he said.

As of end-2021, the number of user accounts on the MTS stood at 17,207, or 55.6 per cent of the 30,956 total trading accounts, he added.