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Exchange a step closer to trading

Exchange a step closer to trading

A woman's reflection in a window outside the trading room at the Cambodia Securities Exchange.

Cambodia Securities Exchange has granted permission to Phnom Penh Water Supply to push forward with its initial public offering, according to a statement from the CSX.

While final approval is needed from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia before PPWS is eligible to trade on the exchange, people close to the potential deal said the IPO could happen as early as this quarter.

“I think it’s possible in mid to early in the first quarter because the company continues to show progress,” ACLEDA Securities director Svay Hay said.

ACLEDA Securities, a division of ACLEDA Bank, is one of the brokers responsible for selling PPWS stock for the IPO.

“This means that PPWS will be ready and trade first. That’s very important to prove that we will be definitely trading early this year as [the government] promised,” he said.

Trading on the exchange had been expected to begin in November, following its official launch in July. However, Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon in November told reporters that an incomplete regulatory regime and the public’s lack of confidence in the exchange had forced further delays.  He said at the time that stocks would “probably start trading from January”.

PPWS, one of three state-owned enterprises expected to list on the CSX, along with Telecom Cambodia and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, was approved for an initial public offering during a CSX board meeting on December 14, according to a statement from the exchange issued last week.

“PPWS is the first state-owned company to receive approval in principle on its listing eligibility by the CSX as a result of the many positive points in company’s business plan,” the CSX said in the statement.

Ros Kimleang, director of PPWS’s accounting and financial department, confirmed the company had been given the go-ahead, but declined to offer a time frame for an eventual stock offering.

“Now we are preparing for it, but we cannot say when we will be ready,” he said, adding that that the company expected to list “some time in the first quarter”.

PPWS will need final approval for its public offering from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia.

SECC director-general Ming Bankosal, reached by phone over the weekend, said the regulatory body was still waiting for PPWS’s prospectus and other filings, and there was no deadline for that approval.

“It depends on the quality of the documents,” he said, noting that PPWS would list sooner if the company’s filings were in order.

Even after obtaining SECC permission, PPWS will need to submit a number of other disclosures to the Cambodia Securities Exchange prior to an IPO, including a list of the offering’s subscribers and the amount of stock they received.

ACLEDA Securities’ Svay Hay said he expected the offering in the first quarter.

Telecom Cambodia director-general Lao Saroeun said yesterday his firm had yet to apply for listing eligibility with the CSX.

“We are nearly 100 per cent finished,” he said. “We have a few more things to do.”

Jeremy Ha, director at SBI Phnom Penh Securities, which is underwriting the IPO of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, said his firm was “working hard to satisfy the requirements to list on the market”, and that he hoped to see an offering in the first quarter.

“We will try to list Sihanoukville Port at the same time as PPWS, or a little bit behind,” Ha said.