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Koreans eyeing bank IPO

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Korean investors express their excitement as Acleda Bank Plc – one of Cambodia’s largest banks – prepares to list on the Cambodia Securities Exchange’s (CSX’s) main board. Hong Menea

Koreans eyeing bank IPO

Korean investors are looking forward to investing in the local stock market as it prepares to welcome Acleda Bank Plc into its main board.

With Acleda Bank, one of the largest banks in the Kingdom, scheduled to go public in upcoming weeks, hundreds of Korean businesspeople and investors joined a seminar in Phnom Penh on Wednesday entitled ‘Acleda Bank Plc is going IPO’.

Phnom Penh Commercial Bank president Shin Chang-moo said Acleda Bank’s initial public offering (IPO) has raised considerable interest among the Korean community in Cambodia because the bank is a leading player in the thriving local banking sector.

“This is the first IPO in the commercial sector in Cambodia. Acleda Bank is leading the way for all commercial banks in the Kingdom.

“Acleda Bank has lots of potential to grow. As the number one Cambodian bank, it consistently generates a lot of revenue. I am sure investors are very interested,” said Shin.

He said investors can’t wait for the IPO, particularly now that Acleda Bank has announced that individuals can become shareholders. This, he said, is a positive step for the local securities market and for the economy.

Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) chief operating officer Ha Jong-weon agreed that anticipation among Koreans is high.

“Many big Korean institutional investors have bought local banks in the past, but so far, individual Korean investors have never been given a chance to participate.

“A lot of Korean investors living here are asking about this IPO. I believe this seminar will provide the information they need to decide whether to buy the bank’s shares or not,” Ha said.

Acleda Bank president and group managing director In Channy said the IPO was historic. “Acleda Bank Plc will become the first bank in Cambodia to join CSX. This seminar is a great opportunity for potential investors to learn about the securities sector in Cambodia.”

From a national NGO meant to provide credit to small enterprises, the bank has increased its capital 700-fold and its net profit nearly 2,000-fold in the last 27 years. Its assets are now valued at $6 billion.

Acleda Bank was the first Cambodian commercial bank to be granted permission in principle to issue securities on CSX on November 26.

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