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Listed firms bypass pandemic

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A monitor displays the stock market index of CSX’s listed companies. Heng Chivoan

Listed firms bypass pandemic

Seven Cambodia-listed firms reported solid business performance in the second quarter of this year amid macroeconomic headwinds driven by the Covid-19 crisis.

Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS), the State-run operator of the Kingdom’s sole deep sea port, logged 75.6 billion riel ($18.4 million) in revenue and 8.3 billion riel in net profit for the second quarter, it said in its filing to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).

It said revenue dipped six billion riel, or 7.44 per cent, year-on-year, whereas net profit after tax increased 7.2 billion riel, or a whopping 632.48 per cent.

Chairman and CEO Lou Kim Chhun said: “This was the result of decreased cargo throughput due to the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic on economic growth.

“PAS is going to continue its efforts for the betterment of business and service operation and to achieve the highest benefits for its shareholders.”

In its CSX filing, State-owned utility Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PWSA) recorded a quarter-on-quarter surge in revenue, operating profit and net profit in the second quarter to the tune of 17.9 billion riel (31.42 per cent), 8.3 billion riel (45.01 per cent) and 6.5 billion riel (71.44 per cent), respectively.

The State-run river-port operator Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) posted $12.9 million in revenue (44.65 per cent of its 2020 target) in the first half of this year, which was $1.2 million or 11.30 per cent, more than the year-ago period.

But net profit took an $823,487 dive (14.45 per cent) on a yearly basis to $4.5 million (40.63 per cent of its 2020 target) for the first half.

Yves Jacquot, chairman of private financial institution Advanced Bank of Asia Ltd (ABA), said in its filing to CSX that Cambodian businesses continue to bear the impact of the global economic slowdown provoked by Covid-19.

He said the bank disbursed 6,114 business loans worth $322.5 million in the second quarter, growing its gross loan portfolio by 4.2 per cent on a quarterly basis to the tune of $3.1 billion.

ABA secured $32.1 million in net profit during the period, while total net profit soared to $65.6 million in the January-June period, he said.

The bank “will continue helping its borrowers overcome these times of hardship through its Loan Restructuring Policy”, Jacquot said, adding that ABA restructured 8,509 loans worth $435.7 million.

Meanwhile, bond-listed Sri Lankan-owned LOLC (Cambodia) Plc reported 306 billion riel in interest revenue in the first half of this year, up 94 billion riel or 44 per cent year-on-year, and 85.7 billion riel in net interest income, up 21 per cent year-on-year.

Bond-listed microfinance firm Hattha Kaksekar Ltd (HKL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thai-based Bank of Ayudhya Pcl (Krungsri), registered a four per cent gain in deposits in April-June, with a total of $581 million, while its loan portfolio shed $26 million to stand at $1.1 billion.

It cited a slowdown in loan booking during April-May, at the height of pandemic uncertainty.

Automotive, heavy equipment, engineering and food services conglomerate RMA (Cambodia) Plc (RMAC), which just bond-listed in April, posted 645.9 billion riel in first half revenue, up from 642 billion in the year-ago period.

It recorded 58.4 billion riel in profit during the period, sliding 3.8 per cent below its first half 2019 result of 60.7 billion riel.

CSX vice-chairman Ha Jong-weon said the listed firms’ performance is largely dependent of the industry in which they operate.

But overall, he said, their pandemic-era performance was highly encouraging.

“The pandemic really has had an impact on the business of CSX’s listed companies. However, there shouldn’t be any concern since the companies are doing just fine and the impact has merely slowed down the pace of their growth which would have been a lot more stringent had Covid-19 not interfered,” Ha said.

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