The local bourse has logged a sharp increase in trading even as the lockdown enters a third week, according to a senior official at the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).
With a dramatic upsurge in number of new Covid-19 cases reported in connection to the February 20 community transmission, the government on April 14 announced a full lockdown in the capital and neighbouring Takmao town in Kandal province from April 15 to May 5 to control the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.
CSX Market Operations Department director Kim Sophanita told The Post that the stock market has been operating smoothly since the lockdown began, adding that some 99 per cent of orders are received via Mobile Trading System (MTS).
“The CSX and our brokers are mostly working from home and remotely connect to the office's computers for daily operations. All our cash settlement banks remain operational without interruption,” she said.
“There has been a remarkable increase in trading volume during the weeks of lockdown compared to the prior weeks, mainly in the low price stocks,” Sophanita said, adding that some 36,000 stock shares on average were traded daily compared to 28,000 in previous weeks.
MTS is a newly-developed system implemented by CSX, through which investors can trade stocks in a fast, secure and convenient way. Users can place orders directly from anywhere, view current and historical market data, as well as trading account data via smartphone or tablet.
According to Sophanita, Phnom Penh SEZ Plc (PPSP) was the most traded stock during the lockdown period with a daily average of 30,000 shares worth 56 million riel ($14,000). However, its share price saw no noticeable increase, merely fluctuating usual, she said.
She added that the CSX Index did better during this lockdown than the weeks prior, marking a slight 0.7 per cent increase and remaining at over 640 points.
Since mid-February, the index has been stable at around 640 points, she noted.
“Since the Covid-19 outbreak, all retail trade has been dominated by local investors. During the lockdown all trades were retail.
“The financial sector is at the core of Cambodia's socio-economic activity. CSX, as part of the financial system, has committed to remain operational regardless of the difficult situations, to ensure the best interests of our investors.
“The previous week already proved that the market can operate continually. It'd have been no obstacle for us if the lockdown were to have been extended,” Sophanita said.