Government officials and the exchange’s investors are upbeat about its opening, but down on the streets of the Kingdom’s capital it seems people are not quite ready to play the markets
WHILE government officials and investors hailed yesterday’s opening of the Kingdom’s stock exchange, reactions on the street showed it may take some time before most locals are ready to engage the market.
Sovan Roth, who runs a small business near Canadia Tower, where the Cambodian Securities Exchange is set to be housed, said she had heard about the stock exchange on radio and TV.
She expressed hope that the bourse’s opening was a sign that development in Cambodia was ramping up, and said it would have a positive effect on the economy.
“Most countries in the world have stock markets, so if Cambodia can follow those countries, it will be very good,” Sovan Roth said. “It will also help business development in Cambodia.”
She said she was interested in investing, but lacked funds to do so.
Some said they knew of the stock market, but didn’t understand how it would work or how it might affect them.
“I heard about the stock exchange, but I don’t know what to do and I don’t know why it’s important,” said Tiv Socheo, another shop owner near Canadia Tower.
Mok Phally, a tuk tuk driver near the riverfront, said he, too, didn’t understand the stock market, even though he has following its anticipated launch.
“I have heard about it for a long time from reading the newspaper, but I don’t know what it’s about,” he said.
Others said the stock exchange would only be accessible to the wealthy.
“It’s important for people that have a lot of money, but I run a small business and I don’t have any money to invest. So it’s not important to me,” said Rotha, who owns a stall and sells suits in Central Market.
Sophorn Lao, a security guard at Blue Pumpkin near the riverfront, echoed the sentiment.
“It’s good for the rich, but bad for the poor because the poor don’t have any money to invest,” he said.
Although the securities exchange officially launched yesterday, trading is not expected to begin until the end of the year.