Stock-listed Acleda Bank Plc (ABC) on June 15 announced that ASA Plc, an institutional stakeholder, will divest 16.16 per cent of its holdings in the bank – or four per cent of total outstanding ABC shares – to be made available for trading on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) this year.
The move was revealed in a notice filed by Acleda to the bourse, addressing the 11,488 individual shareholders who currently hold ASA’s 107,204,547 shares, or 24.7492 per cent of the bank’s outstanding shares.
Affirming compliance with the relevant measures, laws, and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC), Acleda noted that ASA would retain 89,878,026 shares, or 20.7492 per cent of outstanding ABC shares.
CSX Market Operations Department director Kim Sophanita told The Post on June 16 that the “regularisation” would allow Acleda employees to own their shares in the bank and to trade them directly within their own accounts.
The 11,488 employees could not trade their ABC shares because they owned ASA’s shares, and not Acleda’s, she said.
“More importantly, the regularisation is also intended to enable stock trading among Acleda’s employees prior to the listing – then non-compliant – to be compliant with the law on the issuance and trading of non-government securities.
“They can now enjoy trading their shares in a much bigger market freely and legally. So I expect the market to be more active with their presence and additionally the more than 17 million floating shares,” Sophanita said.
Acleda executive vice-president and group chief legal officer Buth Bunseyha told The Post on June 16 that ASA’s move would overall boost trading volume on the CSX.
“It’s good to increase the trading volume of the Cambodia Securities Exchange as well as an opportunity for investors who want to invest in Acleda Bank – they could take this rare opportunity to invest,” she said.
Acleda raised $17.5 million in its May 24, 2020 initial public offering (IPO) on the nascent CSX, becoming the first commercial bank to issue on the bourse with a total of 4.34 million shares for sale – one per cent of its more than 433 million total shares. Price per share started at 16,200 riel ($4.05) and closed at 16,500 riel on its first day of trading.