Now is a great time for the general public to buy shares on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) as the Kingdom show gradual signs of economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19, according to its vice-chairman Ha Jong-weon.
The World Bank in mid-December projected that Cambodia’s economy would rebound to four per cent growth this year following a 1.9 per cent contraction in 2020.
The CSX index ended 0.3 per cent higher on January 8, closing out the week at 640.17 points. That day, 216,446,470 riel ($53,000) worth of shares changed hands.
Shares of ACLEDA Bank Plc (ABC) rose 60 riel to reach 16,860, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PWSA) inched up 20 riel to close at 6,100, and Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) gained 80 riel to finish the day at 11,780.
Pestech (Cambodia) Plc (PEPC) closed at a special quotation of 2,770 riel a share, an increase of 20 riel over its base price and Grand Twin International (Cambodia) Plc (GTI) and Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) shed 10 and 20 riel, respectively, to 3,290 and 1,160 riel, while Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) remained steady at 14,100 riel.
CSX’s Ha said Covid-19 would not end soon even with the presence of viable vaccines.
However, he said, things are getting better. “We found that the index of some exchanges increased in 2020.
“That was the result of future business recovery expectation and inflation. Therefore, I expect to receive more foreign investors in 2021 and in coming years, since we are one of the highest-growth countries,” Ha said.
Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia director-general Sou Socheat pointed out that more business and enterprise owners in Cambodia are considering the securities market as a better alternative to mobilise long-term capital for business expansions.
He said: “The benefits of doing so include more than just generating capital, as trust in a company – which is key to the sustainable growth of any business – is increased by demonstrating transparency.
“In 2021, we expect to have two more listed companies on the CSX and see an increase in trading activities.”
In light of the Cambodian stock market’s current situation, Ha said international investors may drive market trends. They can be the first to move shares in large amounts and lead to significant price changes.
“The businesses of our listed companies are doing better and better in the economy recovery,” Ha said, speculating that port operators PPAP and PAS are the most likely to post the highest business growth.
There are currently 13 listed firms in the Kingdom – seven stock-listed and six corporate bond-listed. The 13 companies have raised a combined $253 million as of September 30 and the stock index increased 58.37 per cent in 2019 over 2018, only to dip 14.93 per cent in 2020, CSX data show.
Last year, two companies listed stocks and three listed bonds. The five firms raised a combined $92 million in January-September, the data show.