Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opinion split over currency

Opinion split over currency

Opinion split over currency

We will have a meeting with Keat Chhon for approval ... it won’t take a long time to decide - it will happen soon

THE Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia is set to make a decision “soon” on what currency firms will use to list on the exchange, after holding a public consultation on its choices.

Some 200 attendees attended a consultation at the capital’s Phnom Penh Hotel on Friday to voice opinions for CSX listings in dollars, riel, or both currencies.

“After we receive some input, we will have a meeting with Keat Chhon, chairman of the SECC, for approval,” said Ming Bankosal, director general of the SECC.

“It won’t take a long time to decide – it will happen very soon.”

The exchange is set to launch in July, after being twice postponed.

During the meeting, opinions were mixed. Several government officials voiced support for the riel, while private sector stakeholders generally came out in support of the dollar.

Ming Bankosal said Cambodia was keenly aware of the lessons of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which had destabilised regional economies following the collapse of the Thai baht.

“The government wants to support our currency sovereignty for the country – we have the monetary authority to manage our currency,” he said. “Our policy is to strengthen the use of the Khmer riel.”

However, a survey posted on the SECC’s website saw support split between the three currency options. Some 32 percent of respondents had called for use of the dollar, 21.5 percent supported the riel, and 28.5 percent said they would prefer listings in both currencies. The remaining respondents had chosen “neutral”.

Phan Ying Tong, country head of the Kingdom’s largest bank Cambodia Public Bank, said on conference sidelines that the bank would support the government’s choice, adding there were many factors besides currency risk to consider.

“Every investor has their own risk portfolio - how much they want to expose to Asia and this country or others – they don’t only look at the currency. They look at your compliance, good governance, professionalism, reputation. These are all the important factors,” he said.

Meanwhile, Han Kyung-tae, managing director of approved underwriter Tong Yang Securities Cambodia, said he supported initial listings in dollars.

“We should start with the US dollar first, and then with long term planning we can develop the local currency and the economy,” he said.

The firm’s parent company Tong Yang Securities had previous experienced currency risk first-hand, he said, adding it had suffered significant losses in Vietnam “purely because of the depreciation of the Vietnamese dong in this market – not because of the Vietnamese economy”.

He said the government would likely face risks if they chose the riel rather than the dollar. “If they [the SECC] prepare for handling these risks, then they can consider the riel,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped