South Korean-owned Phnom Penh Commercial Bank Plc (PPCBank) announced a first coupon payout to investors in its second bond despite unrest in the Cambodian economy fuelled by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a filing to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on March 24, PPCBank said 1,284,734,121 riel ($315,000) was paid on 400,000 units of its foreign-exchange-indexed PPCB23B corporate bond – or 3,212 riel per unit – and transferred to each investor account on March 22.

PPCBank issued its first corporate bond PPCB23A on CSX on April 20 to raise $10 million. And early in October, it raised another $10 million from the market with PPCB23B.

CSX vice-chairman Ha Jong-weon remarked on how regular coupon payments illustrate just how far the Kingdom’s bond market had come since its launch in 2017.

He told The Post on March 24: “This is a very pleasing development, giving another [method of portfolio] diversification to the investors. Bond issuers, especially PPCBank, have been the very good role models for any other company looking to expand their business using other people’s money.

“PPCBank, with its two rounds of issuances, further showed the ability to get funding at almost any time as long as you are qualified for that.”

He stressed that the bond market does not merely target institutional investors.

While three of CSX’s six bond issuers issued their bonds under the ASEAN+3 Multi-Currency Bond Issuance Framework (AMBIF) – which only allows institutional investors, the issuances have been adjusted to suit market conditions, he said.

“While the market demand from investors such as insurance companies, banks and other institution is high, public investors still show little interest in investing in corporate bonds.

“Still, we’re encouraging the issuance[s] to public investors and believe that the investors will start looking to invest on low-risk financial instrument[s] such as corporate bonds in the future,” Ha added.