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Record IPO nets $27M for Sihanoukville port operator

An aerial view of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in Preah Sihanouk province.
An aerial view of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in Preah Sihanouk province. Heng Chivoan

Record IPO nets $27M for Sihanoukville port operator

The initial public offering of the state enterprise that operates Cambodia’s largest seaport was fully subscribed, raising nearly $27 million for the purchase of land and equipment for expansion, the IPO’s underwriter said yesterday.

Seng Chan Thoeun, head of corporate finance at SBI Royal Securities, the IPO’s sole underwriter, said investors purchased all 21.4 million public shares in Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (SAP), representing a 25 percent stake in the company. With shares priced at 5,040 riel ($1.26) each, the IPO raised $26.99 million, making it the largest in Cambodian history.

Thoeun said response to last week’s retail subscription was cooler than during last month’s bookbuild, which ended 2.4 times oversubscribed. However, he said this was expected as institutional investors were “the largest force behind this successful IPO.”

“Overall, more than 79 percent of the total offering shares was allocated to institutional investors,” he said. “More than 10 institutional investors participated in this IPO, while there were more than 300 retail investors.”

SBI Royal’s breakdown of the total 21.4 million shares offered in the IPO showed 5.4 million shares or 25.3 percent were allocated to bookbuild investors, 2.3 million shares or 10.6 percent to the retail subscription, and 2.1 million shares to an employee stock ownership programme.

Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is financing projects to expand the port’s infrastructure, separately agreed to purchase 11.6 million shares, or 54 percent of the public offering.

According to Thoeun, over a third of the total IPO shares were allocated to Cambodian investors, while 62 percent of the total shares went to Japanese investors, including JICA. Foreign investors from China, Thailand and Malaysia, among other countries, also participated in the subscription.

He said the proceeds of the $27 million IPO would be used to purchase a 52-hectare plot of land in Sihanoukville to expand SAP’s container yard, as well as to purchase heavy equipment such as container trucks and mobile cranes.

SAP will list on the Cambodia Securities Exchange on June 8, trading as PAS. It will be the fifth company to list on the exchange.

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