Two regulators are set to collaborate with the real estate sector on bringing securities and trusts to the mainstream, highlighting their potential, creating and introducing new products into the non-bank financial marketplace, and instilling confidence among local and foreign investors.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to this effect on September 16 by Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) director-general Sou Socheat, his counterpart at the Trust Regulator (TR) Sok Dara, Zillennium Co Ltd chairman Kuy Vat, and Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association (CVEA) president Chrek Soknim.

Zillennium’s Vat commented that the collaboration would raise public awareness of the securities and trusts markets; support capacity building as well as knowledge and skills sharing; and attract greater participation and investment in these fields.

“[The MoU] highlights the relationship between the government and private sector and rise in cooperation geared towards improving performance,” he said.

The CVEA’s Soknim said the deal reflects the particular interest of the two government bodies in assisting the private sector in establishing new mechanisms for investments, especially in real estate through trusts.

“The presence of foreign investors will greatly accelerate Cambodia’s economic growth, and these investment flows will create demand for land – for the development of condominiums, commercial buildings, factory and industrial facilities,” he said.

The TR’s Dara lauded the memorandum as a turning point in relations between the four signatories, saying it would meaningfully raise public awareness of the securities and trusts markets along with their potential benefits.

“The trust sector has been an important contributor to the development and promotion of real estate investment in Cambodia, and will provide a new platform that inspires investor confidence, even among those without the understanding of or experience in the local market – by empowering trust companies led by professionals to invest in or manage assets on behalf of property owners,” he told The Post on September 21.

The SERC’s Socheat commented that although the Cambodia Securities Exchange saw its first public listing on April 18, 2012, public awareness of securities activities remains limited, not only in Cambodia but even in more mature markets.

“Raising awareness and developing human resources, and especially providing an understanding of the Cambodian securities sector, are among our priority tasks,” he stated, adding that general unfamiliarity with the market would hinder growth.

“This MoU signing is a commitment to active participation by Zillennium and the [CVEA] in the development of the securities and real estate sector, by raising awareness, building human resources and promoting the creation of new products on the market,” Socheat said.