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Sihanoukville port operator still on course for IPO

A transport truck drives past shipping containers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in 2014.
A transport truck drives past shipping containers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Sihanoukville port operator still on course for IPO

The state operator of Cambodia’s only deep-water port remains on course to float shares on the stock exchange and is seeking ways to speed up the listing.

Officials at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (SAP) met with representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Finance yesterday to discuss the remaining steps the company must complete ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO) on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), according to Ty Sakun, the SAP official who heads the company’s IPO team.

“We have a strong commitment and willingness to complete the listing procedures,” he said. “We are actively trying to solve the issues in order to ensure a successful IPO.”

Sakun said yesterday’s meeting raised a number of issues, including whether or not to record the company’s property assets as registered capital. SAP officials intend to meet Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth next month to request assistance in resolving any remaining issues that might slow down the listing process, he added.

Sakun declined to say when the state port operator plans to list, but said a clearer timeline would likely be available following next month’s meeting with the minister.

However, SAP director Lou Kim Chhun told the Post in April that he planned to launch the company’s IPO by the end of the year.

The port had a profit of about $45 million in 2015, its fourth consecutive year in the black. Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) regulations require that companies record a net profit during the last three fiscal years for eligibility to list on the main board of the CSX.

SAP’s profitability is driven by Cambodia’s robust economic growth and a continuous rise in cargo traffic. Gross throughput of cargo reached 2 million tonnes during the first half of 2016, an increase of 8 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier, according to recent port data.

Mey Vann, director of the financial industry department at the Finance Ministry, who led the ministry’s team to SAP yesterday, said the meeting aimed at identifying and solving the remaining issues for compliance with SECC regulations.

“The [securities market] is new in our country, so that there is still lack of understanding among companies who intend to list,” he said.

“We are helping [SAP] to speed up the procedures so that it can IPO sooner.”

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