Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SMEs get support to go public

SMEs get support to go public

A man points to figures displayed by the CSX at a listing ceremony for the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone last year.
A man points to figures displayed by the CSX at a listing ceremony for the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone last year. Athena Zelandonii

SMEs get support to go public

In a move to urge small- and medium-sized businesses to list on the Cambodian stock exchange’s Growth Board, more than 70 companies have joined a new initiative offered by the market regulator that will provide professional guidance on how to meet listing criteria, paving the way to having a first listing sometime next year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) launched its “Excellence Program” today with the aim to help companies develop the capacity to prepare adequate financial reports, establish proper accounting principles and learn about how the growth board can provide additional funding sources.

“This programme will be a major contributor to developing the capacity of SMEs in order to meet listing criteria,” SECC Director Sou Socheat said yesterday. “We are optimistic that there will be at least three or four companies that can be listed on the Cambodia Securities Exchange’s Growth Board next year.”

The Excellence Program is a three-day seminar that will choose five companies for in-house consultation by the SECC and underwriting firms. The seminar is designed for owners and top management of local companies.

The Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) has struggled to attract a single SME since the launch of its Growth Board in late 2015. According to SECC regulations, companies are required to have a minimum of $500,000 in operating capital to list, compared to $7.5 million on the main board. Companies that list on the platform are also required to release one year of audited financial results, compared to the two years required for bigger companies.

Seng Chan Thoeun, head of corporate finance at SBI Royal Securities, said that the initiative would strengthen SMEs’ ability to meet the SECC requirements.

“Without the programme, SME owners will remain hesitant to list while even underwriting firms have difficulties in evaluating companies,” he said. “When they join the programme and qualify, companies can access funds through the capital market either by listing on the stock market or issuing bonds.”

Lamun Soleil, director of market operations at the CSX, said that SMEs face more difficulties in listing due to a lack of qualified personnel, corporate governance standards and smooth internal financial policies. He added that SMEs generally face more upfront costs to list as they have to restructure a company to be compliant.

“Hence, the programme would hopefully assist them in terms of advice and guidance by showing a more correct and shorter way that lowers expenses,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Show evidence of Chinese military base, critics told

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said he had had enough of certain countries and opposition groups claiming Cambodia had allowed China to base its military in Cambodia and dared critics to show clear evidence. Hun Sen made the remarks while presiding over a groudbreaking

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from