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Stocks still an unknown for many Cambodians

Stocks still an unknown for many Cambodians

Despite interest in participating in the stock market, confusion as to how and where to invest in the Cambodia Securities Exchange still persists among many Cambodians without close ties to or backgrounds in trading.

After the much-anticipated and long-delayed launch of CSX trading last week, Soun Sokret, an account and media supervisor at a local company, said he wanted to buy shares in Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority.

The problem was that he didn’t know where to get information about the CSX and said he considered going to the exchange floor on the 25-storey of Canadia Tower to inquire.

“My friends and I want to invest but we don’t know how. The CSX has lots of support from the government right now, so they will not let it fail. We think this is a chance to get a big return,” Soun Sokret said.

While the run-up to the exchange’s launch consisted largely of the education of participating companies, insiders say the focus should now shift to would-be investors.

Their first step toward trading should be to open trading accounts at a securities broker, insiders say, as well as an account at one of the three banks providing settlement accounts: ACLEDA, Bank for Investment and Development of Cambodia or Canadia.

One expert also pointed out that the government did not have control over the success or failure of PPWSA shares.

Cultivating interest and understanding about the CSX would play a large role in the long-term success of the exchange, SBI Royal Securities director Morten Kvammen said yesterday.

“It’s very important that the general public is educated on how to invest and on the risks and rewards of investing,” he said.

“We’ve seen marketing material [for the CSX] claiming you can make very easy returns. And seeing the way PPWSA has gone up in the past week, people may think there is no risk involved.”

The risks were real, however, and as individual, or retail investors plan to buy shares, they should consider the possibility of losing money, Kvamman said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Weinland at [email protected]

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