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Twenty five per cent stake in Acleda Bank almost ready

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‘Many people want the chance to invest in Acleda, apart from depositing their money in the bank’, ASA chairman Neth Piseth said . Post staff

Twenty five per cent stake in Acleda Bank almost ready

Twenty-five per cent stake in Acleda Bank will be offered to the public next month as stakeholder ASA Plc confirmed on Monday that it is almost ready to list the shares on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).

ASA chairman Neth Piseth said on Monday that his company had completed about 96 per cent of the process for the share’s listing and expressed confidence they will be ready for trading in November.

Piseth said the only work remaining was to determinate the price of the shares and obtain approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC).

"Making ASA’s shares available to the public has been a long time coming. Many people want the chance to invest in Acleda, apart from depositing their money in the bank,” he said.

However, Piseth could not disclose the share price at listing since it is still being discussed with experts, including CSX officials.

Shareholder

Established in 2000, ASA owns over 25 per cent of Acleda and is itself owned by more than 10,000 shareholders, mostly Acleda employees.

A profile published in August last year said ASA is the second largest Acleda Bank shareholder, while Acleda Financial Trust is the largest with a 26 per cent stake.

It was also reported that ASA’s share capital last year was $89.6 million.

A prakas from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) in September last year said financial institutions could issue equity securities with a maximum of 20 per cent of the company’s voting share.

They could also issue debt securities at a rate that does not exceed 20 per cent of total assets. However, the central bank noted that financial institutions can only issue equity and debt securities with the permission of the NBC.

Piseth said yesterday that ASA is not a financial institution, but a shareholder in Acleda bank. Hemce, it does not require the NBC’s approval. However, he said the firm had already notified the NBC of its plan to list on the CSX.

CSX Listing and Disclosure Department director Lamun Soleil said yesterday that ASA’s shares would help to activate the securities market. He said the pricing of ASA’s shares is being thoroughly discussed as CSX wants to ensure it is reasonably priced.

“There’s also a concern that the price could decrease if existing shareholders rush to the market to sell their shares for capital gain."

“However, they could actually enjoy higher prices and get better benefits if they wait, as long as Acleda keeps growing in the foreseeable future,” he said.

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