The Cambodian securities sector sees tailwinds after the regulator, the bourse and the UN’s capital investment agency for the least developed countries entered into a partnership on development through technical assistance.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on “The Technical Assistance for Promoting the Development of Securities Sector in Cambodia” was inked to this effect in the capital on August 18 between Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) director-general Sou Socheat, Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) CEO Hong Sok Hour and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) executive secretary Preeti Sinha, in a ceremony presided over by Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state and CSX chairman Hean Sahip.

Under the deal, the UNCDF will support the SERC and the CSX in the “implementation of institutional capacity development and human capacity development” and “the development and regulation of new transboundary products”, according to a joint statement released on August 19.

The UN agency will also “facilitate south-south exchange and peer learning between the SERC and the CSX and similar regulatory institutions” in ASEAN Plus Three – which comprises the 10 ASEAN nations plus China, Japan and South Korea, the statement said.

It added that the UNCDF will also lend support to the SERC and CSX for the “further development, adoption, and implementation of related frameworks and laws pertaining to sovereign and non-sovereign securities”.

Speaking at the signing, SERC’s Socheat noted that the deal was the latest in a series of MoUs struck with major international institutions such as the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank and regional regulators to promote and enhance the Cambodian securities sector.

“Cambodia hopes to see the investment return to the pre-pandemic period. Overall, this MoU represents the recognition, the commitment, the synergy, and great value of partnership which I am certain will help Cambodia row in the right direction in our commitment towards SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals],” he said.

He voiced optimism that UNCDF’s participation in the development of the Cambodian securities sector would lead to the creation of marketable securities products.

“I am looking forward to our fruitful cooperations. I am confident that with our concerted efforts, the MoU … will deliver promising benefits to accelerate the development of [the Cambodian] capital market, and help Cambodia overcome the investment trajectories posed by [the Covid-19] pandemic,” he said.

Socheat pointed out that trading activities have gradually picked up, signalling a rise in public awareness and that “our capital market has become more and more attractive”.

He said that both the average daily trading volume and value at the CSX in the second quarter of this year – ended June 30 – jumped nearly four-fold on a yearly basis, despite the impacts of Covid-19 and economic slowdown.

The SERC chief earlier noted that as of June 30, a total of 32,374 investor IDs have been issued, of which 99.52 per cent were individual investors and 86.12 per cent were Cambodian investors.