The Securities Exchange Commission of Cambodia has released a statement naming three Hong Kong-based investment companies they say are operating in Cambodia illegally and are soliciting deposits from people on the promise of receiving high returns.
The three firms – ASEAN Instrument Foundation, Investment Consultant Association and Empire Big Capital Limited (EBC) – were jointly conducting workshops to get customers to put money directly or open accounts in banks related to EBC’s investment projects and were promised a 10 per cent monthly financial fee for 18 months, according to an SECC announcement.
“Currently, SECC has not given a permit or license to any organization, association or companies to activate this kind of business,” the announcement reads.
The release that the Ministry of Economy and Finance currently has no policy to facilitate a license for investment firms offering the type of high-return products like the Hong Kong companies have been selling.
Bun Mony, CEO of Sathapana and board member of the Cambodia Microfinance Association, said that there were companies taking advantage of people operating under the guise of investment firms. But, this should raise a red flag when clearly not distinguished as a Bank or MFI.
“These are investment companies, not banks and micro finance institutions,” Mony said.
He added that this was not limited to the provinces and it occurs in Phnom Penh, but the National Bank of Cambodia and MFIs were working to increase awareness about these kinds of dubious investments.