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Water investors criticise return

Water investors criticise return

Holders of shares in the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) have criticised the level of dividend payment that they will receive from the company.

PPWSA, which is the only company listed on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), was to pay its first dividend to 1,500 shareholders as of the close of business yesterday.

PPWSA will distribute a total dividend of 2.4 billion riel ($600,350), or 27.7 riel per share, to investors.  However many investors said they are not happy with the amount.

Lim An, the manager of the operation unit of ACLEDA Registrar Transfer agent and a paying agent for PPWSA, said he had received many complaints about the low payment by phone.

“[The shareholders] said they are not happy and complained that the return is low,” he said. “However, I believe that they have learned a good experience from this new sector.

“This knowledge will help them to gain better benefit when more companies list on the market.”

Out of the total 2.4 billion riel, payment will go to the Cambodian Ministry of Economy and Finance, which holds 85 per cent of the shares, and 15 per cent will be distributed to the other 1,500 shareholders.

Sok Lak, an investor who holds 30 shares, said he will get 830 riel from the dividend return, but said he will not even pick it up because the travel costs would be higher than that.

Many investors have realised that opening a deposit account in a financial institution would give them a higher return than buying shares from PPWSA.

However, Soleil Lamun, deputy-director of the market operations department at the CSX, is encouraging investors to think about the benefits in the long run.

“If they think about short term, they are not happy,” Soleil said. “However, they should realise that when PPWSA can afford to distribute a dividend, it means the company can earn a profit. So, it can ensure long-term investment.”

PPWSA’s director-general Sim Sitha told the Post last week that dividend distribution would ensure investors and shareholders were rewarded for their investment in PPWSA’s securities.

“I think it is good news for our shareholders that we can earn a profit and allocate them the dividend,” Sitha said.

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