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Water price set as authority revenues climb

Water price set as authority revenues climb

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The water authority believes prices will be stable, despite its listing, benefiting those who wash large objects – like Sambo.

STATE-OWNED Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority is unlikely to raise the price of water when it lists on the Cambodia Stock Exchange, according to officials.

The company has been ordered to list on the bourse along with two other state-owned companies when the CSX launches. The exchange  start is set for July after delays.

“If the government stays the majority shareholder, it will be the government’s decision to raise or lower the price,” said General Director Ek Sonn Chan.

He said affordable, clean water was always one issue that the government considered important.

“I believe the government won’t [let someone else change the price] as current prices serve the people’s welfare.”

Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia Director General Ming Bankosal also said water prices would stay the same. “It is a necessity, because water benefits the whole society,” he said.

Instead, he said shareholders buying into the Water Authority’s initial public offering could expect healthy returns based on the company’s overall growth and its strong performance.

Throughout its history, the authority has sold water at a starting price of 550 riel (US$0.13) per cubic meter. Currently it can produce up to 280,110 cubic metres of water per day, with three treatment stations in Phnom Penh.

Meanwhile, the authority’s revenue increased 10 percent in 2010, climbing to more than 100 billion riel, or $24.7 million, which was 3 percent more than its target, according to Ek Sonn Chan.

“Increased revenue is in line with our plan to increase our customers – we had 14,000 new customers in 2010,” he said. “I do believe that if one invests in the PPWSA, they receive two benefits – first, they will gain more profits than just depositing in the bank at 5 percent interest rate, and second, their money will be secure.”

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