C AMBODIA'S Royal Group, with 50 percent private Malaysian partners, have moved
into the potentially rich market of foreign exchange (Forex)
Royal Cambodian Trusts and Investments will accept $2,000
minimum deposits from people wanting to speculate on fluctuations between the
dollar to the yen, deutchmark, franc and pound.
The company, which begun
trading on April 18, also offers dealing in gold and silver.
manager Bert Lim said many local companies now in the forex market allowed
investors to trade "based on their feelings."
"Those companies provide no
market forecasts. They don't teach proper trading techniques nor offer any data
on which to base rational decisions... people begin to play the markets like
they would a casino, and there are heavy losses being made," he
"Companies allow speculators to lie around in deck chairs on their
premises, sleeping with blankets and pillows. While they sleep they lose their
"We are not going to encourage that. We will have banks of
monitors where investors can watch their investments and talk with our marketing
executives, and take calculated risks based on solid information," he
Forex trading has become increasingly popular as satellite dishes
allow "real time" trading, and more business people invest in forex markets to
hedge against damaging currency fluctuations.
However, for every 10
people wanting hedging facilities, there are as many as 90 more speculators who
"play" the forex market for thrills and profit.
"You would be surprised
how much money is around," Mr Lim replied to doubts expressed whether people
with money would bother with sophisticated forex markets.
He produced a
list of 30 or so individuals' running balances that together totaled more than
$1.7 million -"loose change" belonging to local speculators now playing the
forex market, though not yet with the Royal Group.
"I would say there is
anything from $2 million to $5 million now in margin accounts in Phnom Penh," he
said. A "margin account" where the minimum $2,000 deposit is kept; and that can
be used to trade in speculative "contracts" starting from $100,000.
person makes his or her own decision... we are not fund managers. But we can
give advise, trading plans and technical data on markets for informed
decisions," Mr Lim said.
He said even streetside money changers could
have enough cash and market savvy to be expected to invest on forex
Royal Investments are training 35 Khmer as advisors. The company
is targetting a margin base of $2 million from investors within six months of