Acleda Bank celebrates successful entry at Cambodia's Stock Exchange

ACLEDA Bank employees count local and US currency inside the bank in Phnom Penh. Cambodia's largest commercial bank opened on the country's bourse on May 25, the first financial institution to list on the country's fledgling stock exchange as global economies are hit with the destabilising impacts of a pandemic. - AFP

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian commercial bank Acleda made its debut on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on Monday after an initial public offering (IPO) raised US$17.5 million.

The locally-owned bank becomes the sixth equity-listed firm and is the first commercial bank that issued its IPO on the kingdom's bourse.

The bank floated about 4.34 million shares, or one percent of its total shares, in which a share cost 16,200 riels (US$4.05), according to the bank's data filed to the CSX.

Acleda Bank's chairman and CEO In Channy said the bank's successful listing clearly reflected investors' confidence in the financial institution and in the country's economy.

"It's a new success for the Acleda Bank to list on the CSX amid the COVID-19 pandemic," he said during the official listing ceremony in Phnom Penh, adding that some 2,497 investors had purchased the bank's IPO shares.

Cambodian Economy and Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth said it was a new history for the CSX and that the bank would become a new product for investors in the CSX.

"I believe that the bank's listing will help further boost securities trading in the CSX," he said at the event.

CSX's CEO Hong Sok Hour said the CSX has so far received a total of 12 listed companies, including six equity firms and six corporate bond firms, and the 12 firms had collected a total capital of more than US$240 million from the securities market.

"We hope that there will be at least two more companies-an equity firm and a corporate bond firm-listed on the CSX by the end of this year," he said, adding that some 25,000 individuals and companies have opened trading accounts at the CSX.

CSX's chief operating officer Ha Jong Weon said Acleda's IPO opened a new chapter for Cambodia securities market.

"Acleda Bank is the first financial institution to issue equity and is also the first domestic company to list on the CSX, besides the state-owned enterprises," he told Xinhua.

"What is so unique about the Acleda's IPO is that despite the chaos caused by the Covid-19, the bank continued to proceed with its initial plan and remained confident in the market, regardless of the situation," he said. "On the other hand, the investors also showed optimism by participating in the IPO."

Ha said the CSX, although at its infancy, has the potential to attract more companies in the near future including other growing industries such as construction and services.

Acleda Bank's shares opened at 16,200 riels (US$4.05) on Monday, and then increased by 1.85 percent to 16,500 riels (US$4.12) at the trading closing.

The bank shares' trading volume was 15,888 shares worth US$64,680.

Launched trading in 2012, the CSX is a joint venture between the Cambodian government holding 55 percent of the stakes and the Korean Exchange owning the remaining 45 per cent. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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