Korea To Help Stock Exchange Open by 2009

Cambodia’s much-anticipated stock exchange is now officially on the way, following an agreement signed Monday between the Min­istry of Finance and South Korea’s stock exchange op­er­a­tor to open one by 2009, officials said.

The new stock exchange will be a joint venture between Cam­bodia’s Finance Ministry, which will retain at least 51 percent ownership, ac­cording to a ministry state­ment, and the Korea Ex­change—the fourth largest ex­change in Asia, which sim­ilarly helped Vietnam set up a stock mar­ket in 2000.

“The listed companies might be able to register by mid-2009…. We have received a lot of letters ex­pres­sing interest,” Finance Ministry fin­an­cial industry director Mey Vann said Tuesday, adding that companies wishing to list will need to fulfill transparency and accountability requirements.

Cambodia has been looking tow­ard a stock exchange since 1995, said Mey Vann, and there has been talk about joining forces with the Korea Exchange for a few years. The Korean government has funded a three-year training program for Cambodian finance workers that began in 2007.

“Every country in the developed world has a stock market,” Mey Vann said, and now is the right time for Cambodia to join the ranks be­cause of a “stable market economy, in­flation is very low, GDP is up and we have proper infrastructure.”

Mey Vann said that cost, space and ideal location are still being factored into the decision of where to house the stock market, but Can­adia Bank Deputy Dir­ector Charles Vann said Monday that he hopes the government will opt for a 30-story business cen­ter his bank is cur­rently helping to build near Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard.

He added that an assessment of how many companies are interested in listing would also help determine the size of the exchange.

In Channy, who heads Acleda Bank, said his bank has been preparing to list on the exchange by conducting international-standard performance tests, as well as upgrading its insurance policies.

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