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.