SECC Hands Out Operating Licenses to Run Stock Market

The Securities Exchange Commission of Cambodia has given out operating licenses for the upcoming stock market, a step that will allow companies to buy and sell stock as well as organize initial public offerings, an official said on Friday.

Ming Bankosal, secretary-general of the SECC, confirmed Friday that licenses had been handed out, but declined to reveal how many or to which firms. He said that an official announcement would be made on Nov 2 during an official ceremony in Phnom Penh.

“This is a very important step,” Mr Bankosal said. “Underwriters play a very important role in enabling companies to go public and organize IPOs.”

In August, Acleda Bank, Canadia Bank and OSK Indochina Bank all reported they had received approvals for operating licenses after a total of 22 companies originally applied in March.

On Friday officials at the three banks confirmed they had received a license from the SECC.

Chhay Soeun, chairman of Acleda Bank’s parent company Acleda Securities Plc, which received an operating license on Thursday, said he hoped the SECC would limited the number licenses while the stock market was still in its infancy to prevent the market from having too many players.

“At this time, two or three [brokerage firms] is good enough,” he said. “But later on once the amount of trading increases the number of firms should increase.”

Lim Loong Seng, chief operating manager at OSK Indochina Bank, said he did not know how many other firms had received licenses.

“In the near future we will have to work with various companies and that will help them to list,” said Mr Seng, whose parent company, OSK Indochina Securities Plc, received the license.

After the announcement that OSK Indochina Securities had acquired a license, the share price of shares at OSK Holdings was up 3 sen at RM1.37, $0.44, on the Malaysian stock exchange late Friday.

Charles Vann, vice president of Canadia Bank, said the bank’s parent company, Cana Security Plc, had also received a license.

However, the company is still “in the process of nominating the appropriate personnel,” he said.

Mr Vann said that having licensed brokers could help generate interest in the stock market, but admitted, “there is a long route ahead for the companies to be listed.”


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