Water Authority Share Price Hits New Low

The usually static share price of the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA), still the only company listed on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), fell Monday to its lowest price since it began trading more than two years ago.

At the close of business Monday, the share price of the firm had fallen to 5,960 riel, or about $1.46—7 percent lower than its initial launching price on April 18, 2011.

When the CSX launched, the PPWSA’s shares soared by almost 50 percent on the first day of trading and continued to an all time high three days later of 10,000 riel, or about $2.57.

However, it slowly slumped back toward the initial public offering of 6,300 riel, or about $1.57, then dropped further to 6,200 riel, or $1.55- a price from which it had barely moved since January.

Kuy Vat, chairman of Phnom Penh Securities, one of the seven licensed underwriting firms in the country, said the decline in PPWSA’s­ stock could be due to a lack of trading activity as a result of it being the only company listed on the bourse.

“From my observations, when there is only one company listed, the trading situation becomes quiet. When there are many companies listed, the situation will be better and there will be a chance for PPWSA’s share price to move up again,” Mr. Vat said.

The tense political climate following the contested July 28 national election may also have contributed to the recent drop, with investors uncertain about political stability and financial growth if the political stalemate prevents a new government being formed.

“Politics has a stake in this decline because investors are eager to see a new government, but I think it will not be long before new companies are listed,” Mr. Vat said.

During Monday’s activity, just 550 shares were traded compared to almost 900,000 on the opening day of trading. Yet despite the notable lack of activity since it opened, the CSX will move homes from the Canadia Tower, where the trading floor has been closed for months, to a French colonial-era building on Street 106 currently undergoing a $6 million renovation.

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