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CIR Media and SERC sign partnership to promote Cambodia’s capital markets

Cambodia Investment Review

Cambodia Investment Review (CIR Media) and Cambodia’s non-banking regulator the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) have inked a partnership to better inform investors about Cambodia’s developing capital markets. 

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at SERC Headquarters in Phnom Penh by CIR Media Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Harrison White and SERC Director General H.E. Sou Socheat.

Under the partnership, CIR Media has agreed to promote the securities sector in Cambodia through publishing both news and educational articles to ensure truthful and reliable information and make a positive impact on the securities market in Cambodia.

The partnership aims to enhance cooperation and collaboration mechanisms and raise the awareness of Cambodia’s capital market for both local and international audiences in Cambodia.

Cambodia Securities Exchange currently has nine equity-listed companies on both its two boards with a combined market capitalization of $2.1 billion.

Promoting Cambodia’s capital markets

Speaking at the signing event Harrison White said: “This partnership is a fantastic example of the non-banking regulator constructively working with fair media such as Cambodia Investment Review to better inform the public on vital development tools like the local capital markets.”

“I hope this partnership will lay the foundation for more government agencies to utilize Cambodia Investment Review’s market reach to encourage more investors to consider Cambodia as a destination of choice,” he added.

CIR Media and SERC
CIR Media and SERC ink the partnership agreement.

Sou Socheat said: “In the journey of capital market development, media has played a very important role in promoting market awareness and market confidence, through disseminating timely and accurate information as well as widely inform to the public and potential local and international investors.”

“Therefore, through this collaboration, the securities sector news and educational articles will be featured in CIR Media to promote Cambodia’s capital market development. In addition, SERC will share news and recent updates about the capital market with CIR Media and provide interviews on any topics that have a positive impact on the market,” he added.

SERC 2022 ACMF Chair 

Sou Socheat also explained that this year SERC is the chair of the ASEAN Capital Market Forum (ACMF), leading the high-level grouping of regulators in ASEAN.

“During this chairmanship, SERC will focus more on sustainability, inclusivity, and recovery to ensure that all ACMF members benefit from the development. Regarding sustainability, in Cambodia, we are ready to allow green bonds to be issued as the regulatory frameworks are in place. We believe that many investors are now keeping eyes on these products as sustainability issue is our issue, not anyone’s issue,” he said.

SERC Director General H.E. Sou Socheat.

“Therefore, I hope to see the green bond issued in our market within this years too. If we look at our market in general, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of the Ukraine-Russia war on many markets, the capital market in Cambodia has significantly grown, from 2019 to 2022, we have got more listed companies every year. This is especially true when in 2021 and 2022, we had two companies listed on the growth board which is a positive sign of the important roles of the capital market in developing SMEs in Cambodia,” he added.

According to the non-banking regulator from 2020 to 2021, the trading value on the local stock market increased by 127.21% while the trading volume increased by 396.34%. As of April 2022, capital markets have provided capital to the state-owned enterprise and corporations in Cambodia worth approximately $281.8 million.

As of Q1 2022, SERC has issued 31,640 Investor IDs of which 4,461 are foreigners. “So, I strongly believe that under this cooperation, the market trading activities will be more active and we will also be able to attract more funds from abroad to Cambodia,” Soucheat added.

Government bonds planned

The Cambodian government is currently in the process of launching its first government bond aimed to be launched this year with a value of $300 million. The Law on Government Securities was signed into law by King Norodom Sihamoni on Dec 31, 2020, after the legislation was passed by the country’s Senate.

The law allows the government to issue bonds in Cambodian and foreign currency locally or abroad to finance development needs.

To read more about Cambodia’s upcoming government bond click here

The Asian Development Bank has recently stated that channeling savings into such investments can contribute to a green and resilient future for Cambodia, helping achieve the 2022 priorities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is currently under Cambodia’s chairmanship.

Harrison White
CIR Media Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Harrison White

The development organization added developing the Kingdom’s capital markets can boost the country’s resilience to climate change and strengthen micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), supporting women’s entrepreneurship in particular.

To read more about Asian Development Bank’s opinion on Cambodia’s capital markets click here.

The non-banking regulator was established under the law on The Issuance and Trading of Non-Government Securities (Preah Reach Kram No NS/RKM/ 1007/028) and regulates the securities industry in Cambodia to contribute to socio-economic development through capital mobilization from public/ securities investors to meet the demand of financing for investors.

Cambodia Investment Review is a first-of-its-kind local news outlet dedicated to Cambodian investment news in the English language and is focused on encouraging more quality investment in Cambodia by publishing the latest business and investment news to both local and international audiences.

CIR Media has previously signed partnership agreements with business and consultancy firm Aquarii (Cambodia) and Prince Foundation to help develop young business journalists from the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

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