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ACLEDA Financial Trust buys 3.329M in company stock under 5-year strategy

Harrison White

ACLEDA Bank’s (CSX:ABC) largest shareholder – ACLEDA Financial Trust (AFT) has announced it has purchased 3.329 million shares from February to July this year, worth an estimated $8.31 million, as the share price currently trades 36% below IPO.

The AFT which already holds over 25% of company stock made the announcement to market this week following the decision of their Board of Trustees and regulator’s internal budget plan and 5-year strategy in February this year.

According to a statement the AFT said following the decision of its Board of Trustees and regulators, the AFT will buy the shares on the CSX from 2022 to 2026 based on its internal budget plan and 5-year strategy.

To read more about the AFT statement click here.

Cambodia Investment Review has previously contacted the AFT but was not provided any additional information on the number of shares nor a specific timeframe.

ACLEDA Bank’s share price is currently trading at KHR 10,300 a share down 36% from the company’s much-hyped Initial Public Offering in 2020 at KHR 16,200 a share bought by many first-time investors in Cambodia’s developing stock market.

Some investors take advantage

Despite record company profits of over $166 million last year, a major factor in the falling share price occurred after more than 11,000 members of the ACLEDA Bank staff association were able to partially sell their shares on the open market earlier this year.

With the potential for ongoing selling pressure as an additional 89 million shares (20% of total company shares or four times is IPO) needed to be absorbed into the open market over the next few years.

Some institutional investors are taking advantage of the low price including Morgan Stanly who purchased $43.23 million of ACLEDA Bank shares through Cambodia Securities Exchange marking the largest ever Negotiated Trading Method (NTM) buy.

To read more about the Morgan Stanley and ACLEDA Bank deal click here.

Chairman of the Bank and Trust Dr. In Channy told Cambodia Investment Review in an April interview: “The company stock price, unfortunately, remains low due to the selling pressures from the bank’s staff that were granted to sell on the open market last year.”

“That said we believe the price does not reflect the company value and is a fantastic investment opportunity,” he added.

The AFT mission statement says it shall pursue directly and exclusively the aforementioned objectives and shall act altruistically and shall not primarily pursue objectives for its own private commercial interests.

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