Cambodia Investment Review

Cambodia Association of Securities Firms Launches to Bolster Capital Market Growth Cambodia Investment Review

Cambodia Association of Securities Firms Launches to Bolster Capital Market Growth Cambodia Investment Review

The Cambodia Association of Securities Firms (CASF) was officially launched as a pivotal entity in the country’s maturing financial landscape, marking a significant step towards the continued development of Cambodia’s capital market. The landmark event, held on December 19, comes after the association’s establishment on July 19, 2023.

Mr. Iv Ranarith, Chairman of CASF and CEO of RHB Securities, during the inaugural ceremony, emphasized the unique and critical role of the association. As the only national-level entity recognized by the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC), CASF stands as a central figure in the securities landscape. Ranarith stressed, “CASF’s objective is to fortify and expand the securities industry in Cambodia. Our approach involves close collaboration with all stakeholders and serving as a direct line of communication with SERC.”

Mr. Iv Ranarith, Chairman of CASF and CEO of RHB Securities.

A key aspect of CASF’s role is its inclusive membership structure. All securities companies and financial and investment advisory firms licensed by SERC are automatically enrolled as members. As of mid-December 2023, CASF has 16 member firms, comprising 13 securities firms and three financial and investment advisory firms, indicating a broad representation across the industry.

Securities Market Driving Economic Development in Cambodia

The significance of the securities market in driving economic development was a focal point of Ranarith’s address. He articulated the market’s essential function in facilitating companies to acquire capital for investment and job creation, thereby fostering economic growth. He highlighted the varied investment opportunities available through the securities market to public and institutional investors, including insurance companies and both public and private funds. For professional investors, such as private equity and venture capital funds, the securities market offers a viable platform for monetizing investments.

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H.E. Sou Socheat, director-general of SERC.

Ranarith also addressed the challenges faced by Cambodian businesses, particularly the dependency on bank loans, which has contributed to an increase in non-performing loans (NPLs). He underscored the strategic importance of securities firms in the industry, stating, “We deal with investors, listed companies, potential issuers, the exchange, and the regulator. Being the most informed entity, we understand the needs and requirements of all stakeholders.”

He also outlined CASF’s mission to collaborate with various parties and work alongside SERC to influence industry policy, regulation, and propose effective incentive policies for listed companies and investors, thereby enhancing the overall market environment.

SERC: Commitment To Growth and Innovation in The Sector

H.E. Sou Socheat, director-general of SERC, reflected on the capital market’s journey in Cambodia over the past decade. He noted that as of the event date, there were 21 companies listed on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), collectively raising approximately $347.18 million. This includes 11 institutions that have issued securities and 10 that have issued debt securities, highlighting the diversification of financial instruments in the market.

Cambodia Association of Securities Firm Launches on December 19, 2023 in Phnom Penh.

Socheat expressed pride in the progress of the capital market, stating, “Despite starting later than other countries and having a smaller market size, Cambodia’s capital market development aligns well with regional and global trends, showcasing our commitment to growth and innovation in this sector.”

He detailed the regulatory achievements, with SERC having licensed and accredited 120 securities companies to operate in various capacities, including securities firms, financial advisory firms, investment advisory firms, securities distributors, central counterparties, derivatives brokers, fund management companies, asset management companies, and others. Additionally, as of December 13, SERC had issued 45,870 investor identification numbers, demonstrating the market’s expanding investor base.

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