GOVERNMENT officials declined to name Sihanoukville Autonomous Port as one of three state-owned firms set to list on the Cambodian Stock Exchange yesterday, raising questions over its floatation.
In September 2009, three state-owned firms – Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Telecom Cambodia, and the port – were ordered by the government to list on the planned bourse.
But yesterday, Aun Porn Moniroth, secretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, said the three state-owned enterprises were the Water Supply Authority, Telecom Cambodia, and “another state-owned enterprise which will be appointed later by the Royal Government of Cambodia”.
Ministry of Economy and Finance Secretary of State Hang Chuon Naron, speaking at a press conference, also said the third state-owned company to list would be the subject of a future announcement.
“At this time I cannot say exactly what the company is,” he said yesterday.
“The third company actually needs time – we don’t have an exact time as to when it’s going to be.”
Sihanoukville Port Authority Director General Lou Kim Chhun told The Post yesterday he was not aware of the exact situation regarding its listing, adding he was not an expert on the exchange.
“We always comply with the government’s decision because we are under their supervision,” he said.
The port had enough capital already for further development, he added.
Yesterday, Tong Yang Securities and its Cambodian subsidiary were announced as financial advisors to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Tong Yang will help prepare the state-owned firms for listing on the exchange.
“I would like to encourage Tong Yang Securities and Tong Yang Securities (Cambodia) Plc to continue scrutinising any potential issues and giving advice to the Ministry of Economy and Finance so that this project is executed in a smooth, highly effective and efficient manner,” said Aun Porn Moniroth.
The firm had signed an agreement on December 28, 2008, to act as financial advisor to the Ministry of Economy and Finance – which oversees the stock exchange – without charge.
It was also approved as one of seven underwriters for the bourse earlier this month.
Tong Yang Chief Executive Officer You Joon-ryeol welcomed the announcement, adding the firm was well equipped to handle floats by the state-owned firms.
“Tong Yang is committed to delivering the best possible results, by using our comprehensive knowledge and expertise to carry out successful IPOs,” he said.
“Furthermore, as a leading financial institution in Korea, we will continue to play our part in laying a firm foundation for the upcoming stock market and its continued growth.”
Claiming to be the first securities firm in Cambodia when it launched four years ago, You Joon-ryeol said Tong Yang was committed to the Cambodian economy and its new capital market development plan.
He added that the inaugural listings of the state-owned firms were vital for the success of the Cambodia Stock Exchange, and predicted it would become a milestone in the country’s capital market development.
Other approved underwriters said the government could appoint more firms to help the launch.
Lim Loong Seng, country head of OSK Indochina Bank – which has been approved as one of the Kingdom’s seven underwriters – said: “Of course we would like to be selected, but it’s up to the government to decide – they can appoint anybody – one or two or three underwriters.”