Acleda Bank, the largest locally-owned commercial bank in the country, has announced that it is ready to list on the Cambodia Security Exchange (CSX).
The bank was granted permission by the National Bank of Cambodia last week, according to a company statement issued yesterday.
Speaking to Khmer Times yesterday, Jong Weon Ha, CSX vice chairman, said Acleda Bank’s initial public offering is set to change companies’ perception of the local bourse and encourage them to consider the capital market as a source of funding.
“Other companies will follow on Acleda’s footsteps, especially other big commercial banks in the country,” he said.
“If they want to maintain their competitiveness in the industry, they need to find a cheaper source of funding to lower the interest rate,” he added.
In its statement, released yesterday, Acleda said, “We will be the first commercial bank in the country to list our shares on the local bourse. The IPO will mark a new chapter of our success story.”
The company did not disclose the exact date that its shares will be made available to investors but noted that it will make a public announcement on the date of “book building and subscription” after securing the approval of CSX and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia, the bourse regulator.
Acleda said the IPO will be promoted as the “People’s IPO”, encouraging retail investors and the general public to participate in accordance with their financial ability.
“The ‘People’s IPO’ of the bank is to share the fruits of its financial growth with the average retail investors and become a bank that is trusted by the public. This will be a unique opportunity for the public to become shareholders of Acleda Bank,” the bank said.
Mr Weon Ha said he has not received disclosure documents on the size of the issuance but estimated that it would not be less than five percent of the bank’s equity.
Acleda Bank is the largest bank in Cambodia in terms of gross loans ($3.61 billion), and total equity ($898.56 million), and the second largest in terms of total assets ($6.09 billion) and total deposits ($4.24 billion), according to a report from the bank.
Mr Weon Ha said CSX is expecting new entries in 2020. He said companies in the financial, engineering, and food & beverage sectors are expected to join.
“Six firms are getting ready for an IPO: two companies will list on the main board, another two on the growth board and another one will issue bonds,” he said.
Hong Sok Hour, CSX CEO, told Khmer Times this month that the capital mobilised at CSX since it was launched in 2012 has reached $161 million.
He said awareness of the local bourse is growing rapidly and noted that it is becoming a more popular source of capital for local firms.
CSX now has eight companies listed – five on the main board and three in the debt security market. Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Grand Twins International, Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, Phnom Penh SEZ, and Phnom Penh Autonomous Port are on the main board, while Hattha Kaksekar Limited, LOLC and ABA Bank have issued bonds.