Cambodia opens stock market, but no trading yet

Associated Press
Cambodian men hang out by a currency poster during the inauguration ceremony of the Cambodia Securities Exchange in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, July 11, 2011. Cambodia officially launched its long-delayed stock exchange Monday although no companies are yet listed for trading. Finance Minister Keat Chhon said at the opening of Cambodia's exchange that trading was expected to begin by the end of the year. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia officially launched its long-delayed stock exchange Monday although no companies are yet listed for trading.

Finance Minister Keat Chhon said at the opening of the Cambodia Securities Exchange that trading was expected to begin by the end of the year. He said three state-owned companies — the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Telecom Cambodia and the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port — have announced plans for listing.

Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2007 announced plans to launch a stock market, saying Cambodia needed to find new ways to attract international capital besides international aid and bank loans. Lawmakers then approved a securities law on issuance and trading of nongovernment securities to pave the way for the market. Its opening has been postponed twice.

Cambodia is one of the last Southeast Asian nations to open a stock market. Neighboring Laos opened its bourse in January and Vietnam's exchange has been operating since 2000. Other countries such as Singapore and Thailand have had stock markets for much longer.

The Cambodian government holds a 55 percent stake in the new exchange, while Korea Exchange Inc., which is supplying the technical expertise, has a 45 percent share.

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