CSX launches initiative to guide SMEs

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Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX). Heng Chivoan

Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) has launched a new initiative called “35 Minutes on Business”, a series of online events that will serve as a new community platform for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The platform will enable SMEs to present their products, services and projects, share experiences and business strategies in the current technological edge, and learn more about raising funds on the capital market.

 

CSX CEO Hong Sok Hour told The Post on Monday that the new platform will provide local SMEs a chance to share their businesses not only with the public but also with investors.

“It will also serve as a bridge to investors who may take an interest in the companies, allowing them to enter a joint-investment with them,” he said.

The once-a-month online events will invite business owners to talk about their businesses and enlighten them on how they can use the stock market to fund their expansions, he said.

“What has most [SMEs] concerned is their notion that they are too small to list on the exchange – they shouldn’t think that.

“If they believe they are qualified and want to list on either the Growth Board or Main Board, they can raise the funds either way,” Sok Hour said.

The CSX has struggled to attract a single SME since the launch of its Growth Board in late 2015. According to SECC regulations, companies are required to have a minimum of $500,000 in operating capital to list, compared to $7.5 million on the main board.

 

Companies that list on the platform are also required to release one year of audited financial results, compared to the two years required for bigger companies.

Additionally, the results must show a positive net profit or positive operating cash flow with gross profit margin of at least 10 per cent.

Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia vice-president Sok Dara told The Post recently that two SMEs were on track to list on the CSX’s Growth Board by the end of this year.

There are currently 13 listed firms in the Kingdom – seven stock-listed and six corporate bond-listed. The 13 companies have raised a combined $253 million and the stock index increased more than 57 per cent last year over 2018, CSX data show.

In the first nine months of this year, two companies listed stocks and three listed bonds. The five firms have raised a combined $92 million, the data show.