A senior official of the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) said two private companies are preparing to issue green bonds, forming a positive new development for the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), which is fast becoming a new source of capital for investors.

CSX CEO Hong Sok Hour told The Post that he has received official documents from two companies requesting for an initial public offering (IPO) and another is filling out additional documents.

“We will be releasing official information about the company request in the next two or three weeks. So, we would have more companies interested in issuing green bonds on the CSX, which is a positive sign for the development of our securities market,” he said.

He said the green wave, which began with the issuance of green bonds by Golden Tree Co Ltd, proved that the securities sector is actively involved in supporting and promoting a green environment for the society.

“For this new green initiative, I encourage business owners to consider capital diversification through the securities market, especially with the raising of funds by issuing and registering three types of corporate bonds, consisting of green bonds, social bonds and sustainable bonds, which are attractive to retail investors as well as institutional investors. This also supports the environment, society and national economy,” he said.

In the meantime, Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) director-general Sou Socheat told The Post that he has yet to receive any official documents about the bond IPOs.

“I believe that they are working internally and with those who are facilitating the compliance process alongside the green bond issuance standard. That is why it’s taking a little more time to prepare,” he said.

Golden Tree Co Ltd became the first local company to issue a green bond on the CSX on Jan 19 this year, raising about $1.5 million to expand its business.

In March 2023, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Global Green Growth Institute and the SERC, in collaboration with the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility and GuarantCo, which is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, launched the Cambodia Sustainable Bond Accelerator.

Three private sector bond issuers, Golden Tree, Amret Plc and Royal Group Phnom Penh SEZ, were selected and would receive green and sustainability bond issuance support in 2023.

According to UNESCAP, Cambodian microfinance depositing-taking institution Amret is preparing to issue a $50 million sustainability bond, real estate company Golden Tree would receive support to issue its second green bond to raise $25 million for green building development while public-listed Phnom Penh SEZ would be supported in a $20 million sustainability bond.

Over the past decade, SERC’s Socheat said the securities market in Cambodia has grown significantly.

“Since the launch of the market, we have a total of 20 companies listed on the CSX, with 11 of them being equity securities. Nine are listed on the Main Board and two on the Growth Board. Nine other companies have issued corporate bonds on the CSX,” he added.