Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cambodian Stock Exchange

About this time last year I was talking to a foreign expert advising on the opening. 
Will it open on time?
He frowned, sucked his teeth, looked long into his beer, considered the geckos catching flying-ants on the ceiling, and gave me his considered reply.
"With any luck, no."

My friend's problem was this: The ASX has something like a thousand pages of regulations, the South Korean Exchange has something similar, but the people he'd been advising had yet to crack into triple figures. "There's a reason for all those regulations."
But the opening has been put off many times already, and there's pressure to get on with it.
First three listings will be Telecom Cambodia, Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority. All pretty sound. 
Except Telecom Cambodia, which has never had an independent audit. 
And the Port, which only brought its accounting procedures into line with regulations last year.
But Telecom's been audited by PWC since 1997.
The problem is the accounting, you see. It's also called transparency. It means that big foreign institutional investors won't be willing to put cash in unless they trust the books.
If the big institutions don't come in, that leaves the market for the little fish.

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