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Microlender becomes 1st firm to list bonds on Cambodia's bourse

Microfinance institution Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL), the third largest microlender in Cambodia, became the first firm to list its corporate bonds on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on Wednesday.
HKL's President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Huot Ieng Tong said the HKL was the company that issued the first-ever local currency bonds in the kingdom, saying that the firm issued 1.2 million bonds worth 120 billion riels (30 million U.S. dollars).
"The HKL's corporate bonds have the period of three years with a coupon rate of 8.5 percent per annum," he said during the listing ceremony. "The capital from bond issuance will be used for the expansion of the firm's business operations."
"From now on, investors can buy and sell the HKL corporate bonds on the CSX," Ieng Tong said.
CSX's CEO Hong Sok Hour said the International Finance Corporation (IFC) had bought 800,000 bonds worth 20 million U.S. dollars, as the remaining bonds were purchased by banks and insurers.
"This is a new history for the CSX to get the first bond listing," he said.
Launched in 2011, the CSX has so far received five stock-listed companies and one bond-listed firm, Sok Hour said, adding that the six enterprises have collected a total capital of 110 million U.S. dollars from the securities market.
He said it is expected that three more enterprises will list on the CSX next year.
According to Sok Hour, more than 20,000 individuals and companies have opened trading accounts at the CSX so far, up from 9,000 in December last year.
"These achievements truly reflect the steady progress of the CSX, and we believe that the CSX will develop faster in coming years," he said.
Kyle F. Kelhofer, IFC senior country manager for Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, said the IFC was strongly confident in the growth of the HKL and the banking and financial sector in Cambodia.
"IFC is pleased to buy the first-ever Khmer riel bonds issued by HKL, and we will continue to work with key stakeholders and market participants to further strengthen the debt capital market in Cambodia," he said.
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