Cambodia in the Eyes of a Hong Kong-based Investment Company

Cambodia has been in the list of potential investment countries of Asia Frontier Capital Ltd. (AFC), a Hong Kong-based investment company.

After decades of political mismanagement and civil war, Cambodia has recently begun to capitalise on its economic potential, said AFC in a recent press release.

Since adopting free-market economic policies in the 1990s and increasing its integration within the international community, Cambodia's economy has flourished. From 1998 to 2007, Cambodia's GDP growth ranked sixth in the world (9.8%) and fastest in the Far East after China, it added.

Cambodia's continued upward trajectory will be driven by several factors. Cambodia is resource-rich with newfound offshore oil and gas deposits in the Gulf of Thailand and mineral deposits in the northern provinces. Tourism is also growing quickly, as Cambodia is home to pristine beaches, world-class cultural relics (Angkor Wat) and a burgeoning eco-tourism sector. Cambodia also benefits from a young and cheap workforce, and a growing middle-class.

Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) was also highlighted by AFC. CSX was established on July 11, 2011 and is headquartered in Phnom Penh and there are currently five companies listed. The CSX held its first IPO of state-owned Phnom Penh Water Authority in April 2012. The second listing on the CSX was Grand Twins International in June 2014, followed by Phnom Penh Autonomous Port in December 2015, Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone in May 2016 and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in June 2017. That market capitalisation was US$302 million as of February 2018.

From December 2018 onwards, minimum wages of the workers is lower than China, but Cambodia is better than India, Pakistan, and Vietnam, pointed out AFC.

In the best performing indexes in the AFC list in September were Cambodia (+8.0%), Kyrgyzstan (+5.6%), and Vietnam (+2.8%). The poorest performing markets were Iraq (-4.8%) and Bangladesh (-4.1%). The top-performing portfolio stocks this month were: a steel producer from Uzbekistan (+37.5%), a junior mining company from Mongolia (+33.3%), a power distributor from Kyrgyzstan (+29.3%), an engineering company from Uzbekistan (+26%), and a Mongolian real estate developer (+20.0%).

Asia Frontier Capital Ltd. is a pioneering fund management company specialising in investing in high growth Asian frontier economies. It has been active in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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