On December 27, 2023, CIA First International School Co., Ltd made its debut bond listing on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) following approval from the Security Exchange Regulator (SERC).
According to a press release issued by the CSX, the corporate bond, named “CIA First Guarantee Bond 1,” carries a guarantee from the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) and has Royal Group Securities as the sole underwriter and financial advisor.
The bond has a total issuance size of approximately KHR 40 billion (equivalent to USD $10 million), a coupon rate (the interest rate paid by a bond issuer to the bond’s face value) of 6.3 per cent per annum, and a five-year term from 2023 to 2028.
The funds raised through this listing will support the expansion and enhancement of the education company’s business operations, as well as the development of new infrastructure.
Oknha Dr. Trang Ly, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CIA First International, highlighted that the school, which was established in 2004 with only 17 students, has experienced remarkable growth and now caters to a total of 5,000 students across three campuses in Phnom Penh.
In 2020, during the midst of the pandemic, CIA First International School was acquired by Navis Capital Partners.
CIA First provides education from kindergarten to 12th grade, with two campuses located in Sen Sok district, one in Chbar Ampov, and a fourth campus currently under construction in Russey Keo district and scheduled to open its doors in 2025.
Ly emphasised that the bond listing is a significant milestone for the school and the private education sector, as it enables them to raise capital from qualified investors.
CIA First International School’s listing on the Cambodian stock market is the second instance of an education company this year. The first education company to listed on the CSX was Mengly J Quach Education Plc (MJQE) in June 2023, which successfully raised over USD $5 million through its initial public offering (IPO).
Cambodia’s Securities Market In 2023
H.E. Sou Socheat, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC), expressed that the listing of CIA First International School signifies the ongoing growth of the securities market in the Kingdom.
As of October 2023, there were 20 listed companies on the CSX with a total capital of USD $330 million (rising from USD $317 in May 2023). According to Socheat, this number has increased to a total of 22 listed companies, consisting of 11 equity securities and 11 corporate bonds that have collectively raised approximately USD $359 million from the capital market as of December 2023.
“[This] has become a gateway for diversifying financing for companies and an investment opportunity for investors,” Socheat added.
H.E. Hong Sok Hour, CEO of CSX, emphasised that 2023 was a significant year for the exchange, witnessing the highest number of listed companies, including two equity securities and three corporate bonds.
- As of November 2023, the average daily trading volume stands at around 130,000 shares, with an average daily trading value of approximately USD $210,000.
- The number of trading accounts has also experienced considerable growth, especially as investors gained the ability to instantly create an account via the PhsarHun mobile app since H2 2023.
- The number of CSX accounts has increased to 47,000 as of December 2023, on track for a target of approximately 50,000 by the end of 2023.
Sok Hour added that the CSX aims to reach 100,000 trading accounts by 2024, with an average daily trading value of USD $100 million by 2030.
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