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ACLEDA to raise $100M for SME loans via Thai bonds

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The headquarters of ACLEDA Bank on Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard. Hong Menea

ACLEDA to raise $100M for SME loans via Thai bonds

Acleda Bank Plc, a leading commercial bank in Cambodia, will be listing bonds on Thailand’s stock exchange to raise $100 million for business expansion, particularly to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The listing marks a new milestone for the bank as it becomes the first local company to list bonds abroad.

According to the bank’s filing with the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on September 18, the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has approved its issuance for Thai baht (THB) denominated subordinated unsecured debentures.

The public-listed Cambodian bank would issue 433,163,019 units at 10,020 Khmer riel per unit on the Thai Bond Market Association (ThaiBMA).

“The purpose of the issuance of long-term debt securities is to expand the scope of funding collection from the Thai bond market and to diversify sources of funds to support ACLEDA Bank’s long-term strategy,” it said.

ACLEDA notified investors that the first issuance of Thai baht-denominated subordinated unsecured debentures is in “the amount up to $100 million equivalent in THB with a seven-year tenor” in Thailand.

“ACLEDA is continuing to prepare [in accordance with] the procedures and regulatory requirements, terms and conditions of the authorities in Thailand and related parties for the issuance of the Thai baht-denominated subordinated unsecured debentures,” the bank said.

In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA told The Post on September 20 that the listing would provide the bank with an additional ability to diversify its source of domestic and foreign funds through the capital market.

“There are diverse sources of funds in Thailand and [we want] to establish diversity in funding. As an investor, we need to build and expand a pool of long-term funds globally including Thailand.

“We are mobilising short-term funds from savings and deposits, mostly short-term of one to two years in Cambodia,” he said, adding that the pricing was expected to be reasonable and affordable.

Sou Socheat, director-general of the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) confirmed that while the bank is attempting to diversify the source of funds by listing locally and in foreign countries, it also has to comply with SERC and the Thai’s Exchange Regulator.

“We don’t have any regulation to ban listed firms from listing on stock markets abroad.

“However, the bank has to comply with our regulations as well as the Thai regulations.

“So far, the bank is preparing its papers internally in line with the procedures,” he told The Post on September 20.

ACLEDA Bank Plc was the first commercial bank in Cambodia to be listed on CSX. It raised $17.5 million via its initial public offering (IPO) with price per share starting at 16,200 riel ($4.05).

On November 21, 2021, the NBC approved ACLEDA’s application to issue green bonds on CSX but the bank has yet to issue them.

According to SERC, since the establishment of the capital market a decade ago, 20 companies have been listed on the local bourse, 11 of which have issued equity securities.

The 20 companies have raised $328 million capital via CSX, which had a total market capitalisation of $3.08 billion or 10.6 per cent of gross domestic product as of August 30, 2023.


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