Cellcard (CamGSM), a leading and longstanding telecommunications service provider, achieved an historic milestone as the first company on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) to officially list and issue sustainability bonds. The move raised nearly $20 million, earmarked for expanding its business operations.

Cellcard officially issued the debt securities on November 24, accumulating $19.9 million with a ten-year maturity period.

Hong Sok Hour, CEO of CSX, highlighted in a press release that the funds from the bonds will finance projects that positively impact society and the environment.

“This type of sustainable bond takes into account social considerations, aiming to extend coverage to remote or underserved communities, thereby reducing the digital divide and enhancing social equity,” he stated.

He added that the CSX offers various financing options, including initial public offerings (IPOs) and bonds. 

He emphasised that the local bourse is not only a continuous source of funding but also provides a range of attractive and innovative financial instruments benefiting society and the national economy. 

“The CSX will persistently promote the issuance of sectoral bonds, like green bonds, social bonds and sustainable bonds, supporting the government in steering the national economy towards a low-carbon-emission future. This aligns with the National Strategic Plan on Green Growth 2013-2030. We have also been advocating for Environmental Social Governance (ESG), initiated in 2022,” he stated.

Sou Socheat, director-general of the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC), noted that this was CamGSM’s second listing on the CSX. The company completed its initial public offering on June 27, 2023, raising approximately $5.2 million. 

He stated that the company registered the sale of sustainable bonds valued at about $19.9 million, each with a par value of 100,000 riel ($24.41) on November 24. 

Named the “CamGSM Sustainability Bond,” the debt security offers a total amount of $19.9 million for a ten-year term, with a coupon rate of SOFR+3% or 5.5% per annum (whichever is higher), and semiannual coupon payments.

“The official issuance of sustainability bond sales for CamGSM’s qualified investors indicates a thriving Cambodian stock market. It reflects growing confidence among companies and public investors in this market, which is now a conduit for diversified company financing and an … opportunity for investors,” he added. 

According to Socheat, CamGSM’s bonds, underwritten by GuarantCo Ltd, received an “AA-” level repayment ability rating from Fitch Ratings on May 16. The bonds have also been appraised by the local Rating Agency of Cambodia Plc with a KhAAA rating, confirming their low-risk nature.

As of November 24, the CSX had 21 listed firms, with eleven listed as securities and ten as corporate bonds, having raised a total of $349 million. Sok Hour anticipates an increase in listed companies and sectoral bonds on the bourse in 2024.