Golden Tree Co Ltd (GT) on January 19 listed the first “green bond” on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), raising 6.0721 billion riel ($1.46 million) to expand its business, in what has been hailed as a milestone in the development of the local bourse.

A total of 60,721 units were issued at par value of 100,000 riel, carrying a per-annum coupon rate of seven per cent paid semi-annually and a five-year tenor with maturity date of December 6, 2027, according to the CSX website, which noted that the bond was underwritten by SBI Royal Securities Plc, with Cambodia Securities Plc as co-underwriter.

Speaking at the listing ceremony held at the CSX office, GT executive vice-president Oum Sereyrotanak assured that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had provided technical assistance to ensure that the offering conforms to ASEAN green bond standards.

He said the bond dovetails with GT’s long-term strategic vision of becoming a leading real estate company in Cambodia.

“This issuance is a step towards giving our investors another level of understanding of sustainable investment, where they can be profitable and protect the environment at the same time.

“The issuance of the green bond not only allows Golden Tree to obtain capital for business expansions, but also to gain the trust of local and international investors in the company’s business. In addition, the company will also do its part to boost the potential and sustainability of the financial sector,” Sereyrotanak said.

Also at the ceremony, CSX CEO Hong Sok Hour hailed the bond as the beginning of a “green wave”, which he said is indicative of the securities sector’s “active involvement” in the support and broad promotion of eco-friendly management.

“In light of this novel green achievement, I’d like to encourage business owners to consider capital diversification through the CSX, particularly by raising funds through the issuance and listing of three types of corporate bonds – green, social and sustainability – that attract public investors as well as institutional investors, and support the environment, society and the national economy,” he said.

At the same event, Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) director-general Sou Socheat voiced admiration for GT over “its willingness to issue the first green bond in the country, despite the obstacles during the issuance period – the company saw things through”.

Presiding over the event, Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Hean Sahip lauded the green bond as “a new step in the development of the Cambodian securities sector”.

“I hope the chairman [Kuy Vat] will have his other affiliate companies issue green bonds or IPOs [initial public offerings]. Actually, Golden Tree has raised capital [through the bond] to develop green housing to meet consumer demand and expand the company’s business potential,” he said.

Vat, a veteran real estate professional, heads VTrust Group Co Ltd and a multitude of other local businesses.

The CSX’s Sok Hour commented that, as of January 19, a total of 18 companies feature on the local bourse – nine have listed shares, while the rest have issued bonds – raising a total of $317 million through their offerings.

To date, around 36,000 CSX trading accounts have been opened, he said, adding that the average daily trading value on the bourse reached about $500,000 last year.

The CSX is co-owned by the finance ministry and the Korea Exchange (KRX) on a 55:45 basis.