South Korea-owned Phnom Penh Commercial Bank Plc (PPCBank) on Tuesday officially listed its first corporate bond on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX).

This makes it the fourth financial institution to bond-list on the bourse, all of which have done so during the Covid-19 pandemic.

PPCBank president and CEO Shin Chang-moo said the listing marks a new milestone for the bank at a time of high uncertainty and market volatility where securing liquidity is more important than ever.

“We are now one of the few financial institutions in Cambodia with access to the newest source of long-term funding. Through the bond issuance, we were able to build new relationships with reputable foreign and local institutional investors.

“I believe this is the first time a local insurance company has invested a meaningful amount in corporate bonds issued by a financial institution as an anchor investor,” said Shin, declining to name the firm.

“We believe the listing of our bonds will contribute immensely to our bank’s reputation and brand as not only the leading commercial bank but also a trusted partner with customer-centric, innovative, and transparent business operations.

“While still in the early stage of its development, the Cambodian capital market is expected to provide us with more flexibility and stability in terms of funding for the medium and long-term,” said Shin.

Han Kyung -tae, the managing director of Yuanta Securities (Cambodia) Plc, the company managing PPCBank’s bond issuance project, noted that the listing – in the middle of the health crisis – is a great achievement for both the bank and the development of the Kingdom’s capital market.

“We are happy to have successfully guided PPCBank to complete the first phase of its bond issuance. We believe this is an excellent start for the bank as securing liquidity will be one of the top priorities for banks for the coming months,” said Han.

Sou Socheat, director-general of the Securities Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC), the Kingdom’s securities regulator, presided over the listing ceremony.

He said the successful listing showed a strong commitment from the management of the bank while many other markets around the globe and region continue to be rattled by the pandemic.

“Despite going through a tough time, we went ahead with PPCBank’s listing on the Cambodia Securities Exchange.

“At this time, we’ve decided that the bank should split the listing into two phases. Today we were successful in raising $10 million. For the second phase, it will take another six months to raise another $10 million,” said Socheat.

PPCBank received SECC approval of its subscription and allocation results on April 10. The bank successfully raised 40 billion riel ($10 million).

First phase investors subscribed to foreign-exchange-indexed bonds with an interest rate of 6.5 per cent per year and a maturity of three years.

A total of 400,000 bonds were issued at an average value of 100,000 riel per bond. The bank plans to raise another 40 billion riel in its second phase.