Local public-listed real estate developer JS Land Plc acquired a large parcel of land in western Phnom Penh to develop the The Garden Residency 3 (TGR 3), seen as consistent with the strategic business plans mentioned by the company during its initial public offering (IPO).

JS Land Plc became the second firm to list on the Cambodia Securities Exchange’s (CSX) Growth Board on February 10, 2022 raising 48.849 billion riel ($12 million).

In a notification filed to the CSX on February 27, the company reported that it had acquired the “prime” land plot in Phnom Penh Thmey commune, Sen Sok district for the price of exactly 7.4106 billion riel ($1.8 million), which is equivalent to 11.34 per cent of the value of its total assets as of end-2022, or 65.3555 billion riel.

“As a company dedicated to building homes that meet the needs of Cambodians, we are committed to delivering high-quality, innovative projects that exceed our shareholder’s expectations.

“We believe that the TGR 3 project will not only contribute to the growth of the real estate market but also provide Cambodians with a comfortable and sustainable living environment,” it said.

During the listing ceremony, JS Land CEO Jack Yap commented that the firm had leveraged its experience in the Malaysian and Hong Kong markets to position itself and focus on building affordable homes that meet Cambodian needs.

After seven years, JS Land has emerged as a major player in the local affordable housing market, especially the condominium segment, he said.

“In recent years, as a result of emerging demand from middle class, the Cambodian market has seen a major shift from high-end condominiums to affordable ones, which now account for 68 per cent of the total stock,” he said, noting that affordable units have the most demand in the condo sector.

However, JS Land reported a total comprehensive loss of 2.363 billion riel in the first half of 2022 ended June 30, due to low demand for condominium units.

In its bourse filing on August 31, JS Land showed no revenue for the period, as it had not handed over its Garden Residency 2 (GR2) project, which was under construction and expected to be completed in 2023. The abbreviations for the Garden Residency developments have been inconsistent.

JS Land chairman Koy Le San explained to shareholders that as a property developer, the terms and conditions stipulated in sales and purchase agreements allow the company to recognise revenue once developments are completed and handed over.

This, he said, was in accordance with requirements under International Reporting Standards.

“Hence, from now till the handover of GR2, our company’s audited account will not reflect any revenue. Nevertheless, you will see that the company’s property development assets are increasing on a quarterly basis to reflect the stage of project completion to date,” Koy added.

For the second quarter of 2022, ended June 30, JS Land also showed a net loss of 744.141 million riel.

On the CSX, JS Land’s (JSL) share price remained flat on Friday, March 3, closing at 4,700 riel for a free-float market capitalisation (and full market cap) of 120.837 billion riel and year-to-date range of 4,540-5,100 riel, with 239 shares traded.

JS Land’s listing on the Growth Board came 157 days after DBD Engineering Plc, a local multi-purpose engineering and construction firm, went public via IPO on September 6, 2021, securing a place in history as the secondary board’s inaugural listing.

All 6,461,538 shares of the stock on offer were sold ahead of its debut, at 2,380 riel per unit to raise more than $3.84 million during a subscription period running from July 26 to August 18, DBD and IPO underwriter (or manager) SBI Royal Securities Plc (SBIR) noted in a joint filing to the CSX on August 27, 2021.

The Growth Board was launched in late 2015 as a secondary platform to lift some of the barriers for listing and cater more to companies with high-growth prospects but less access to capital or financial resources. However, it had failed to attract a single issuer over the years, even as the Main Board witnessed increasing growth.

The CSX is co-owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Korea Exchange (KRX) on a 55:45 ratio.