Thursday, 21 January 2010

DAP News ; Breaking News by Soy Sopheap

Leopard Capital Completes Fundraising for Leopard Cambodia Fund LP, and Launches Two Sri Lanka Funds

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 08:10 DAP-NEWS/ Ek Madra

PHNOM PENH-Leopard Capital announces that Leopard Cambodia Fund LP, Cambodia’s first multi-sector investment fund, achieved its final closing on December 31, 2009.

The Fund received $34,135,000 of committed capital from over 100 investors around the world, including pension, family office, and individual investors, said the release obtained by DAP.

The Fund’s initial closing was April 2, 2008. It has since made five investment commitments in Cambodia, representing over 40% of its capital.

The Fund’s portfolio thus far includes investments in rice production (Cambodia Plantations), mobile telecommunications (CamGSM), beer brewing (Kingdom Breweries), power transmission (Greenside Holdings), and residential property development (Angkor Residences).

The Fund’s Manager is in advanced negotiations on several other investment proposals and expects that the Fund may be fully invested during 2010. Leopard Cambodia Fund is managed by Leopard Capital Cambodia Ltd.

Douglas Clayton, CEO of Leopard Capital, commented “it was challenging to raise a first-time fund like this during a global financial crisis but we think the timing will turn out to be very fortunate,” said the release.

“The volume and quality of investment proposals we’re getting has exceeded our expectations, and we’re pleased with the diversified portfolio we’re building.”

“We hope that the performance of Leopard Cambodia Fund will help change global perceptions about investing in Cambodia,” he said in the press release.

Leopard Capital also announces that its subsidiary Leopard Capital Sri Lanka Ltd. plans to start fundraising this Quarter for Leopard Sri Lanka Fund (for private equity) and Leopard Sri Lanka Value Fund (for public equity), it said.

Both funds will be managed by Leopard Capital Sri Lanka Ltd., whose Managing Partners are Nirosh De Silva, Ramanan Govindasamy, Douglas Clayton, Kenneth Stevens, and Thomas Hugger.

Leopard Sri Lanka Fund has a fundraising target of $100 million and a 10 year lifespan. The Fund will invest in unlisted companies in Sri Lanka, typically taking minority positions. It aims to help fund the post-war development of Sri Lanka’s economy by investing in sectors such as tourism, consumer goods, seafood processing, agriculture, and manufacturing.

The Fund is advised by an Advisory Council headed by Dr. Marc Faber, publisher of the widely-respected Gloom Boom and Doom Report. The expected launch date for this fund is 1st April 2010.

Leopard Sri Lanka Value Fund is an open-ended fund with an initial fundraising target of $30 million. It will invest in a diversified portfolio of companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange which the Manager considers underpriced by fundamental measures, including under-researched smaller companies. The launch date for this Fund is scheduled for 1st February 2010.

Leopard Capital LP manages investment funds in Asian frontier markets. By providing well-timed access into overlooked, post-conflict and pre-emerging economies, it seeks to capture excess returns.

Leopard Capital was founded in 2007 by Douglas Clayton as a partnership of financial professionals with lengthy investment experience in Asian emerging markets. Leopard Capital is based in the Cayman Islands and has affiliated offices in Hong Kong, Phnom Penh, and Colombo.

UN, Cambodia Agree to New Human Rights Rep

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 05:54 DAP-NEWS

The UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur Surya Prasad Subedi on Tuesday met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for over two hours at the National Assembly.

Both sides agreed to create a representative of human rights NGOs to work with the government to assess the situation of human rights in the country, Om Yen Tieng, head of the Committee of Human Rights of Cambodia, told reporters at the NA.

“Cambodia is not heaven of human rights and also is not hell of human rights,” he added.

Nepali national Subedi told reporters that “we hope the situation of human rights will progress for the better for this year.” Subedi is the fourth UN human rights official to Cambodia but the last three encountered many difficulties in working with the government. Subedi will be in Cambodia from January 18 to 30 and plans to meet NGO leaders and governmental officials.

He also will look into the roles of the NA and judiciary, including the Supreme Council of Magistracy and the Constitutional Council, and ensure checks and balances on the power of the executive, human rights and promote and protect democratic development, according to a UN statement.

Most Khmers in US Support Hun Sen: Soy Sopheap

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 05:52 DAP-NEWS

DAP Media Center Director-General Soy Sopheap has claimed that most Cambodians in the US support Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s policies, even those who previously supported the two main opposition parties, the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) and the Human Rights Party (HRP).

His remarks came after he led a DAP delegation to the US to meet and chat with Cambodians living in the US. Soy Sopheap and Mayarith, DAP Radio Director, are to arrive back in Cambodia at 11 am on January 22.

“The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) branch in Philadelphia, US will hold a special dinner party for me and Mayarith before we leave here,” Soy Sopheap told DAP News Cambodia on Tuesday.

Soy Sopheap said his trip to the US was to seek understanding of US-based Cambodians and garner their support for Cambodia’s agriculture sector, especially rice exports.

He claimed that most people who before supported the SRP’s Sam Rainsy and the HRP’s Kem Sokha have lessened or withdrawn their support and instead backed the premier’s policies.

“The people here are confident in the premier’s policy in protecting Preah Vihear temple,” Soy Sopheap said, adding that many wished to find out about the human rights situation and the state of democracy.

According to Soy Sopheap, many have expressed a desire to return to Cambodia as the country is increasingly under the leadership of Hun Sen.

SRP Lawmakers Visit Detained Villagers

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 05:51 DAP-NEWS

Lawmakers from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party on tuesday visited and met the two suspects detained in Svay Rieng provincail prison.

“The prison head allowed three of us and other two villagers to visit and meet with the detained villagers at the prison on Tuesday morning,” Chea Poch, SRP lawmaker told DAP News Cambodia yesterday. The permission letter reached the SRP main office in Phnom Penh on Monday evening.

The three lawmakers – Yim Sovann, Keo Sovanaroth, and Tioulong Samura, Sam Rainsy’s wife – were allowed to visit the detainees who allegedly pulled up Vietnamese border markers with SRP leader Sam Rainsy on October 25, 2009. The lawmakers visited the detainees at 10 am and left at 10:30 am.

The lawmakers after went to Kosh Kbal Kandal village, Samrong commune, Chantrea district to check the border markers.

The provincial court will hold a trial on January 27, 2010.

Economy Grew 2.1 Percent in 2009: NBC

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 05:49 DAP-NEWS

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) on Monday announced that economic growth is expected at 3 percent in 2010, claiming that 2009 saw 2.1 percent, despite many other organizations well-researched data suggesting that the economy contracted.

“Economic activities have been strengthened to support the economic growth and the government is pushing the policy for growth,” said Chea Chanto, NBC governor, at a meeting to review 2009. “The government is using the soft policy to deal the impacts from the global economic crisis and prevent the measures to challenging factors and strengthen the banking system in the country to guarantee the stable macro economy,’ he added .

“Generally, the banking system in Cambodia is processing in smooth ways and currently we have 27 commercial banks and 6 special banks, and three foreign banks in operation,” he said, claiming that the global economic crisis has not impacted Cambodia seriously.

He said that investment in Cambodia fell in 2009 to US$600 million from US$800 million in 2008.

The 2009 US$70.2 million foreign reserves had dropped about 79.7 percent from 2008, he said. He said that inflation decreased to 5.3 percent in the last six months of 2009 and lauded the potential of agriculture.

Finance Minister Lauds Budget Reform

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 05:48 DAP-NEWS

Deputy Prime Minister, Finance and Economic Minister on tuesday said the allocation of the National Budget is getting better despite the downturn.

Keat Chhon said in the fourth year of Finance Public Reform was assessed at a January 16-17 meeting at Sokha Hotel in Preah Sihanouk province. The result of meeting will help the economic recovery next year, the minister added.

“We had six steps toward to achieve the goal in plan as the first reform in stage 1 and 2 to get benefit and store, the second accountability will be changed in the stage 2 and so far to be struggle to get win, the third agreement on targets and set strategies to related appropriate frameworks, and to ongoing to touch its implementation, the fourth set target activities and work plan to be logical aims, the fifth quick agreement on FMIS and marketing linked, the last discussed on the EAP to be better for all recommendations were suggested,” the Finance and Economic Minister stressed.

Foreign Paedophile Convicted

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 05:46 DAP-NEWS

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on tuesday sentenced a foreign paedophile to for 6-and-a-half years in prison for oral sex with Cambodian less than 15 years at a guesthouse of Preah Sihanouk province during 2007.

Judge Chhay Kong jailed Johan Abrahim Escori on Tuesday for committing indecent acts and having sexual intercourse with the boys, who were aged nine to 13. The convicted man was arrested by Daun Penh local police at International Angkor Hotel of Central Market’s bloc, a local police source said.

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