Friday, 11 March 2011

Currency decision awaited

via CAAI

Friday, 11 March 2011 15:01 May Kunmakara and Soeun Say

THE long awaited decision on what currency Cambodia’s securities exchange will use for listings will be announced next week, according to officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia.

Following a closed-door meeting on the issue late yesterday, SECC deputy director general Huot Pum said the decision to allow listings in dollars, riel, or both currencies simultaneously was a “sensitive issue” that would be publicly announced next week, and declined to comment further.

National Bank of Cambodia Spokeswoman and Director General Nguon Sokha has said the central bank supports increased use of the riel in Cambodia.

“Our policy is to promote use of the riel, to strengthen the use of our local currency,” she said earlier this week.

“If we use the US dollar on the exchange, we could have difficultly managing a crisis, as we lose our monetary authority,” she said, adding any change to the riel should occur gradually.

Ministry of Economy and Finance Secretary of State Hang Chuon Naron said last week that the Cambodian Securities Exchange should reflect the reality of the Cambodian economy – which is highly dollarised.

“We have to make sure the objective is to have macro [economic] stability and economic development,” he said.

Experts such as the Asian Development Bank’s Jayant Menon have suggested allowing listings in both currencies. Cambodia Securities Exchange CEO Hong Sok Hour said it would be simpler for the exchange’s trading platform to handle one currency.

“If we use one currency for trading, it will be easier for us – however, we should consider the influence of a currency on the whole economy,” he said earlier this week.

SECC Director General Ming Bankosal could not be reached for comment by The Post yesterday.

ACLEDA Securities director Svay Hay said he would support a decision to use either the riel or the dollar.

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