July 12, 2011

Hopes are high for new exchange


VinaCapital founder arrives by private jet to be present at historic day for the Kingdom.

H.E. Keat Chhon declares the opening of CSX.
THE founder and director of one of the largest regional funds, Horst Geicke of VinaCapital, made a special trip to Phnom Penh by private jet to be present for the opening of the Cambodian Securities Exchange yesterday morning.

Geicke founded the company fund eight years ago in Vietnam with an initial investment of US$10 million, and now the fund has $2.2 billion in assets.

Geicke says he’s optimistic about the CSX because of the good attitudes of the government officials associated with it.

“I’m optimistic about CSX because it seems to me because of the initial interviews and talks I had with the officials and with the ministers that it has the attention of the government officials and they want to make this a success,” he told The Post yesterday. Geicke said the development of a capital market is important for Cambodia because that’s what makes private equity investments become meaningful.

“You can help these companies grow and then they can list on the stock exchange. That is the natural growth pattern that has worked in all emerging markets and was very important 30 years ago in Hong Kong and Taiwan,” he said.

In particular for Cambodia, Geicke said VinaCapital is interested in agricultural investments and “bringing more international efficiencies to the vast agricultural sector”.

“Transparency is not just for investors, but it is also for the local population to monitor the growth of the local companies. I believe they have some serious advisors to the stock exchange on the board.

“I’m coming here to learn and be part of this important day and then we all have some work to do.”

Geicke said it is “very exciting that Cambodia as a new emerging country and economy gets capital markets organised through the stock exchange”.

“This is vital for capital raising, for recognition, and with that all comes corporate governance, international investors and all the good things of a developing capital market.”

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