Cambodia’s first IPO nears

Cambodia’s first initial public offering is fast approaching, and demand is expected to be robust. Bookbuilding, the process during which bids are taken and a price set for shares, ended last Wednesday for Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA). The final offering price will be announced before subscriptions begin on March 29, with the listing date set for April 18. PPWSA intends to issue 13.04 million ordinary shares with a par value of 1,000 riels (7.70 baht or 25 US cents) each. This represents a 15% float. Eleven percent of the float will be allocated to the company’s employee stock option plan.The state, represented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, will retain 85% ownership or 73.9 million shares. The shares will be available to both Cambodian citizens (a 20% allotment) and non-Cambodians. Permitting foreign investor participation should dramatically improve the prospects for the IPO as this will be the only publicly traded equity exposure in Cambodia.