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Cambodia's bourse gets 8th corporate bond issuer

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Royal Railway Plc. became the eighth firm to list its corporate bonds on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on Monday.

Kith Meng, chairman of the Royal Railway Plc., said the firm had issued 10 million bonds, raising 41 billion riels (about 10 million U.S. dollars) in the first phase.

"This bond will be used to upgrade the railway lines, wagons and locomotive, plus new equipment that will further modernize the railway services," he said at the official listing ceremony.

"With this funding, we will buy 130 more wagons and another four locomotives."

Currently, the company operates two railway lines with a total length of 650 km, he said, adding that the first line connects from capital Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville's international sea port and the second one links Phnom Penh and Poipet City on the border with Thailand.

According to Meng, the kingdom's railway started operating again in 2010. Since then, the company has invested over 100 million U.S. dollars into it.

He added that passenger and freight trains now operate seven days a week on both lines.

CSX chief executive officer Hong Sok Hour said the company's corporate bonds have a maturity date of 10 years with a coupon rate of 7 percent per annum.

"This is a new history for the CSX," he said. "So far, the CSX has received a total of 17 listed companies, including nine equity firms and eight corporate bond firms."

According to Sok Hour, to date, some 31,000 investors have opened trading accounts at the CSX.

Launched trading in 2012, the CSX is a joint venture between the Cambodian government holding 55 percent of the stakes and the Korean Exchange owning the remaining 45 percent.