On the World Cup clock

June 20th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

It’s day seven of the FIFA World Cup, and the night staff at Phnom Penh’s popular Score Sports Bar and Grill are looking a bit sleep-deprived. …

Score is paying its staff “very well” in extra wages during the World Cup for the long nights they are working, according to manager François Lamontagne, who says he is also offering a bonus and a free trip to Sihanoukville at the end of the tournament.

But some bars and beer gardens catering to the Kingdom’s football fans may be breaching the labour law by failing to pay extra wages for the night-shift work, a union that represents service workers said.


“The problem is that the employers do not pay staff working during night shifts in accordance with the labour law,” Sar Mora, president of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation, said. …

Kevin Ponniah

Chinese firm acquires large stake in Kampot $100m cement factory

June 20th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Chinese firm Huaxin Cement Co has purchased a 40 per cent stake in Cambodia Cement Chakrey Ting Factory Co, a cement-making factory currently under construction in Kampot province.

Huaxin’s $24 million investment Cambodia Cement lifted the local factory’s working capital to $60 million, up from $32 million, according to company representatives.

Ouk Bunseng, deputy manager of Cambodia Cement, said yesterday the deal would help to expedite the factory’s construction and pay back debts to the Bank of China. …

Chan Muyhong

Feed plant in Pailin to aid farmers’ stockpiles

June 19th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Pailin province’s $5 million animal-feed processing plant and warehouse is to finish construction in the next three months and it is a welcomed development for the local farming community.

The plant’s owner, Chea Kea, who also owns Diamond Crown casino on the border with Thailand in Pailin province, told the Post yesterday that the two hectare plant is set to finish by October this year. …

Chan Muyhong

MyEvents International plans expansion to Cambodia

June 18th, 2014 , Bernama

Event management firm, MyEvents International, is eyeing Cambodia as the next lucrative market after strengthening its foothold in India and the Middle East, group chief executive officer, Shahul Hameed Dawood said.

“Cambodia is a growing market and we see a lots of potential there for an array of event management activities,” he said, adding, a feasibility study to enter it was done a year ago. …

M. Saraswathi

Acleda sets aside $39M for branch expansion

June 18th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Acleda Bank has reinvested $39 million of profits back into its operations instead of paying out dividends to shareholders, an announcement on its website states.

It is the 11th time Alceda has opted to increase registered capital, with the latest top-up taking the bank’s total capital to more than $225 million, according to the statement. …

May Kunmakara

Rice piles up as exports slow

June 18th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Lagging demand from foreign buyers has led to Cambodian rice being stockpiled at the country’s mills, according to the head of the country’s peak rice body.

Sok Puthyvuth, president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), said that with exporters receiving fewer orders, the country’s larger rice millers have been able to sell only 20 per cent of stock produced during the most recent harvest season. …

Hor Kimsay

Bank pays out after factory boss ‘flees’

June 18th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Workers at a garment factory that closed without warning last week received payment yesterday for nearly a month and a half of work, but some are still waiting for bonuses owed to them.

More than 400 workers lined up at the Canadia Industrial Park gates, behind which their now-defunct employer Hong Kong Yu Feng factory used to operate, to collect salaries. …


Mom Kunthear

Cambodia: Garment and textile exports grow in Q1

June 17th, 2014 , Just-Style

Despite lapses in factory safety and ongoing labour unrest, Cambodian exports of garments and textiles grew 9% in the first three months of the year.

According to data from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), Cambodia exported US$1.17bn worth of garments and textiles between January and March this year, compared to $1.08bn in the same period a year ago. …

Katie Smith

Living on a dwindling trade

June 17th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

In Samrong Leu village, a picturesque community nestled deep in the verdant fields of Kors Kralor district, the acrid smell of smoke fills the air.

Outside almost every house in this community, billows of smoke continuously emerge from the domes of homemade mud kilns, drifting around the families lounging outside and their children at play.

Piles of freshly logged timber are everywhere. When the 10-day to two-week burning and cooling cycle of each kiln is completed, the next batch of logs goes in. …

In Phnom Penh, 30 per cent of residents still use charcoal, while in rural areas, 48 per cent still use wood and 36 per cent use charcoal, according to GERES, a French NGO that has built 11 sustainable community charcoal production centres in Cambodia.

GERES estimates that the Kingdom burns through 500,000 tonnes of charcoal a year, requiring 3.5 million tonnes of wood, but is still studying the problem to come up with a more reliable figure. …

Kevin Ponniah and Phak Seangly

Mfone staff paid final wages

June 17th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Bankrupt telecommunications company Mfone yesterday handed out the final instalments of unpaid wages to former employees.

More than 1,000 former Mfone staffers received the remaining 30 per cent of their unpaid wages after the telecommunications firm filed for bankruptcy in February 2013. Since then, workers have received a total of $4.4 million in compensation.

Khan Sereyvuthy, senior legal adviser to Mfone’s administrator, told the Post that yesterday’s compensation was the final payment owed to workers. …

May Kunmakara

GTI price drops on day one

June 17th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

After a five-month IPO process steeped in anticipation, Grand Twins International ended its first day on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) with results many observers found disappointing.

GTI shares opened yesterday’s session at 9,700 riel ($2.41), with a ceremonial bell ringing at the CSX’s head office. The stock had fallen 4.9 per cent to 9,220 riel ($2.28) when trading ended four hours later at 1pm.

Trading volume for the CSX’s newest arrival remained modest, with just over 3,100 shares changing hands.

GTI’s day one decline comes in stark contrast to the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority’s (PPWSA) first day of trading in April 2012, when the firm’s stock rose 48 per cent from the initial IPO listing price of 6,300 riel ($1.56), to close at 9,300 riel ($2.30). …

Eddie Morton

Ly Yong Phat wants TV station

June 16th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Prominent tycoon and ruling party senator Ly Yong Phat has now set his sights on the media landscape.

Phat, the head of LYP Group, on Friday confirmed plans that he is seeking to set up a television station.

The entry of an LYP channel, proposed as part of a joint venture with unnamed media companies from France and Thailand, would make it the 11th commercial TV station in Cambodia. …

May Kunmakara

Two’s company at CSX

June 16th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

It may not have all the glitter, adrenaline or the iconic tolling bell of Wall Street, but today, the usually deserted Cambodian Stock Exchange (CSX) will be a hive of activity.

After first hinting at an initial public offering more than two years ago, garment manufacturer Grand Twins International (GTI) and its chief underwriting firm, Phnom Penh Securities (PPS), have steered their way through the listing process to become the country’s first private-company stock offering since the CSX launched in 2011. …

With an opening price today of $2.41 per share, GTI will become just the second firm to list on the bourse after the state-owned Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) in April 2012. …

GTI, which has more than 5,600 staff making sporting apparel for the likes of Adidas and Reebok in its factories on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, announced in January that it was floating a 20 per cent stake in the company through an eight-million-share offering. In April, after numerous delays in the initial book-building process, the firm cemented its per-share listing price. …


Eddie Morton

Gov’t calls on jewellers to improve

June 13th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian government officials yesterday appealed to gem and jewellery industry representatives to improve design quality at the opening of the 6th Gem and Jewellery Fair on Koh Pich.

Seun Sotha, director of the trade promotion department at the Ministry of Commerce, said while Cambodia’s gemstones are of a high standard, would-be international buyers are being deterred by the country’s lack of gem-cutting ability. …

Chan Muyhong

Salt makers shake out a big surplus

June 12th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s salt production rose sharply at the end of this year’s harvest season thanks to more favourable weather conditions enhancing yields.

Salt production in Kampot and Kep provinces – home to Cambodia’s salt fields – reached 147,000 tonnes this year, nearly double the 80,000 tonnes recorded last year, according to data from the Salt Producer Community of Kampot & Kep. …

Hor Kimsay

Malaysian trade exhibition kicks off in Cambodian capital

June 12th, 2014 , ASEAN-China Center

The fifth edition of a Malaysian trade exhibition kicked off here on Tuesday, aiming to further promote bilateral trade and investment ties, officials said.

The three-day event, held at the Diamond Island Exhibition Center, features 62 Malaysian companies from diverse sectors including construction, business services, industrial products, education, health care and tourism, Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Raszlan Abdul Rashid said at the opening ceremony. …

Asean-China-Center News Staff

Kingdom breweries up for sale

June 10th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Private equity firm Leopard Capital announced Monday that it is putting its controlling interest in Cambodian beer company Kingdom Breweries up for sale as part of the fund’s requirement to exit its investments before a 2016 expiry.

Leopard Cambodia Fund, an investment fund managed by Leopard Capital, said it is looking for an investor to take over its 55 percent stake in the boutique Phnom Penh brewery. …

George Styllis

Back on timber patrol

June 10th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

When Cambodia’s most prominent forest activist, Chut Wutty, was gunned down in April 2012, the community network he created to sabotage the rampant deforestation of this vast forest fragmented. The forest patrols that he organised nearly ground to a halt.

Without money to fund large-scale expeditions, and with a now well-established network of informants whom activists say have infiltrated their group, the task at hand has never been more difficult. …

The operation, which included more than 80 people, embarked from a fork in the road in Kampong Thom’s Sandan district before Sunday’s first light. In the hope of giving the authorities the slip, they sent a decoy patrol to the nearby Vietnamese state-owned CRCK Company plantation, which has reportedly been used as a base to launder timber from Prey Lang. …

May Titthara and Daniel Pye