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IFC Partners with Cambodia’s Securities and Exchange Commission to Strengthen Governance and Regulation

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, April 7, 2016 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) to develop a roadmap for strengthening the country’s corporate governance policies and practices. The partnership aims to improve transparency and bolster investor confidence in Cambodia’s capital market, which will help entice more foreign investment to the country.
Under the memorandum, IFC and the SECC will assess Cambodia’s corporate governance standards and practices then devise an action plan to improve them. With support from IFC, the SECC will develop and implement a corporate governance code, which will set best practices for Cambodian listed companies to follow. More foreign investment will lead to local job creation, a stronger business landscape and improved private sector efficacy.
“Good corporate governance standards and practices are prerequisites to the development of a strong and sustainable capital market,” said Sou Socheat, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia. “IFC and the World Bank will help us evaluate the existing regulatory framework to enhance our corporate governance practices. We will work together to raise market awareness of the importance of good governance, which will contribute to the sustainable development of Cambodia’s corporate sector.”
Numerous studies report that investors have greater confidence in companies with good governance and in markets that are backed by sound legal and regulatory regimes. In a 2002 McKinsey survey, institutional investors said they would pay premiums averaging 22 percent to own well-governed companies in Asia and Latin America.
IFC and the SECC will organize public seminars and workshops to promote best corporate governance practices, including a roadshow to introduce the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Corporate Governance Scorecard initiative. Once Cambodian companies adopt the scorecard, they can benchmark their practices against peers from ASEAN countries.  
“Our cooperation with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia will help build a stronger policy framework and raise awareness of good governance practices in Cambodia’s emerging private sector,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Vietnam. “This will help improve the competitiveness of Cambodian public and listed companies, thus making them more attractive for foreign investors.”
IFC has contributed to the adoption of 95 corporate governance codes, laws, and regulations in more than 30 countries worldwide. IFC’s Corporate Governance Program in East Asia and the Pacific is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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About the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC) regulates the country’s securities industry to contribute to socio-economic development through capital mobilization from public/securities investors to meet the demand of financing for investors. SECC aims to develop and maintain the confidence of public investors in Cambodia by protecting their lawful rights and ensuring that the offer, issue, purchase and sale of securities are carried out in a fair and orderly manner; promote the effective regulation, efficiency and orderly development of the securities markets; encourage the varieties of saving tools through buying of securities and other financial instruments; encourage foreign investment and participation in the securities markets in Cambodia.
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