Understanding CGCC’s Bond Guarantee

In April 2022, the Ministry of Economy and Finance provided a policy direction to CGCC to diversify our guarantee service to bond guarantees. CGCC was then accredited by the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia (SERC) in August 2023 as a local bond guarantor and completed its rating procedure, and was rated “khAAA” with a Stable Outlook, the highest rating on a local scale by the Rating Agency of Cambodia. With all these set, CGCC will embark on a new journey to provide guarantees on bond issuance to support Cambodia’s capital market and the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to enter the bond market for their sources of funding.

What is a bond?

A bond is a debt instrument, one of the alternatives to a bank loan. The bond issuer is a borrower, and the bond investor is a lender. Bond investors buy bonds from the issuer, who promises to pay interest (coupons) and bond principal during the bond maturity. Compared to a bank loan, a bond gives more flexibility in terms of structure, size, maturity, and interest payment. While just about any SME and individual can raise funds with bank loans as long as they can prove their repayment capacity, raising funds with bonds requires the issuer to be a more well-established and matured SME that can demonstrate good governance and business operation, reliable financial records, concrete future business plan and so on. In short, compared to bank loans, the requirements to issue bonds are stricter and more extensive. The table below gives a brief general comparison between a bank loan and a bond.

Indeed, issuing bonds is a common way for Governments and businesses to raise capital in many developed countries to finance their projects. It is not yet so much so in Cambodia. The bond market in Cambodia is still in the developing stage, facing challenges such as low liquidity, high-interest rates, and a low investor base. However, we have seen positive breakthroughs in recent years, especially in the issuance of government bonds, guaranteed bonds, and sustainable bonds. Currently, there are 9 listed corporate bond on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) raising funds between 1.5 to 30 million USD equivalent per issuance.

Read more: Understanding CGCC’s Bond Guarantee