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My First-Trip To Cambodia, And The (Investing) Things I Found!

Greeting from Cambodia!

I had recently went on a short trip to Siam Reap. For those who you have been there before, you will probably recognise some of the pictures I took below of the tuk-tuk vehicle, magnificent ancient temples, exotic food, and more.

cambodia-trip-montage-lawrence

From a holiday-goer’s perspective, I thought Siem Reap was an incredible place to visit, so much so that it’s hard to put down all the reasons into a sentence.

I saw great temples, experienced the hospitality of friendly and down-to-earth people, and saw how fast the economy was developing. Then, there is also the fact that more than a millennium ago, this place was ruled by the great Khmer Empire.

Now some of you may be wondering, what does a trip to Cambodia have to do with investing?

As an investor, one of my “bad” habits is to always find out what is going on in a country’s economy during my visits.  I will pay attention to what companies are there and what products and services seem to be popular amongst the local populace.

It’s the same this time with my trip to Siem Reap. And, I found quite a number of companies from Singapore and Malaysia that have businesses there.

Let’s first start with some beverage products from Singapore-listed companies I saw in the supermarkets:

cambodia-product-montage-lawrence

In the montage just above, there is a packet of instant coffee from Super Group Ltd  (SGX: S10), beverages from Yeo Hiap Seng Ltd (SGX: Y03), and drinks from Fraser & Neave Holding Bhd (KLSE: 3689.KL), a major Malaysian-listed subsidiary of Fraser and Neave Limited (SGX: F99).

Then, I also ran across many financial institutions.

cambodia-bank-montage-lawrence

The photo-montage just above shows some of the banking operations of Malaysia’s biggest banks I saw while I was in Siem Reap. The banks in question are CIMB Group Holdings Bhd (KLSE: 1023.KL) Malayan Banking Berhad (KLSE: 1155.K:), Public Bank Berhad (KLSE: 1295.KL) and RHB Capital Bhd (KLSE: 1066.KL).

I was a little disappointed that I did not manage to spot any branches of Singapore’s banks when I was there.

A Foolish conclusion

The examples I shared are just a snapshot of what I found on my short trip to Cambodia. It is also easy for me to miss out on many Singapore and Malaysian companies that are operating in Cambodia, especially since I did not visit the capital, Phnom Penh.

Countries in Southeast Asia such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, The Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, and Thailand are all developing quickly. And, there are companies in Singapore and Malaysia’s stock market that may have large exposure to these economies. These companies could be worthy of deeper research.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of Super Group. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Lawrence Nga doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.