Home / Front Page/ CSE and SEC holds investor forum in Singapore to restore confidence

CSE and SEC holds investor forum in Singapore to restore confidence

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 23 May 2019 03:27



  • Sri Lanka’s resilience and drive highlighted  
  • Focus on fiscal consolidation continues 
  • Macroeconomic fundamentals remain intact 
  • Net foreign inflow by foreign investors since 21 April
  • Market indicating attractive valuations compared to peers

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), in a proactive attempt to reassure foreign investors, recently organised an Invest Sri Lanka Forum targeting portfolio and direct investors in Singapore. 

The forum drew an encouraging response from investors, who were offered an assessment of the investment climate and expectations for the short-medium term, considering the context of the Easter Sunday attacks that took place on 21 April. 

The event was organised in association with the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore and supported by the Singapore Business Federation in the capacity of promotional partner. Asia Securities was the Exclusive Platinum Sponsor of the event, while SriLankan Airlines was the Official Travel Partner.

Investors also attended a number of one-to-one and group meetings with Sri Lankan listed companies that travelled to Singapore for the Invest Sri Lanka Initiative, which included Chairmen, Chief Executives and Senior Management representatives of John Keells Holdings PLC, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Dialog Axiata PLC, Hemas Holdings PLC, Sampath Bank PLC, People’s Leasing and Finance PLC, National Development Bank PLC, Softlogic Holdings PLC, Softlogic Life Insurance PLC and Sunshine Holdings PLC. 

The event was also supported by the Sri Lankan stock brokering community and respective partners based in Singapore, with eight Sri Lankan firms present at the event. 

State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne, Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, SEC Chairman Ranel T. Wijesinha, CSE Chairman Ray Abeywardena, and LYNEAR Wealth Management Managing Director Dr. Naveen Gunawardane spoke at the event while CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike and SEC Director General Vajira Wijegunawardane joined in as panellists during the discussion segment. 

The panel discussion was moderated by Senior Advisory Board Member and Singapore Sri Lanka Business Association Past President Manjiv Dodanwela. 

Eran Wickramaratne, speaking at the event, acknowledged that the events on 21 April were a setback, but noted that all possible steps to ensure national security have been implemented during the past month, including apprehending elements that were responsible for the attacks. 

The State Minister also said that Sri Lanka has witnessed overwhelming support internationally from foreign governments, institutions and the international community at-large, who have expressed solidarity with Sri Lanka during recovery and response efforts. 

The State Minister commended the resilience of the Sri Lankan people, stating that the effort to restore normalcy during the past month has been solidified by the drive and unity of the Sri Lankan people. 

Commenting on the economy, the State Minister stated that the Government will remain committed to fiscal consolidation despite the setback but will endeavour to support businesses and industries that were severely affected, affirming that the Government has already introduced a relief package for the Tourism Sector. 

Speaking at the event, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy stated that the fact that the robust macroeconomic fundamentals which were evident before 21 April have remained intact post the tragic events offers reason to be optimistic on the ability of the economy to recuperate in the short-term. 

Continuing to comment on the economic impact of the attacks, the Governor stated that while there will be a hit on growth, particularly due to the effects on the Tourism Sector and its supply chains, a large majority of the economy has remained completely untouched and unaffected by the events. 

“If you look at the economy, it is very much intact. So the capacity to bounce back is clear, if we can restore stability – and we have gone a long way towards doing that. If you take a medium-term view of Sri Lanka, the potential is enormous. We will get through these disturbances, as tragic as they were, and bounce back,” the Governor added. 

Ranel T. Wijesinha stated that both foreign direct and portfolio investors have always considered Sri Lanka as an investment destination and said that there is clearly reason to believe that foreign investors will continue to invest in the market. 

Wijesinha also noted that the SEC wishes to continue its strong commitment to conducting initiatives focused on attracting investments to the market and to ensuring the quality of the investment options available. 

“We in Sri Lanka are deeply committed at all levels, including Government, institutional, the capital market and other levels, to maintain the momentum that has been achieved in the past few years and especially to re-attract investors that may have left and to attract new investors.” 

Commenting on the thinking behind organising the event at this juncture, Ray Abeywardena stated that the Forum aims to offer perspective on why investors from around the world, especially those with investment holdings in Sri Lanka, should remain optimistic about the Sri Lankan story going forward. 

“Many researches done on the impact on domestic and global financial systems as a result of terrorist acts indicate that markets in affected countries have bounced back sooner than expected. In fact, the immediate aftermath of these events have offered investors excellent investment opportunities – if entered into at the right time. Our observation so far is that foreign investors have read this risk perhaps more factually and objectively. We have continued to see buying interest in certain sectors by global funds,” he added. 

According to the CSE Chairman and in a noteworthy statistic, foreign investors have bought more stocks than they have sold during the past month, with a net inflow of Rs. 231 million since 21 April. 

Sharing his thoughts on investing in Sri Lankan equities from a buy-side perspective, Dr. Naveen Gunawardane said: “As long term investors, this is the time that you should be really looking at the market, because you want to buy when there are opportunities through short-term shocks. The equity markets are cheap; the valuations are very attractive and although liquidity is quite tight, what we have seen is that you can actually build up positions provided that you have a bit of patience.” 

Particularly, Gunawardane noted that the Sri Lankan banking sector shows remarkable valuations compared to its peers in Asian frontier markets and should garner the attention of investors, especially considering the fact that the sector is well-regulated, conforms to international reporting and financial risk management frameworks, delivers consistent returns and practices strong governance. 

The CSE and SEC organise ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ Forums among investors based in key financial centres around the world. The forums are conducted in key foreign markets, based on factors such as investment holding, institutional fund manager presence and other trends. 

The CSE and SEC have previously conducted Forums in the UK, USA, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, India, Switzerland and Hong Kong. This was the fourth Invest Sri Lanka Forum conducted in Singapore. 

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Ministry of Civil Aviation: A nation rich in connectivity

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

lIncrease runway movement from 11 to 17 departures per hour at BIA. lFacilitate an optimum structure to ensure a strong network of airports.

Elpitiya test market: Implications for brands Gota and Sajith

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

In the traditional world of marketing, we tend to test market a product before going national with it. There are three test marketing areas that are normally selected by FMCG companies - Gampaha, Kandy and Negombo. The logic behind this is that the c

How to promote innovations to transform our nation

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

“There is only one thing stronger than all other armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come” – Victor Hugo A country’s economic success and prosperity largely depends on the technological advancement it embraces and the leve

An efficient energy sector for economic growth

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

When I saw the advertisement about an Energy Forum organised by PUCSL for a Policy Dialogue on the importance of an efficient energy sector for economic and investment growth, I was very happy as I have been interested in this relationship for more t

Columnists More