NDB Vice President Indika Ranaweera, NCAP Chief Executive Officer Senaka Kakiriwaragodage, NDB Group Chief Executive Officer Dimantha Seneviratne, NDBIB Head of Corporate Advisory Nilendra Weerasinghe, CSE Chief Regulatory Officer Renuke Wijayawardhane, Uni Power Chairman Jayantha Rajapakse and NDBIB Chief Executive Officer Darshan Perera
NDB Investment Bank Ltd. in collaboration with National Development Bank PLC successfully conducted a knowledge sharing session recently, in providing a holistic view on alternate sources of funding.
The Forum focused on assisting local businesses including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs to navigate and financially transform their businesses towards the next phase of growth through such funding. The forum, which was hosted in a hybrid form with participants attending physically as well virtually, was received with much interest with over 400 participants in total.
The forum was launched as a convenient platform to provide insights and solutions to the major challenges faced by entrepreneurs and other corporate businesses whilst addressing and highlighting the importance of the key areas in investment banking such as forms of debt financing, private equity, mergers and acquisitions and Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).
The forum featured an engaging panel discussion followed by an interactive Q & A session. The Panel comprised Colombo Stock Exchange Chief Regulatory Officer Renuke Wijayawardhane, Uni Power (subsidiary of CIC Holdings PLC) Chairman Jayantha Rajapakse, NDB Bank Director/Group CEO Dimantha Seneviratne, NDB Capital Holdings Ltd. CEO Senaka Kakiriwaragodage, NDB Investment Bank Ltd. CEO Darshan Perera and NDB Bank Vice President – SME Middle Market and Business Banking Indika Ranaweera, thereby bringing in a precise fusion of knowledge and expertise on SMEs and financing options available to them, on to one platform.
The Q&A was moderated by NDB Investment Bank Head of Corporate Advisory Nilendra Weerasinghe whilst the presentation on Financial Options was done by NDB Wealth Management Ltd. Vice President Vindhya Jayasekara.
Speaking at the Forum, Director/Group CEO Dimantha Seneviratne stated that the timing of empowering SMEs could not be more relevant. As the global economy is on a recovery from the effects of the pandemic, SMEs play a critical role in that process. Banks and other financing institutions have a tremendous responsibility in supporting and empowering SMEs with not just financing but also with knowledge on the various options that are available to them which would propel them towards sustained growth. He also mentioned that SMEs and others who seek alternate financing options now have a conducive environment, particularly with tax concessions introduced for IPOs. NDB Investment Bank Chief Executive Officer Darshan Perera highlighted that companies should actively consider IPOs for many other reasons other than having exhausted their borrowing capacities. He said that such reasons include the need to create liquidity, gaining visibility so that a company may to attract reputed joint venture partners, succession planning and realizing the market value of a business.
NDB Capital Holdings Chief Executive Officer Senaka Kakiriwaragodage identified the scalability of a business, coachability of the management and presence of sound governance systems as key attributes that make a company attractive to a private equity investor. Colombo Stock Exchange Chief Regulatory Officer Renuke Wijayawardhane stated that CSE is geared to support and incentivise those who seek financing options through the CSE. He stated that there are certain tax benefits as well as faster approval mechanisms in place for both equity and debt issuances in the CSE.
Uni-Power Chairman Jayantha Rajapakse praised NDB Investment Bank for its excellent support and guidance extended in transforming Uni-power into a high growth venture with the acquisition by CIC Holdings PLC. He further identified that the strategic fit, support in systems and governance, and mutual trust in a partnership are of utmost significance in making a merger successful.
Participants received both financial and non-financial advice from the panelists who were top professionals in the industry and were given the opportunity to interact live with them, further consolidating the relationship between the NDB Group and participants.
The Forum is a reflection of the unique strength and competence that NDB as a Group possesses in supporting SMEs towards the next phase of growth through banking solutions as well as with capital market funding options, together with strong advisory. NDB is the only financial services group of its kind, offering the full spectrum of banking and capital market solutions under one brand name, yielding clients of any profile, the convenience of one-stop-shop financing.
NDB Bank possesses over 40 years of expertise in financing SMEs, and offers SMEs dedicated propositions such as ‘NDB Jayagamu Sri Lanka’ whilst NDB Investment Bank is the market leader in its respective sphere. Given the significant role the SME sector plays in the Sri Lankan economy, these two entities have strategised on working closely with SMEs enabling them to transform and bounce back strongly to drive the strong macroeconomic recovery expected in Sri Lanka.