Capital Markets Conference 2014 to address new challenges, opportunities facing financial sector

Monday, 24 February 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The inaugural Capital Markets Conference (CAPM) 2013 was a landmark event, embracing various sectors of the capital markets industry at a single forum. The event witnessed the participation of CEOs and leaders from the areas of commercial banking, investment banking, insurance, stock brokering, mutual funds, venture capital, private equity, and even the relatively new entrant, Islamic banking. The event facilitated wide-ranging presentations and panel discussions by industry experts, providing insights into the capital markets of Sri Lanka. CAPM 2014, scheduled to be held at the Hotel Galadari, Colombo on 26 February, is expected to continue the trend set at last year’s event. The theme ‘A Time to Consolidate’ reflects the status quo in the financial markets, where the full spectrum of financial institutions are making a concerted effort, under the watchful eye of the regulators, to strengthen their balance sheets by a proposed series of mergers and acquisitions. Thus, 2014 should witness a frenzy of M&A activity hitherto unseen in the annals of the financial markets in Sri Lanka. Experts and leaders from the industry would gather together to discuss this and other contemporary issues facing the financial sector at a very critical juncture. Other ‘burning’ topics for discussion include the drive by local institutions to opt for foreign borrowings, which has also been encouraged by the regulatory authorities. The ramifications of a surge in foreign borrowing and, both, its short and long term impact would feature in the topics penciled for the event. Discussions would also cover macro-economic factors, such as the reduction in interest rates, which have also impacted positively on the stock market. In this context, a spate of IPOs is planned for 2014, further encouraged by tax incentives offered by the Government in the preceding budget. For instance, IPOs in the first quarter of 2014 may exceed the cumulative number in 2013, which augurs well for the imminent future of the stock broking fraternity, which was facing a significant downturn in fortunes in 2013. The market has also been yearning for new asset classes to be introduced. Of course, this entails a certain degree of risk, a word that has assumed a whole new identity in the operations of the financial institutions. Other aspects are Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering and KYC, which would all be issues that would be deliberated upon at the forthcoming event. With about 30 speakers, comprising experts and industry leaders from a plethora of organisations, CAPM 2014 promises to be an event not to be missed. SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa will be the Chief Guest at the event, which will also see an address by the former Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, Razik Zarook. For more details on the conference contact Shermana on 0777668575.