By Shehana Dian
As a dampened Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) eagerly anticipates its big take-off, its Chairman yesterday pledged 2016 would be the year of implementation while outlining its prospects to become a regional player following regulatory approval.
“We will be launching a dollar denominated board very soon especially targeting the Maldives as we have signed an MOU with them.
The reason for a dollar denominated board is because Maldivians don’t want to take any risk with the LKR and the USD is the currency of exchange. It will be established very soon once the SEC gives us the approval,” CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said at the ceremonial month beginning market opening ceremony yesterday.
He said that a road show for 28 and 29 March was on the cards to attract Maldivian companies, noting that a handful of companies in Bangladesh were also showing increasing interest in listing at the CSE utilising the facility. According to the CSE Head, it would then result in the stock market having widespread appeal in the region.
Fitch downgrade a concern but rebound expected
Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka yesterday expressed concern over the downgrade of Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating by Fitch but expressed optimism about a rebound in capital markets this year.
A concerned Kulatilaka asserted that Sri Lanka’s downgraded sovereign rating given by Fitch definitely didn’t paint a rosy picture, however he added that it would not stop his team from executing their yearly agenda to revive the stock market.
“Whenever I see a newspaper, it’s always something bad. The very recent thing is the downgrading; all in all 2015 hasn’t been a good year. However this year is a very good opportunity for us to build our institutions, bring in whatever we lack and ultimately make this a vibrant stock exchange.”
Moreover, he pointed out that such cycles were not unheard of and people should not overly worry.
“These cycles happen and change and every time people think it’s the end of the world but we then find that in the next one or two years everything is okay. We have to be ready for the good times as well as the bad times.”