New World Securities breaks new ground to woo Japanese investors

Wednesday, 7 December 2011 01:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

nInvestor Forum; announcements of major breakthroughs for two Lankan companies this week in Tokyo

Nisthar Cassim reporting from Tokyo

Stock broking firm New World Securities (NWS) in a pioneering move is promoting Japanese investments and joint ventures in Sri Lanka with multiple initiatives this week in Tokyo.

The company, a new entrant to capital markets but staffed by industry seniors and promoted primarily by Japanese and Sri Lankan investors, will hold an Investment Forum in Tokyo tomorrow (8 December) to showcase post-war Sri Lanka and the unprecedented new opportunities for Japanese companies, fund managers and high net worth individuals. It is leading a 10-member delegation from Sri Lanka to participate in the Investor Forum and one-to-one meetings at Tokyo’s popular business venue Belle Salle Roppingi.

The initiative will also see major announcements in Tokyo separately by two Sri Lankan companies about their new developments in partnership with Japanese companies and investors. The events are supported by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Japan. One of the joint venture announcements will be made at a press conference today at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a feature first-of-its-kind for a Sri Lankan corporate. Harnessing the strong goodwill that exists between Japans and Sri Lanka, the participating Lankan companies are Nawaloka Holdings Ltd., Royal Ceramics Plc, PABC Bank Plc, Ceybank Asset Management Ltd., Colombo Land Plc, Citrus Leisure Plc, Panasia Power Plc and Ideal Motors Ltd.

Apart from presentations by these companies on Thursday at the Investor Forum, New World Securities is also promoting portfolio investments in shares in listed companies such as JKH, Hayleys, Dialog, Commercial Bank, HNB, Sampath Bank and People’s Leasing.

For the visiting Lankan delegation, there will be a presentation on stock market listing by Tokyo AIM (Alternative Investment Market), whilst a meeting with Phillip Securities in Tokyo has been arranged as well.

On Friday a reception will be hosted for securities companies, investment banks, fund managers and high net worth individuals in Tokyo where SriLankan Airlines is expected to promote destination Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Ambassador in Japan Retd. Admiral Wasantha Karranagoda will host the Lankan delegation for a reception on Thursday in addition to attending the Investor Forum.

New World Securities (NWS) is owned 80% by Japanese investors spearheaded by Japan’s a2Media Corporation with Chairman being Takashi Igarashi, 15% by Sri Lankan investors and 5% by an Indian investor.

New World Securities Board includes debt market specialist Mangala Boyagoda and world-renowned cricketer Aravinda de Silva, who is Deputy Chairman of Ideal Motors, whilst the broking firm’s CEO and Director is financial services industry specialist Viraj Malawana.

The initiative by NWS had been planned a few months back but is being held hot on the heels of President Mahinda Rajapaksa a fortnight ago urging stock brokers to go overseas and promote post-war Sri Lanka to draw more foreign investment.

Explaining his own passion for Sri Lanka and the big opportunity to foster greater ties between Japan and Sri Lanka, NWS Chairman Igarashi said that despite being countries separated by geographical boundaries, both Japan and Sri Lanka had centuries-old histories and an inherent strength and valour that had seen the two extraordinary nations rise above the mire and harness opportunities to conquer new areas.

“Both our nations are optimistic and always believe that nothing is impossible. It is these characteristics that make us ideal partners to forge new frontiers in the financial services industry. Sri Lanka is a country emerging into a new world renaissance,” Igarashi said.

“I am extremely bullish about Sri Lanka’s prospects and the lucrative and diverse investment options the country can offer Japan,” the NWS Chief emphasised.

The Lankan delegation includes PABC Deputy Chairman and Royal Ceramics Managing Director Nimal Perera, Nawaloka Holdings Director Harshith Dharmadasa, Ceybank CEO Chitra Sathumara, Panasia Power Director Rifki Badurdeen, Ideal Motors Managing Director Nalin Welgama and Deputy Chairman Aravinda de Silva.

The Board of Directors of New World Securities comprises T. Igarashi (Chairman), Ono Teruaki (Deputy Chairman), Viraj Malawana (Director/CEO), Aravinda de Silva, Sandeep M. Bhammer, Mangala Boyagoda, A.G. Weerasinghe and Jaliya Wijeratne.