Sri Lanka a safe haven for investments: Top Japanese fund manager

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 00:45 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A top senior Japanese fund manager is so bullish on Sri Lanka has launched a book titled “Why world asset holders invest in Sri Lanka” giving  a major boost to the country’s investment profile. Takanori Shimizu, Corporate Advisor of Bensei Securities Co. Ltd., and former Executive Vice President of Nomura International of New York, President of Nomura Investment Banking of Middle East, Official Advisor of Asian Investments to the Kuwait Investment Authority of Ministry of Finance of Kuwait, and Chief Investment Officer of Nomura Asset Management Co., states in his publication titled ‘Why World Asset Holders Invest in Sri Lanka’ that Sri Lanka is well-positioned to receive Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), Foreign Institutional Investments (FIIs) and other vehicles of investments.   Shimizu presented the publication, which has been published after extensive research and study of the investment milieu of Asia, the region of South Asia and Sri Lanka, to     Ambassador Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, last week. The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo extended due assistance to Shimizu in order for him to formulate the said publication. Shimizu was accompanied by the President of Bensei Securities Company Murakami Toyohiko. Bensei Securities, which Shimizu serves as the Corporate Advisor, was founded over 100 years ago and is one of the market leaders in securities, commodity futures and trading industry, among others. Bensei Securities has invested nearly US$ 200 million in the debt and equity market of Sri Lanka during the last two years, thus reflecting the optimism and potential of the country. The publication states that with absolute and permanent peace and security, political stability, diligent and adaptable human resource base, rule of law with practicing democracy and strategic location in the Indian Ocean, among others, Sri Lanka is well poised to become a highly-sought-after emerging economy and investment destination in the region. Shimizu has accentuated and has made parallels in the said publication that, today after the cessation of a 30-year conflict, new economic, commercial and investment opportunities, potentials and vistas have emerged and dawned similar to that of Japan between the years of 1955 to 1975. During this period, Japan recorded unprecedented GDP growth rates between 12%- 14%, thus becoming the second largest economy in the world in 1968 as well as a global economic powerhouse. The publication further impressed the fact that the economy of Sri Lanka is on an upward mobility and trajectory, similar to that of Japan in the period of 1950s to 1970s. Sri Lanka has recorded an impressive economic growth rate of 7.5% and has an estimated growth rate of approximately 8.0% in the year 2014, despite the global economic slowdown. When Shimizu was the Chief Investment Officer of Nomura Asset Management, the key investment arm of the global Brokerage and Investment Bank of Nomura Securities, he managed the largest investment fund in Japan from 1993 to 2005.