Sri Lanka’s first-ever Investor Forum in New York kicks off today

Thursday, 4 September 2014 00:03 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Biggest-ever Lankan listed company contingent and capital markets team in attendance;
  • Over 190 fund managers registered to attend event co-hosted by CSE and SEC;
  • Presentation by ‘Breakout Nation’ author Ruchir Sharma a key highlight with Dr. Amunugama, Nivard reinforcing post-war rebound;
Sri Lanka’s first-ever capital markets investor forum in New York kicks off today with the post-war rebound providing an ideal platform to woo more interests to tap emerging economic and business opportunities. Organised by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), in association with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC, the ‘Invest Sri Lanka – Investor Forum’ will be held at the J.W. Marriot Essex House Hotel. Bloomberg and the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Sri Lanka are the strategic partners. Sources said over 190 fund managers have registered to attend the event whilst Sri Lanka will have the largest contingent of listed firms numbering 14 and around 28 representatives as well as several broking firms. CSE said registered major US institutional investors manage assets over $ 100 million. A series of one-to-one meetings will be held between these participants and Lankan companies. The highest number of Sri Lankan listed companies, in comparison to previous forums, will participate at the event. The listed companies set to participate are John Keells Holdings PLC, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Hatton National Bank PLC, National Development Bank PLC, DFCC Bank, Hayleys PLC, Access Engineering PLC, People’s Leasing & Finance PLC, Hemas Holdings PLC, Softlogic Holdings PLC, Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC, LAUGFS Holdings PLC, Sunshine Holdings PLC and MTD Walkers PLC. Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Dr. Sarath Amunugama and Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal will make principal presentations. Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York Dr. Palitha Kohona will deliver the opening address at the Forum, while Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange Vajira Kulatilleka will speak on the capital market of Sri Lanka. As an endorsement of the Sri Lankan capital market and the investment experience in Sri Lanka, a series of well-reputed investment professionals will enlighten the participants on the ‘Sri Lankan experience’. Morgan Stanley Investment Management Head of Emerging Markets Ruchir Sharma who is famous for his best seller ‘The Breakout Nation,’ TPG Capital Senior Advisor Michael O’Hanlon and Bloomberg FX Application Specialist Stephen Jonathan will speak at the event and give their insights. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Amunugama, Cabraal, Chairman of the SEC Dr. Nalaka Godahewa and Kulatilleka. Prior to the event, SEC Chairman Dr. Godahewa said:  “This is the first instance the ‘Invest Sri Lanka – Investor Forum’ will be held in North America and we see it as an ideal time to do so. Thus far in 2014 we have foreign holdings of Rs. 87.4 b from the United States in the Sri Lankan capital market. This figure is likely to grow as more investors begin to see Sri Lanka as a viable and steady Frontier Market moving towards the status of an Emerging Market.” “The Exchange has had a steady growth in the past few months crossing a number of performance indicators, which include highest turnover and the main index (ASPI) crossing the 7,000 mark. It is clear that the market is on a positive trajectory and we expect a period of exponential growth. Furthermore, with a number of new companies listing, we are positive that we will be able to offer investors a variety of choice when diversifying their portfolios and selecting their investment options,” Kulatilleka said. This is the third ‘Invest Sri Lanka – Investor Forum’ for the year, with previous Forums being held in Singapore and London in January and May respectively.