SEC, CSE hail debut trading of first SME-centric Empower Board firm Chrissworld

Wednesday, 19 May 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Capital market regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday formally hailed the debut trading of the first SME-centric Empower Board firm Chrissworld Ltd.

To signify the historic development, Chrissworld Ltd. rang the market opening bell yesterday to commence trading on the CSE. Incidentally this took place via the first ever fully virtual market opening ceremony as well.

The listing follows a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) held on 27 April. 

The IPO involving 7.5 million shares (25% stake) at Rs. 7.50 each (to raise Rs. 56.25 million) was oversubscribed by two times on its official opening day itself.

SEC Chairman Viraj Dayaratne PC speaking at the event said: “Ability to raise capital is very important for the success of a company and Start-ups and SMEs have found this to be the most difficult task. We at the SEC and the CSE realised that it was necessary for us to give them, this much needed support. That is why the Empower Board was created to enable SMEs to list on the CSE.” 

Congratulating Chrissworld for taking the initiative, Dayaratne said the Company has given leadership to all the SMEs and startups to make use of the host of benefits that are available via the Empower Board. 

“I would like to call upon all entrepreneurs in the country to make use of this opportunity. We have made it easy for companies to list on the Dirisavi Board and the Main Board. Processes have been streamlined and listings are now handled solely by the CSE in order to make it more efficient and less cumbersome. So it is our endeavour to ensure that businesses find the right environment and the facilities to develop their businesses,” the SEC Chairman added. 

CSE Chairman Dumith Fernando also congratulated Chrissworld on achieving the milestone of a public listing and being a pioneer in drawing more companies to the Empower Board. 

“This listing is a milestone for CSE as well as for Chrissworld Limited. We launched the Empower Board, another Board for listing on the CSE several years ago. The Empower Board was specifically tailored for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to list on the CSE,” Fernando said. 

He described SMEs as the bedrock of the economy and predominant majority of the number of companies in the country, employing almost half of the staff working in the corporate world. 

“The SMEs are the growth engines of our economy.  The ability to provide another avenue for them to seek growth capital, raise their corporate profile and establish better governance processes are all part of the objectives of the Empower Board. We are honoured that Chrissworld Limited, a strong logistics company that is profitable with a 10 year track record behind it to support, is going to be the first listing on the Empower Board,” Fernando added.

Chrissworld Chairman Christo Perera shared insight on the company’s perspective. “We had a successful conclusion of our IPO with a decent oversubscription. I wish to thank all the investors for the confidence, trust and the belief that you have had with Chrissworld Limited and our team. As an SME, we are thankful that we have been given the opportunity to list and go public.  “It is an opportunity we should not miss. We are happy that we were able to get funds from the public and use them for the development and the progress of the company. We have many plans for the growth of the company. We feel that logistics industry is a high potential industry and wish to harness the same potential”

The managers to the Chrissworld IPO and sponsor Atarah Capital Partners Managing Director Rohan Senewiratne said: “The SEC and CSE have done a great job to bring about the Empower Board. In the history of 100 years of Capital Market in Sri Lanka, we haven’t had a platform to list a SME and now we do. We congratulate Chrissworld Limited for getting there as the first company to be listed on the Empower board.”