Almas Holdings buys Assetline Securities, activates full membership status on CSE

Tuesday, 24 May 2022 01:26 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Veteran Investor Imtiaz Buhardeen enters stock brokering industry through activation of DPMC’s Assetline Securities

Almas Group has recently concluded the acquisition of the 100% ownership of Assetline Securities Ltd., (Broker Code: STS), through its subsidiary Carlines Holdings. 

Seasoned investor Imtiaz Buhardeen has been an active participant in the local market as well as in the overseas markets for many decades. 

Since founded in 1984, Almas group has built up strategic interests in many sectors including listed securities, unlisted securities and the real estate sector with significant holdings in Sri Lankan listed entities. 

Almas Holdings Chairman and 

seasoned investor Imtiaz Buhardeen


With significant investments through the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) including representation among the top 20 shareholders of many listed entities, Almas group has demonstrated the confidence it has in the future and growth potential of Sri Lanka.

Capital Market Industry stakeholders have immensely contributed to the growth of the market with significant contributions by the stock brokering firms, investment advisory community and related service providers.

The CSE and Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) have provided unapparelled support and direction over the years for the growth of the market in many ways such as conducive regulation, infrastructure modernisation, new products and platforms for trading. 

The recent growth of the market is due in large part to the digitisation and actions of the active stock brokering companies who have successfully promoted the capital markets at home and abroad and generated previously unseen levels of interest. The impact of the post COVID-19 digitisation effort by market regulators has catapulted the advancement of our market in terms of client onboarding, mobile trading and instant settlement.

CSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka have created a well-regulated and active market with many infrastructure advancements in-order to be competitive among the regional counterparts and to face the new challenges under new normal conditions. 

As per a press release by the CSE, investor participation in Sri Lanka has increased rapidly during 2021 with average daily turnover increasing more than 100% to Rs. 4.9 billion while 37,000 new accounts have been opened and of the 800,000 investors, 63,000 have actively traded.

Further, a total of Rs. 39.4 billion in equity was raised in 2021 including 13 successful Equity IPO’s. The total turnover for the year 2021 was Rs. 1.173 trillion and it was a significant growth compared to the previous years.

While the dynamism and vibrancy in the equity capital market has increased due to the stellar efforts by market participants, Sri Lankan population’s participation is well below the regional and global averages, indicating the future potential to grow. 

Almas Group considers as part of its priority to increase the number of participants to bridge the gap and invite more users from outside the traditional catchment areas and investor categories. When comparing with regional counterparts, it is very clear to see the opportunity at hand to grow the population participation in the market, as less than 1% of Sri Lankans own equities (as per CSE 2020 Annual Report) in comparison to 3.7% in India, 12.7% in China and about 55% in the USA (as per Bloomberg Markets).

“At present, digital savvy youth are playing an active role in influencing the future of the country and we are hopeful that same energy can be harnessed for them to actively participate in the market with a long-term focus on returns,” the Company said.

Almas Group said it is glad to continue the journey of Assetline Securities as a ‘Full Member’ which commenced operations as Serendib over 30 years ago and was among the founding members of the CSE. A foreign investment group (TA Securities Bhd Malaysia) became the owners of the license before being acquired by the David Peiris Group. 

Almas group said it appreciates the professionalism and continuous cooperation extended by DPMC team and the trust they placed on Almas Group to take care of the valued clients they have served for many years.

The clients of Assetline can continue their investment journey with the reactivation of the brokering operations backed by a team of industry experts with decades of experience. Almas will particularly focus on advancing the digitisation initiative commenced by the industry and to engage investor communities from outskirts through various initiatives including targeted forums and high-impact networking sessions.

The overseas footprint and extensive contacts of Almas group will enable them to reach out to foreign investors who would want to consider investing in Sri Lankan equities. Assetline plans to facilitate the investment requirements of diverse groups of investors by promoting investing via CSE to youth and to cater to various other interests of investor segments.

Since the current situation in the country has a direct impact on the depleting purchasing power of savings related deposits and interest-based instruments, investing in equity via CSE can be a viable alternative to safeguard wealth, as prices of listed securities are expected to rerate in order to reflect the new operating environment of Sri Lanka, providing a hedge against inflation.

Almas group intends to add value to the industry by growing the investor base through reaching to many who have heard about the exciting investment opportunities offered by investing in listed equities but have not yet decided to participate due to not being convinced of the opportunity. It is expected that the Group’s long-term view on investing in equity would positively contribute to the efforts of informed investment decisions of investors.

The culture that has been created within the Almas organisation is a rewarding environment for both the existing team and those aspiring to take their careers to the next level. Investors could look forward to a digitally engaging experience to heighten their understanding of the market and make informed investment decisions in line with their personal ambitions and aspirations.

The Almas Group believes that the current environment offers a prime opportunity to prepare everyone to launch towards a better tomorrow and the Group’s investment in acquiring one of the longest-standing brokering firms demonstrates the positive outlook Imtiaz Buhardeen and the Almas team has in the future of the country and the Sri Lankan capital market. 

Assetline Securities had nearly 26,000 clients and Almas Group welcomes clients to get in touch, as the operations will be scaled up gradually followed by the launch.

The entry of the Almas Group into the stock brokering industry will complement the efforts by the industry stakeholders including development efforts by the CSE, the SEC, existing stock brokering firms and all market participants. 

The investment philosophy of the group within a well governed structure with a team of experts and passionate individuals would allow all who join hands with Almas Group to benefit over the long term through knowledge and wealth creation. Almas Group expects to grow the investor base and to complement the collective ongoing efforts of the stock brokering firms to ensure growth momentum is continued into the future.