TODAY – First ever Sri Lanka Capital Markets Investor Forum kicks off in UK

  • Large contingent of around 50 from Sri Lanka in London for one-day event at Savoy Hotel
  • Over 150 fund managers and investment bankers from UK to attend
  • Central Bank Chief Cabraal to keynote Forum, showcasing post-war growth potential and investment opportunities
  • Presentation by world’s largest asset manager BlackRock a key highlight in the event organised in association with London Stock Exchange and Bloomberg
  • Heads and senior executives of 9 listed companies and 15 broking firms to woo more UK investments

By Nisthar Cassim in London

BUP_DFT_DFT-125The first-ever Sri Lanka Capital Markets Investor Forum kicks off today in London as the industry makes a concerted effort to woo fresh interests from the UK to the post-war resurgence in the country. 

A large contingent of around 50 business leaders from private sector and capital markets is attending the event at Savoy Hotel, London along with several Government officials. The full-day event is organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Colombo Stock Exchange in association with the London Stock Exchange and Bloomberg.

As of yesterday around 150 UK fund managers, investment bankers and investors have registered to listen to the opportunities in Sri Lanka, which has shown considerable improvement in macro-economic fundamentals as well as rise in foreign direct and portfolio investments since the end of the war in May 2009. 

A spokesman for the CSE described the extent of registrations as “unprecedented”.

The event will focus on the growth potential and opportunities available in the capital market as well as Sri Lanka in general.
The London event is part of a concerted exercise initiated in 2013 to promote capital market opportunities in post-war Sri Lanka. Similar investor forums were held in Mumbai, Dubai and Hong Kong in 2013 and one in Singapore early this year.
Foreign inflows to the Colombo stock market hit a record last two years at Rs. 61 billion whilst in 2014 year-to-date it has been Rs. 1.8 billion recovering after a net outflow situation in late April. The Colombo market has offered over 6% return year-to-date. The year 2013 saw a gain of 5% return ending two years of negative return in 2011 and 2012.

For today’s forum in London, nine listed companies are represented in the Sri Lankan delegation by either at chairman/deputy chairman and CEO and senior management level along with 25 heads and executives from 15 broking companies.
Whilst the keynote address will be delivered by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, a special presentation by world’s largest asset manager BlackRock, Inc, Fund Manager and member of the Emerging Markets Specialist Team Fundamental Equity Division Gordon Fraser, will be a key highlight.

For an in-depth perspective on the capital markets, Director and Country Head – Sri Lanka, Copal Amba (A Moody’s Subsidiary) Chanakya Dissanayake will make a country presentation whilst CSE Director Vajira Kulatilaka will conduct a presentation on the debt market.

The Chief Executive Officer, London Stock Exchange Plc Alexander Justham and Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Dr. Chris Nonis will also address the Forum. Dr. Nonis last night hosted the Sri Lankan delegation at the High Commission for a networking session with British business community.

A panel discussion will be conducted at the conclusion of the presentations. The panellists will include Governor Cabraal, High Commissioner Dr. Nonis, SEC Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, CSE Chairman Krishan Balendra and CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike.
Upon the conclusion of the main Forum, fund managers will meet with listed companies, in pre-scheduled one-on-one or small group meetings. The nine listed companies participating are John Keells Holdings PLC, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Dialog Axiata PLC, Hayleys PLC, Access Engineering PLC, People’s Leasing & Finance PLC, Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC, Laugfs Gas PLC and MTD Walkers PLC.

The representatives from listed companies comprise JKH Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunewardene, Commercial Bank Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody, MD/CEO Ravi Dias and CFO  Nandika Buddhipala, Dialog Axiata PLC Group Chief Operating Officer Azwan Khan, Hayleys Plc  Senior Economist Deshal de Mel, Access Engineering PLC Executive Director/COO Rohana Fernando and  Executive Director/Director – Business Development Dharshana Munasinghe, Laugfs Gas Plc Chairman and CEO W.K.H. Wegapitiya, Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC Chief Financial Officer Vishwa Kuruwita, Special Project Co-coordinator Praveen Gnanam and Investor Relations Officer Dr. Naveen Gunawardane, People’s Leasing & Finance PLC General Manager/CEO D.P. Kumarage and DGM – Finance and Admin Sanjeewa Bandaranayake, MTD Walkers PLC Group Deputy Chairman Jehan Amaratunge, Financial Advisor Thilan Wijesinghe, Director Infrastructure Tulsi Wallooppillai and Head of Group Corporate Finance and Treasury Mahesh Yogarajan.

Stockbroking firms represented include CT Smith Stockbrokers Consultant Marianne Page and Senior Research Analyst Chayanika Ranasinghe, Nation Lanka Equities Chairman Asanga Seneviratne and Director/CEO Ajahn Punchihewa, John Keells Stock Brokers Asst. Manager Sales Nithila Talgaswatte and Head of Research Yolan Seimon, Acuity Stockbrokers Director/CEO Prashan Fernando and Director Sales Roshan Noah, Capital Trust Securities  MD/CEO Tushan Wickramasinghe, JB Securities CEO Murtaza Jafferjee, Asia Securities Chief Executive Officer Sabri Marikar, Bartleet Religare Securities Ltd. Managing Director R. Muralidaran, Softlogic Stockbrokers CEO Dihan Dedigama, Enterprise Ceylon Capital Director Priyani Ratnagopal, Capital Alliance Securities Head of Research/Chief Strategist Purasisi Jinadasa, Richard Pieris Securities Chief Operating Officer Reshan Kurukulasuriya, SC Securities Financial Controller P.M.H. Mahinda and Manager Sales Roshantha Fernando, First Guardian Equities Managing Director/CEO Rohan Goonewardene and General Manager Dinesh Gangadharan, Lanka Securities Asst. Manager Sales Nishantha Joseph and Investment Advisor Udith Wickramasinghe.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka team comprises Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa and Commission Members Zuraish Hashim and Lolitha Abeysinghe, and the Colombo Stock Exchange team comprises Chairman Krishan Balendra, Director Vajira Kulatilleke and CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike.