Japanese financial powerhouse investment - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Japanese financial powerhouse investment

Japanese financial powerhouse investment

• Japanese financial powerhouse makes strategic investment in Sri Lankan brokerage
• The SBI Group is to acquire a strategic 25% stake in Sri Lankan brokerage First Guardian Equities through an investment via a private placement.
• The MOU was signed by SBI Holdings Representative Director, President and CEO Yoshitaka Kitao and First Guardian Equities Ltd. Managing Director/CEO Rohan Goonewardene
• The SBI Group will be offered two representatives on the Board of First Guardian Equities. This transaction is due to be concluded shortly after obtaining the required regulatory approvals.
• First Guardian Equities is a licensed trading member of the Colombo Stock Exchange and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC).
• Located in Colombo’s World Trade Centre, it is the only stock brokerage in Sri Lanka with an international ISO 9001:2008 systems standardisation certification.
• Currently the company is also in the process of obtaining a credit rating from a foremost international credit rating agency.
• The Board of First Guardian Equities comprises B.R.L. Fernando, Rohan Goonewardene, S.K. Wickremesinghe, Suren Goonewardene and Kanchana Ratwatte.

Managing Director Rohan Goonewardene said that the involvement of First Guardian, with a world class, focused and technologically cutting edge entity such as the multi-billion dollar financial entity SBI Group, will soon enable its customers to experience an enhanced level of service options and excellence.

Goonewardene was confident that this tie-up will not only bring mutual benefit to both institutions but will also be a “tremendous boost and a vote of confidence to the country’s capital markets.”

While thanking his dedicated and professional staff, he paid a special mention of gratitude to 3 of the country’s most respected business personalities who served on its Board, namely S.K. Wickremesinghe (Senior Board Director), Hemaka Amerasuriya (Founder Chairman) and B.R.L. Fernando (current Chairman) for imparting their principled values, vision, and guidance in shaping the organisation since the company’s inception in 2006.

The SBI Group of Japan has grown into a leading financial services provider by creating value through a dynamic network of group company collaboration and synergies.

The Group’s assets have grown from JPY50 million since its inception in 1999 to over JPY400 billion. It currently owns six publicly listed companies.

Its subsidiaries include SBI Securities which ranks Number 1 in Japan, by share of individual brokerage trading value, individual margin trading value, and has over 3.5 million accounts, the most among Japan’s top five securities firms.

Its Internet Bank subsidiary SBI Sumishin Net Bank ranks Number 1 among the internet banks in Japan in terms of deposits with nearly JPY3.5 trillion, ahead of Daiwa Next Bank and Sony Bank.

In the asset management segment the SBI Group has several joint venture tie-ups including with the Dutch bilateral private sector development bank FMO (SBI-FMO Asia Emerging Financial Services Fund), US Securities Firm Jefferies Group(SBI-Jefferies Asia Fund), Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Finance (SBI-Islamic Fund), Shanghai Municipal Government owned company Shanghai Yidian Holdings (Shanghai Yidian Fund), among others.

OSL Take:

Finally we see a Japanese big fish taking to the “investment waters of Sri Lanka”, and now the “eyes” of the international investment figureheads and pundits will stretch with anticipation about the true investment potential of Sri Lanka.

OSL has been really upbeat about the country’s potential but many still went on the “wait and see policy” to take part in the country’s all sector boom spearheaded by the USD 44 billion Western Region Megapols Materplan (WRMM) aimed at making Colombo a powerful trading hub by 2030.

So, any party willing to consider Sri Lanka as a worthwhile investment destination could now consult the biz-friendly OSL Team for a country overview and the smart-investment-way forward with our local expertise and strong links.

First Guardian Equities:

First Guardian Equities won the CQE Century International Quality ERA Award in the Gold Category at a ceremony in Geneva recently. These awards are organized by Business Initiative Directions (BID) and were held at the International Quality Convention in Geneva at the spectacular Intercontinental Geneve Ballroom, across from the United Nations European Headquarters.

Expressing delight at this international honour, First Guardian Equities CEO (FGE) Rohan Goonewardene said that this was an honour not only for FGE but also for the industry.

“We are delighted with this international accolade. An award, be it local or global is always a source of great encouragement”.

“We are spurred on by our will to serve all our stakeholders with greater passion and be one of the top performing entities in the region and then at a global level. This award to us means that we are on the right track,” he said.

The companies selected for these awards (medium, large and some listed in the Global Fortune 500) demonstrate excellence in leadership within each designated sector, increased market share, improved results as well as sustainability.

SBI Group:

SBI Group aims to become a corporate entity that provides a variety of one-stop financial services over the Internet now that 2 major events, the Financial “Big Bang” resulting from deregulation, and the “Internet Revolution” resulting from IT innovation, have radically transformed the financial industry.

SBI Investment is the core company in the SBI Group’s Asset Management Business. As one of Japan’s leading venture capital firms, our management of venture capital funds is guided by our mission to become a leader in the creation and cultivation of key industries for the 21st century.

As a “New Industry Creator”, we provide privately held ventures with risk capital through fund investments that support business developments and progress of these companies. Our efforts have generated a succession of IPOs and we have thus contributed to the well-being of society.

Since establishment, SBI Investment has focused on investments on growth sectors such as information technology, biotechnology and life science.

Currently, we have expanded investment areas to include mobile/wireless, environment and energy sectors.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/05082016/Z-3

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