Sri Lanka to be showcased as attractive destination for foreign portfolio investments
Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has reportedly performed exceptionally well in the past 12 months with the All Share Price Index (ASPI) appreciating more than 55% and the S&P SL 20 Index appreciating more than 44%. In 2021, the Average Daily Turnover of the CSE stands at Rs. 4.8 billion as against Rs. 1.8 billion in 2020.
Even though the market has performed exceptionally well, foreign investor contribution to the total market turnover is not substantial due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic throughout the world, local media reports have stated.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) is of the view that every effort must be made to impress upon foreign investors/fund managers and diaspora of the compelling value proposition of the Sri Lankan capital market. In this sense, the SEC believes capital flows will also act as a catalyst to economic growth and contribute towards increased wealth creation, the Daily FT has reported.
As an initial step, the SEC along with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry and the CSE has commenced a series of virtual meetings to educate staff of Sri Lankan missions overseas on the growth potential and investment opportunities available in the capital market of Sri Lanka. This initiative will enable the respective staff of Missions overseas to promote portfolio investments to Sri Lanka among the investor community in the respective countries and assist the SEC and the CSE in organising future overseas forums, the news report has further noted.
Additional Secretary of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry P.M. Amza, SEC Chairman Viraj Dayaratne PC, SEC Director General Chinthaka Mendis, CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike, SEC Director – External Relations and Capital Market Education Tushara Jayaratne, SEC Director – Surveillance and Capital Market Development Prabash Wanigatunge, CSE Head of Marketing Niroshan Wijesundere, CSE Head of Research and Strategy Nishantha Hewavithana and senior officials of both the SEC and CSE have participated in these initial virtual forums.
“Portfolio investment will act as a catalyst for economic growth and is a top priority for the Government, particularly in the context of post-COVID economic recovery. These forums will offer the Sri Lankan diaspora the opportunity to understand the investment prospects available in the capital market of Sri Lanka as well,” Viraj Dayaratne has been quoted as saying.
The first in the series was conducted with the participation of Minister (Commercial) Dr. Lakmini Mendis and other senior officials of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in UK. High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Singapore Sashikala Premawardhane, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Sweden Dharshana M. Perera and Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, UAE Malraj De Silva, Consul General of Sri Lanka, Dubai and Northern Emirates Nalinda Wijerathna, Head of Chancery Embassy of Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi M.I.M. Rizvi and other senior officials from the Foreign Ministry also participated in the virtual forums conducted with the respective Foreign Missions.
According to reports, the SEC and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry are in the process of organising three more virtual presentations with the assistance of Foreign Missions in Tokyo, Washington and Beijing.
Sri Lanka is fast becoming an attractive destination for foreign businesses/investors. The island’s geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made Sri Lanka a business destination in the South Asian region. Authorities in Sri Lanka are also engaged in promoting Sri Lanka as an investment destination in the region. Despite the global Covid 19 pandemic, Sri Lanka’s economy has shown great resilience and is once again on the path to recovery. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore investment opportunities.
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