Oct 11, Colombo: A large gathering of Institutional Investors based in London showed a keen interest in investing in Sri Lankan equities while attending an Invest Sri Lanka Forum held at the London Stock Exchange recently.
The Forum, which was organized by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in association with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), attracted a number of UK- based frontier and emerging market Institutional Investor representatives.
An event in Edinburgh, Scotland will also be held as part of the Invest Sri Lanka road show presently taking place in the United Kingdom (UK).
Through the years, Institutional Investors based in the UK have consistently had a strong investment presence in the Sri Lankan stock market and the UK remains to be one of the leading investors of Sri Lankan equities.
A high-level Sri Lankan delegation representing the Government of Sri Lanka, the Central Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, the Colombo Stock Exchange, Sri Lankan listed companies and Stock broker representatives were at the Forum to collectively make a case for the Sri Lankan capital market.
In what is a key feature of Invest Sri Lanka Forums, the event also facilitated over 45 One-to-one/group discussions between Investors and Chief Executives/Senior Representatives of Sri Lankan Listed Companies. John Keells Holdings PLC, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Dialog Axiata PLC, Hatton National Bank PLC, Sampath Bank PLC, MelstaCorp PLC, People's Leasing & Finance PLC, Nations Trust Bank PLC, Aitken Spence PLC, Tokyo Cement (Lanka) PLC, Sunshine Holdings PLC, Union Bank of Colombo PLC and Resus Energy PLC were represented at the event.
The State Minister for Finance and Mass Media Eran Wickramaratne, who made the keynote address at the Forum said "2017 resulted in the largest ever inflow of foreign investment into the Sri Lankan stock market in its history. This was a response to Sri Lanka's prudent macro-economic management resulting in reduced budget deficits, higher government revenue, decreasing inflation, increased exports, an improved foreign exchange reserves balance and an all–time high in foreign direct investment. Despite the hike in the US Dollar, the comparative value of Sri Lankan stocks with comparable Asian markets augments well for the performance of the CSE in the near future."
The Forum was offered a strong endorsement from the Chief Executive Officer of the London Stock Exchange PLC Nikhil Rathi, who spoke of the potential value of investing in Sri Lanka, stating that London Stock Exchange Group is one of the largest direct investors in Sri Lanka. He went on to reaffirm LSEG's commitment to strengthening its relationship with Sri Lanka and noted that LSEG would continue to grow its presence and facilities in the country.
Member of the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka Nihal Fonseka offering perspective on the monetary policy and the macro-economic outlook, stated that broad-based reforms under the IMF agreement has complemented the efforts of the Government, while noting that ongoing trade reforms are expected to strengthen the country's external sector on a sustainable basis. He also stated that increased access to external markets and fostering an investor friendly environment are likely to attract much needed FDIs in the period ahead.