SEC to showcase Lanka as a destination for foreign portfolio investments

Chinthaka Mendis, Director General SEC.

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has performed exceptionally well in the past 12 months with the All Share Price Index (ASPI) appreciating over 55% and the S&P SL 20 Index appreciating over 44%. In 2021, the Average Daily Turnover of the CSE stands at Rs 4.8 bn. as against Rs. 1.8 bn. 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. Efforts will be made to impress upon foreign investors and fund managers and the diaspora, of the compelling value proposition of the Sri Lankan Capital Market.

The SEC believes capital flows will also act as a catalyst for economic growth and contribute towards increased wealth creation.

As an initial step, the SEC along with the 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 staff 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.

“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,” remarked Viraj Dayaratne PC, Chairman SEC.

The first in the series was conducted with the participation of Minister (Commercial) Dr. Lakmini Mendis and senior officials of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Singapore, Ms. Sashikala Premawardhane; Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Sweden, Dharshana M. Perera; Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Malraj de Silva; Consul General of Sri Lanka Dubai and Northern Emirates, Nalinda Wijerathna; Head of Chancery, Embassy of Sri Lanka Abu Dhabi, M. I. M. Rizvi; and senior officials from the Foreign Ministry also participated in the virtual forums conducted with the respective Foreign Missions.

The SEC and the Foreign Ministry are in the process of organising three more virtual presentations with the assistance of Sri Lanka Missions in Tokyo, Washington and Beijing.

Additional Secretary Foreign Ministry, P. M. Amza; Chairman SEC, Viraj Dayaratne; Director General SEC, Chinthaka Mendis; CEO CSE, Rajeeva Bandaranaike; Director, External Relations and Capital Market Education, SEC, Thushara Jayaratne; Director Surveillance and Capital Market Development, SEC, Prabash Wanigatunge; Head of Marketing, CSE, Niroshan Wijesundere; Head of Research and Strategy, CSE, Nishantha Hewavithana; and senior officials of the SEC and CSE participated in these initial virtual forums.