Mr. Krishan Balendra, President of John Keells Capital, said that instead of having workshop/seminar style discussions, the representatives of the various participating funds visited several top companies including JKH, Commercial Bank, HNB, Aitken Spence, Distilleries, Dockyard and Royal Ceramics where they had discussions with senior managers.
"All but one of the ten funds who were here have no experience in the Sri Lanka market," Balendra said.
Asked whether the visiting funds had problems about the strength of the SL market, Fernando who lived and worked in the US before transferring to Hong Kong, answered in the negative.
"They have no problems with the strength of the market but have some problems on the question of liquidity," he said.
He said that the market had moved recently on stocks in which his clients had no interest. Although the Price Earnings ratios in Colombo were very high, the inherent growth potential here made the market attractive.
Political stability and the fact that there was no likelihood of the war resuming were major pluses, he noted.
The group had a meeting with Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal during the visit when the question of possible privatization of government owned companies here came up.
Cabraal said that privatization was not on the government’s agenda.
Balendra explained that the question that had actually been raised was the possibility of state owned companies being listed on the CSE.
Some of these, including SriLankan Catering, a fully owned subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines with a monopoly of airline catering at the BIA, is up for quotation on the CSE in the short term, well informed sources said.
This listing is likely to be worth around Rs.5 billion, well informed sources said.