Acuity Partners CEO Prashan Fernando told the Business Times that two of the brokerage houses are in the US and one in the UK but declined to name the companies since the discussions are at the final stages and the parties were currently engaged in working out the legal matters pertaining to the partnership. He noted the partnership would ensure the parties would work together with “mutual interest” where clients in those markets who want to invest in Sri Lanka could do so through Acuity Partners.
Foreign funds were interested mainly in the blue chips of the diversified and banking sectors listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, he explained.
Mr. Fernando pointed out that these companies were in touch with the frontier and emerging markets and were looking favourably at Sri Lanka.
As part of their partnership Acuity Partners would provide adequate exposure in these markets in addition to the sharing of research and participation in road shows, the CEO explained.
In this regard, a road show scheduled for September in New York would ensure that Acuity Partners would be part of this as well.
Mr. Fernando observed that these funds in identifying Sri Lanka as a favourable market to invest in within the frontier markets proved positive since the island nation was faring better than Bangladesh and Vietnam in terms of literacy levels, healthcare and communication. However, he pointed out that there were concerns on the law and order and governance fronts. Vietnam was considered a key competitor within the frontier markets for Sri Lanka since “most of our funds are going there,” Mr. Fernando said.
Other markets eyed closely by foreign funds were mainly Burma and Thailand, it was noted.