Recent economic growth in Sri Lanka achieved in an ideal political climate backed by the wide penetration of new technology has made Sri Lanka a 'value proposition' for potential global investors, and as a provider of Securities Services in cross-border transactions, we'd be happy to work with such parties, Philippe Dirckx Managing Director, Regional Head of Citi Securities Services said in Colombo yesterday.
Dirckx was speaking to a large gathering at the Capital Market Conference hosted by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo yesterday.
The conference titled 'Capital Market Conference 2014 Colombo Sri Lanka carried the tagline 'Be a Partner of the Growth Story' which saw at least 80 international high net worth global fund managers and a sizable number of investors from the UK, the USA, Dubai, Singapore Hong Kong, Japan, Bahrain, Pakistan, India etc.
Rob Loannou, Co-Head, HSBC Global Private Bank Southeast Asia said Sri Lanka not only has 'hot' beaches but also has 'alluringly hot' investment opportunities.
I first visited Sri Lanka four years ago and I was not only hooked by its beautiful scenery and biodiversity, I was also impressed by what the taxi drivers and bartenders told me. I've invested in a holiday home where local employees are working and have commissioned a Sri Lankan architect (who has returned home leaving his overseas job) to design my second holiday home".
"At times there were stressful moments and the rules of the game should always be clear," he added.
"Rapidly increasing GDP, low-inflation, enhanced infrastructure facilities in the country plus its vital geographical location are the key drivers of its on-going economic growth. Another important feature that encourages investing in Sri Lanka is the attractive entry prices made available for the investors."
"High net worth families look for not only Return on Investment but also Return of Investment. They look for gainful investments in Equity and Bond Markets and Direct Investments in real companies with lower risks. They also seek to invest across real asset classes. They like a promising story of an exotic market."
"Don't ignore the fact that Sri Lanka is a fast growing country with 8.2% economic growth rate forecasted for 2015," he said.
Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Treasury Secretary and Secretary to the Ministry of Finance said, "The Colombo Stock Market has just crossed Rs.3 trillion market capitalization. It's almost 40% of our GDP. Economic development cannot be confined to only per capita income growth or Capital Market boom. A Stock Market should not facilitate speculative transactions, manipulations or frauds but instead promote development through investor confidence."
Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said, "We need to adjust our mindset to the appreciation of the rupee as we have moved from a vicious cycle to a virtuous cycle."
CSE Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said," Exceptional progress of the Capital Market which is a barrow meter of the economy has consolidated positive sentiments."