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‘Chap running the policy shop’ wants villagers to trade in John Keells stocks

27 February 2015 03:54 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Indika Sakalasooriya alling himself the “chap who is running the policy shop,” Policy Planning and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said his government’s objective was to create a capital market where people from rural areas could trade in John Keells shares.


CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka points at the ticker at the trading floor, after Malaysian Prime Ministers’ Special Envoy Dato Seri Utama S. Samy Vellu opened the day’s trading, ringing the bell. Also in the picture are; Policy Planning and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr.Harsha de Silva and SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne Pic by Pradeep Pathirana

“We want people in villages, peripheries, to trade in John Keells shares; we want people to trade in corporate debt,” de Silva said during a function held yesterday at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) trading floor.According to him, in the current set-up, only a limited number of people whom he called the “Colombo elite,” are engaged in buying and selling of stocks at the Colombo bourse.

“Our government wants to create a country where a large middle class that owns shares; we want to create an asset-owning middle class, when we say that we mean it,” Deputy Minister remarked.

He further said the CSE has his government’s full backing and asked the capital market regulator to make CSE free of interference and manipulation.
“Thilak’s (SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne) main responsibility is to ensure the market is free from interference, that manipulation is completely and absolutely removed, wrongdoers punished and to create an environment that people want to participate in the Exchange, knowing that they have an equal chance of making or losing money.”

The Deputy Minister also asked CSE to “get the market going” and work on getting more companies listed.“As the chap running the policy shop, I will guarantee you all support; we understand the market; we see the need for more complex financial instruments in the market,” he noted.
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