Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday launched its Rs.150 million state-ofthe-art, new generation Central Depository System (CDS) supplied and maintained by Millenium IT, with an upgrade to the Automated Trading System (ATS).“With t he launch of t he new CDS and ATS, we have become world-class,” CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka said.CSE launched its first CDS, funded by USAID, in 1991 and was the first in Asia and eighth in the world to go scrip-less. In 1995, an upgraded system was introduced with the assistance of the then Computer Land, now Millennium IT.“Since 1995, the country went though a very bad patch and we didn’t have resources to invest in new technology to upgrade the system. But now things are settled and we have to look into a growth phase.
So, CSE with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) formed a 10-point plan in 2012 to catch up lost time and opportunities. We knew that walking or running wouldn’t be enough. We had to leapfrog because we knew we had a lot to catch up. This is the first step of that catch up,” Kulatilaka remarked.
The new CDS can facilitate Delivery vs. Payments (DVP) and counterparty settlement activities. According to Kulatilaka, it also has the capacity to facilitate derivate products.
“So, overall we are going to be on par with other international exchanges. We are also going to introduce value added services such as SMS to confirm trade,” Kulatilaka added.Commenting on the achievement, SEC Chairman Dr.Nalaka Godahewa said the introduction of a state-of-the-art CDS is a step towards making CSE a key contributor to the economy with a market capitalization of US $ 100 billion.
The current market capitalization of the CSE is US $ 24 billion and represents 37 percent of the country’s GDP.In the meantime, another significant event that was announced yesterday was the inauguration of bell ringing ceremony at the CSE’s trading floor when a new company commences trading or during any other special event, in keeping with the tradition followed by stock exchanges world over.The CSE also expects to make the bell ringing ceremony a regular feature by inviting special guests to perform the task.