The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Oxford Business Group (OBG) to use the global research and consultancy firm’s analysis of Sri Lanka’s capital markets as its primary information tool at a high-profile investment forum, scheduled to take place mid-October in New York.
Under the agreement, the CSE will share the findings and data featured in ‘The Report: Sri Lanka 2017’, OBG’s first-time publication on the country, with an audience of approximately 150 US and Americas-based fund managers, investors and researchers. The event, which is titled ‘Investor Forum – New York’, takes place at the Sofitel New York on October 16.
The Sri Lankan delegation will comprise senior representatives of the CSE, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, stockbroker firms, unit trust companies and Sri Lankan listed companies. The governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Indrajit Coomaraswamy, will be the keynote speaker at the event, which is being organised under the ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ banner, while Meyer (Sandy) Frucher, Vice Chairman of the NASDAQ Group, will moderate a panel discussion.
The event forms a key part of the CSE’s broader efforts to highlight new features planned for the exchange before the end of 2017, which it hopes will attract international investors and increase listings. These include a dollar trading system and the introduction of real estate investment trusts (REITs), both of which are expected to be in place before the end of the year. The CSE is also looking to launch a separate board targeting small and medium-sized enterprises with lower listing requirements.
Rajeeva Bandaranaike, the CSE’s CEO, said he welcomed the opportunity to present OBG’s findings at the forum, adding that its report would provide the international business community with valuable background information on Sri Lanka’s capital markets and the latest developments under way at the exchange.
“The new services planned for the Colombo Stock Exchange will follow other measures that were introduced recently aimed at facilitating more active trading and strengthening the risk management framework - key messages that we are keen to relay to a wider audience,” he said. “Oxford Business Group is recognised as a market leader when it comes to analysing the economies of emerging markets. I’m delighted that investors will have the opportunity to learn more about the changes taking place at Sri Lanka’s bourse from, an independent source.”
OBG’s Country Director, Andrea Tsiachtsiri, said the group’s research showed that rising foreign interest in Sri Lanka’s capital markets was already helping to drive growth at the CSE.
“The year 2017 has been a good one to date for the bourse, with net inflows reaching US$30 million, while trading volumes have risen to Rs. 950 billion (US$ 6.2 billion) per day, up 3 percent on volumes in 2016,” she said. “While increasing FDI levels must remain a priority for Sri Lanka, we expect additional reforms, such as the new Inland Revenue Act, to support the exchange’s efforts to broaden its appeal and win approval from investors, both in New York and elsewhere.”