Sri Lanka’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is planning to shift its office to a new location, as the regulator is planning to set up a capital market hub with the support of the other capital market stakeholders. According to sources, the SEC is in search of a suitable land of the size of 50 perches in Colombo 1, 2, 3, 4 or 7 for outright purchase to construct a new building that will accommodate the SEC and the other market stakeholders, who have been already invited to move in.
It is learnt that the SEC has already been offered land by several government institutions for the purpose. But according to sources, the SEC wants to keep all the options open and plans to acquire the best land available at the best price.
At present, the SEC is occupying two floors of the World Trade Center (28 and 29), for which the regulator pays a very high rent on a monthly basis. The two floors occupy approximately 80 SEC employees.
In October 2011 too, the SEC advertised seeking land for office space though it couldn’t find a suitable land for the purpose, ultimately temporarily dropping the idea of shifting. “If the SEC is shifting, it will be important that the other market stakeholders such as the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) to move with them,” a market analyst commented on the development.
Another state-controlled entity, the Board of Investment (BoI), through a restructuring move tried to shift its office premises from the World Trade Center to some other relatively cheap location last year.
However, unfortunately, the move was met with resistance from the BoI employees and was subsequently abandoned.