Asiri Holdings Chairman/Managing Director Ashok Pathirage rings the trading bell at the CSE opening the day’s trading while (from left) CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike, Asiri Hospital Holdings Group CEO Dr. Manjula Karunaratne, Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka and other Asiri Holdings officials look on Pic by Damith Wickramasinghe
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Looking forward to embrace the New Year with renewed aspirations, the country’s stock market operator, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), yesterday had its 20th and final bell ringing ceremony for the year 2016, which was rung by Asiri Hospital Holdings PLC.
CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka, prior to the official market opening stated that with the issuers being one of the most important stakeholders of the CSE, it is important to recognize their contribution to the market.
The bell ringing ceremony was initiated to serve as a platform to generate exposure for listed companies. Acknowledging the bourse is facing challenging times, Kulatilaka stated confidently the challenges would be met and addressed next year.
“We must look at the challenges. Our aim for 2017 is to not only reach our targets but to convert the CSE to a different stage. The year 2017 will be more of an implementation year and making the CSE ready for the future,” said the chairman. Hosting Asiri Hospital Holdings Ltd, the CSE chairman stressed it is imperative to list the healthcare service providers on the CSE as they extend a defensive stock for managers. With hospitals being a defensive stock, it was pointed out regardless of the macroeconomic conditions, massive price variations in such entities are not as expected. Asiri Hospitals was first listed on the exchange in 1986 and has grown from a market capitalization of Rs.25 million to the current Rs.30 billion, a thousandfold increase, according to its officials.
“This has paved the way for the shareholder to benefit from the performance and the value creation of the company,” said Asiri Hospital Holdings Group CEO Dr. Manjula Karunaratne. Sharing that listing on the CSE has increased the status of the company, it was noted the objective was reached since its stakeholders are aware that a governance structure is followed.
“The listing has resulted in broad-basing our shareholders, allowing both local and foreign investors to partake in the bourse and increase the liquidity of shares. The listing has enhanced the brand value,” opined Dr. Manjula Karunaratne.