CSE to woo Australian and New Zealand investors

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), the Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia and Stockbroker firms and Unit Trust companies, will host a series of ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ forums in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

The forums in Sydney (March 20), Melbourne (March 23) and Auckland (March 25) will be conducted to promote capital market investment opportunities to ANZ investors and individuals of Sri Lankan origin residing in the two countries.

The Invest SL Forums are expected to draw a combined participation of over 500 institutional investors, high-net-worth individuals and residents of Sri Lankan origin in the region.

Chairman of the SEC Thilak Karunaratne said, “Our immediate priority is to fulfill SEC’s mandate by initiating regulatory reforms and improving market infrastructure to ensure a level playing field in which issuers can raise funds and investors can participate with confidence. I am confident that ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ will provide investors based in both Australia and New Zealand an excellent chance to understand potential investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. This endeavour will facilitate the Government’s aspiration to attract more investments from the Diaspora to drive economic development.”

Chairman of CSE, Vajira Kulatilaka said a strong community of people of Sri Lankan origin, eager to look at new Sri Lankan investment opportunities and a growing inflow of foreign investment originating from Australia highlight ANZ as a market with notable potential. Kulatilaka said that bilateral activity surrounding the celebration of 70 years of diplomatic ties between Sri Lanka and Australia presented the CSE with a unique opportunity to promote the capital market at a time when Sri Lanka has the attention of the region.

“We have taken steps to enter into partnerships with local consulates, associations and business councils considering the local context of each location and the diverse nature of our target audience,” he said.

Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Bryce Hutchesson, commended the initiative as a valuable means of fostering closer economic ties between the two countries.

“Further economic reform in Sri Lanka should see more Australian businesses and investors looking to enter the local market.

There is clear scope to expand the bilateral trade and investment relationship and this Invest Sri Lanka Forum initiative should contribute positively towards that goal,” he said. Sydney marks the first stop of the series with the event at the Shangri-La Hotel.

The Sydney Forum is organized in association with the Sri Lanka and Australia Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Sydney.

The series would then move to the State of Victoria, with an event exclusive to Australian institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals at the International Chamber House Melbourne on March 23 at 8.30 a.m. followed by an evening event at the Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley, which is expected to attract the participation of people of Sri Lankan origin living in Melbourne.

The Melbourne Forums are organized in association with the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne and the Aus-Lanka Business Council.

The final stop in the series of events will take place at the Fickling Convention Centre in Auckland on March 25. The event will be organized in association with the Sri Lankan New Zealand Business Council and is expected draw the participation of individuals with a Sri Lankan origin living in Auckland.

All events will feature a keynote address delivered by the State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Niroshan Perera while the Chairman of the CSE, Vajira Kulatilaka and Director General of the SEC, Vajira Wijegunerwardane will make presentations on the opportunities in the Sri Lankan capital market and the reformist agenda for the capital market, respectively.

A macroeconomic overview of the country will be provided by Maninda Wickramasinghe MD/ CEO/ Country Head, Fitch Ratings Lanka and will be followed by an insight into the economic policy direction of the country, which will be delivered by Director of Economic Research at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr. Yuthika Indraratne.

The main presentations will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by CSE CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike and a question and answer session with the audience.

The events will also feature several leading real estate developments in Sri Lanka in the capacity of event sponsors, including the Colombo Port City (Platinum sponsor) One Galle Face by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (Platinum sponsor) and the luxury apartment development by Altair (Corporate sponsor). 

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