19th September 2010, www.thebottomline.lk
Heads of more than 10 leading fund management companies in the international financial sphere will be in town from tomorrow to explore possibilities in investing in Sri Lanka.
The delegation consists of Avendus Capital’s MD Nikil Kapadia, Edelweiss Capital’s MD Shankar Raman, General Atlantic’s MD Abhay, ISS Shipping’s MD Eddie Filus, a representative from Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, RBC Capital Market’s Country Head for India Akhauri Sinha, RBC Capital Markets MD William Kostoff who is also the head of Global Equities, T A Associates’s MD Naveen Whadera, and MD of WL Ross Ranjeet Nabha.
A workshop titled ‘Sri Lanka Unveiled-Importing Wealth’ will also be held from Monday (tomorrow) to Wednesday with the participation of the delegates and the event is organised by the Royal Bank of Canada and the Thani Group in collaboration with the BOI, Aimlight, and Business for Peace Alliance.
According to the organisers of the workshop, the delegation has around US$ 80 billion at their disposal. Sri Lanka, currently, has a Foreign Direct Investment flow of US$ 0.6 billion.
The Tuesday session of the workshop is scheduled to be held in Trincomalee as the delegation is expected to visit there and hold discussions with the Trancomalee Chamber of Commerce. In the evening, the delegation will be flown from Trincomalee to Hambantota to hold discussions with the Hambantota Chamber of Commerce.
Apart from this delegation, representatives of several other fund managing companies such as Actis Group, Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, Cordiant Capital, and Providence Equity have sent their representatives to Sri Lanka to have a feel on the Colombo Stock Exchange which was rated one of the best performing markets in the world, The Bottom Line learns.
“They have already met key officials of several blue chips which are mainly into leisure and logistics and they have a list of 18 selected blue chips under the radar for possible investments,” a market source who did not want to be named said.
Even though Sri Lanka was rated one of the best performing markets since the end of a bloody civil war the country suffered, an element of doubt had been created by the exiting of foreigners from the market on a regular basis.
Several foreign funds which announced their interest over both private and public equity in Sri Lanka at the beginning were also seen more or less silent embedding this element of doubt to the minds of the investors.
According to analysts, the arrival of a delegation of this calibre will certainly counter this element of doubt to some extent and more foreign interest will seep through to the country as well as to the stock market.
Sri Lanka was recently placed ahead of Russia, India and China by the Fobes magazine in its ‘Countries for Business’ list and Standard and Poor increased the country’s credit rating to B+ from B.