03rd April 2011, www.sundaytimes.lk, By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera
After his major investment in Sri Lanka through Union Bank Ltd (UB), Prince Faisal bin Abdulla Al Faisal Al Saud, grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia, is set to invest in the financial and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors.
“We are earnestly considering setting up operations in financial as well as BPO sectors,” Prince Faisal said, when the Business Times caught up with him on Tuesday during a visit to the Colombo Stock Exchange to start off the UB share trading for the first time after its Initial Public Offering (IPO).
The young Prince has a 5 % stake in the bank and is on its board.
He said that his BPO firm Tasheel which is into hospitality, oil and gas and also some financial outsourcing businesses will be branching out to Sri Lanka.
He added that setting up training facilities for the hospitality sector is also in the cards. “This will be done in collaboration with an international party,” he said.
UB’s IPO which opened on February 24 saw 15 million shares trade at Rs. 25 each to raise Rs. 375 million. UB saw17.5 million shares at an average price of Rs 41 turning in a turnover of Rs716 million on its opening along with three crossings.
Brokers said this is Prince Faisal’s second visit to the island, the first one being some four months ago to attend a UB board meeting.
The young Saudi investor was introduced to Sri Lanka by Alex Lovell, a Dubai-based, internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan investor. He in turn was brought in to invest in UB in 2007 by Associated Electricals and AMW fame director, Ajitha De Zoysa. UB got Rs.420 million in 2007 from Prince Faisal and Mr. Lovell.
Prince Faisal said that the CSE has immense potential and that currently it’s much undervalued. “Sri Lanka has five to six years of major growth at the CSE.
The war was the only hurdle. Now Sri Lanka is attractive for investment,” he told the Business Times.
Image: Seen here is Prince Faisal (second from left) with Alex Lovell, Ajitha De Zoysa and other senior UB officials at the CSE floor.
Related Info :
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• Union Bank Plans a Country Fund through NAMAL. Possibility of Listing is Singapore Explored
• Sri Lankan Born Dubai Based Investor Alexis Lovell Goes for a Green Field Project of $300mn on Tourism & Property