CSE seeks foreign listings on proposed dollar denominated Board

CSE-MALDIVES

CSE Chairman Vajira Kulatilaka speaking at the event

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Maldives Stock Exchange (MSE), in association with the Capital Market Development Authority of Maldives (CMDA), acting under the MOU signed between the two exchanges conducted a roadshow for potential Maldivian Issuers and Investors. The forum hosted by the Capital Market Development Authority of Maldives was held on the 28th and 29th of March 2016 at the Maldives Monetary Authority Building in Male.

The forum presented the CSE as a secondary listing destination for Maldivian companies and promoted the Sri Lankan capital market to investors. The event marked the first Issuer Forum conducted by CSE on foreign soil. Over 30 representatives from 20 potential Issuers from the Maldives and 7 investment banks from Sri Lanka were present at the event.

The Issuer Forum comes against the backdrop of a strategic initiative by CSE to introduce a Multi-Currency Board to list and trade companies incorporated and operating outside Sri Lanka. The necessary approvals for the board have been obtained by the Central Bank and the CSE is awaiting approval from the Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC).

Minister of Economic Development in Maldives Hon. Mohamed Saeed, Chairman of CSE Mr. Vajira Kulatilaka, CEO of CMDA Mr. Ahmed Naseer and CEO of MSE Mr. Hassan Manik spoke at the event. Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike, the CEO of CSE made a presentation on the benefits of listing and addressed the common concerns on a public listing by potential issuers while Mr. Renuke Wijayawardhane, COO of CSE made a presentation on listing criteria and requirements.

The Forum also featured a Sri Lankan listed company, where Chairman/MD of Softlogic Holdings PLC Mr. Ashok Pathirage and Head of Strategy Mr. Chintaka Ranasinghe shared the experience of Softlogic Holdings using the Sri Lankan capital market to fund their growth.

Hon. Mohamed Saeed, Minister of Economic Development in Maldives making remarks as the Chief Guest at the Issuer Forum commended Sri Lankan listed companies for effective capital market engagement and called on Maldivian Companies to embrace the many opportunities available in the Sri Lankan capital market. Minister Saeed also went on to state that Maldivian Companies strengthened through regional economic corporation is vital to economic development in the Maldives.

Chairman of CSE Mr. Vajira Kulatilaka said that engaging Maldivian Companies has long been an objective at CSE and that reaching out to them first, represents the trust and confidence placed in the Maldives and its business sector. He stated “We have recently implemented a number of investment and policy measures to give the exchange world-class status. The CSE offers a unique opportunity to raise capital in one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, through an exchange that on average performed better than most major global indices in recent years.”

Sharing his thoughts at the panel discussion, the CEO of CMDA Mr. Ahmed Naseer urged Maldivian Companies to make use of the opportunity to gain a perspective on investing in the Sri Lankan capital market and to embrace the best practices maintained by listed companies in Sri Lanka.

The CEO of MSE Mr. Hassan Manik pointed out that listing on the CSE would provide Maldivian listed companies an opportunity to achieve proper values for their shares. He noted that at present, shares of listed Maldivian companies do not have correct values, which is caused by the lack of liquidity in the market.

Chairman/Managing Director of Softlogic Holdings PLC Mr. Ashok Pathirage noted that sourcing capital is just one benefit of listing on the CSE and outlined that listing also fosters good corporate governance, paves the way for an optimized company structure and helps in growing the organization through attracting quality talent.

Commenting on the process of listing foreign companies, the CEO of CSE Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike noted that initially only non-resident foreign investors would be permitted to buy and sell securities through the proposed Multi-Currency Board.

CSE representatives held one-to-one meetings with companies listed on MSE on 27th March. Sri Lankan investment banks also had the opportunity to meet the Maldivian companies that were present at the forum on 28th and 29th of March.  (Media Release)