Japan’s SBI Group to acquire 25-Pct stake in First Guardian Equities


(PRESS RELEASE) – The SBI Group is to acquire a strategic 25% stake in Sri Lankan Brokerage First Guardian Equities through an investment via a private placement. The MOU was signed by the Representative Director, President and CEO of SBI Holdings Yoshitaka Kitao and Managing Director/CEO of First Guardian Equities (Pvt) Ltd. Rohan Goonewardene. The SBI Group will be offered two representatives on the Board of First Guardian Equities. This transaction is due to be concluded shortly after obtaining the required regulatory approvals.

First Guardian Equities is a licensed trading member of the Colombo Stock Exchange and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC). Located in Colombo’s World Trade Centre, it is the only stock brokerage in Sri Lanka with an international ISO 9001:2008 systems standardisation certification.  Currently the Company is also in the process of obtaining a credit rating from a foremost international credit rating agency.

Managing Director Rohan Goonewardene said that the involvement of First Guardian, with a world class, focused and technologically cutting edge entity such as the multi-billion dollar financial entity SBI Group, will soon enable its customers to experience an enhanced level of service options and excellence. Goonewardene was confident that this tie-up will not only bring mutual benefit to both institutions but will also be a tremendous boost and a vote of confidence to the country’s capital markets.

While thanking his dedicated and professional staff, he paid a special mention of gratitude to three of the country’s most respected business personalities who served on its Board, namely Mr. S.K. Wickremesinghe (senior Board Director), Mr. Hemaka Amerasuriya (founder Chairman) and Mr. B.R.L. Fernando (current Chairman) for imparting their principled values, vision, and guidance in shaping the organisation since the company’s inception in 2006.

The SBI Group of Japan has grown into a leading financial services provider by creating value through a dynamic network of group company collaboration and synergies. The Group’s assets have grown from JPY50 million since its inception in 1999 to over JPY400 billion. It currently owns 6 publicly listed companies.

Its subsidiaries include SBI SECURITIES which ranks Number 1 in Japan, by share of individual brokerage trading value, individual margin trading value, and has over 3.5 million accounts, the most among Japan’s top 5 securities firms. Its Internet Bank subsidiary SBI Sumishin Net Bank ranks Number 1 among the internet banks in Japan in terms of deposits with nearly JPY3.5 trillion, ahead of Daiwa Next Bank and Sony Bank.

In the asset management segment the SBI Group has several joint venture tie-ups including with the Dutch bilateral private sector development bank FMO (SBI-FMO Asia Emerging Financial Services Fund), US Securities Firm Jefferies Group(SBI-Jefferies Asia Fund), Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Finance (SBI-Islamic Fund), Shanghai Municipal Government owned company Shanghai Yidian Holdings (Shanghai Yidian Fund), among others.

The Board of First Guardian Equities comprises B.R.L. Fernando, Rohan Goonewardene, S.K. Wickremesinghe, Suren Goonewardene and Kanchana Ratwatte.