Looking South

As part of its efforts to deepen the debt market, Ceylinco Shriram Securities Ltd opened its sixth regional office in Matara today. rn

rnThe firm is targeting entrepreneurs as well as handicraftsmen based at the Hambantota export village to promote gilt-edge securities.

rnrnldblquote It
quote s a huge market, specially deep south,
dblquote notes Hiran de Silva, Executive Director Ceylinco Shriram Securities in an interview with Lanka Business Online.

rnrnSoutherners, like their other counterparts islandwide, have traditionally stashed their monies in savings and fixed deposits. A lack of awareness and poor retail marketing effort has kept investors away from gilt-edge securities.

rnrnldblquote It
quote s a hard grind, to convince people that treasury instruments at 12 percent is better than putting their money in a savings account,
dblquote says de Silva.

rnrnMost investors prefer to put smaller amounts ranging from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 10,000. But, stripping a current treasury instrument is a cumbersome process.

rnrnTo circumvent the issue, the firm is looking at introducing a treasury instrument backed investment product to the rural market.

rnrnThe instrument can be split into to smaller denominations like Rs. 1,000 and sold to investors. The upcoming DEX exchange endash the Colombo Stock Exchange
quote s debt exchange endash will also help promote the product, says de Silva.

rnrnTo dispel public fears, the product will be monitored by Central Bank
quote supervision arm.

rnrnThe move to Matara also coincides with Ceylinco Leasing Corp. and Ceylinco Capital Investment Ltd relocating their regional Galle office into the same building.

rnrnldblquote We always attack the market together, to offer a range of financial service products to clients. It also helps spread operating costs,
dblquote de Silva said.

rnrnCeylinco Leasing Corp. for instance, has a ready market through a rural electrification scheme in Ambalantota.

rnrnThe project is run by Sellco, which sells solar panels to rural hamlets at Rs. 35,000 per unit. Ceylinco Leasing steps in to finance the purchase, while Sellco acts as a guarantor and also collects the monthly payments.

rnrnCeylinco Leasing is presently offering similar services to another village in Rambawewa off Anuradhapura.

rnrnThe financial services arm
quote s other regional offices include Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Gampaha and Kandy.

rnrnJaffna is the next stop for de Silva. The group is waiting till the army vacates The Finance building to open up their northern office.rnrn