Sri Lanka’s new regime calls everyone to engage in share market activities and participate in wealth creation: Harsha De Silva

Mar 30, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s new government wants every household to benefit from the country’s share market, deputy minister of policy and finance planning, Harsha De Silva said.

“We want an asset holding middle class; we do not want the share market to be the property of 200 people.” ” De Silva said.

Sri Lanka’s market capitalization reached 2913.66 billion rupees as at 27th March and is now below the 7000 mark due to the uncertainty of political situation in the Island. Analysts says foreigners are reluctant to invests and waiting till the elections are concluded.

The new government is promoting shareholder democracy which has been used to promote free enterprise and portray it as democratic, accountable and equitable. Also shareholder democracy will enable widespread access and public participation in the stock market.

“Shareholding democracy is what we want to create in a social market economy, pillars of competition and justice,” De Silva said.

“We need to have millions of household participation as the wealth creators in corporate Sri Lanka,”

“That’s where we want to go,”

“We want people in the village and in the community to own shares in companies and gain from wealth creation of this country.”

Analysts say that Sri Lanka which house about 20 million people, have income inequality across the country especially in rural areas.

According to the United Nations millennium development goals report on Sri Lanka, poverty levels are highest in the estate sector at 10.9 percent and rural sector is at 7.6 percent. The urban reports 2.1 percent of poverty level.

38 percent of the national income is shared by the richest 10 percent of the population while 1.5 percent of the national income is shared by the poorest 10 percent of the population. , the report said.

Statistics shows that in 2014 the S&P SL20 crossed the 4000 mark for the first time since its launch.

Market capitalization reached 3 trillion rupees closing the year on 3, 104.9 million and the All Share Price Index (ASPI) crossed the 7500 mark and closed the year on 7, 298.95 million rupees.

The daily average turnover increased by 71 percent over the previous year from 828 million rupees in 2013 to 1.415 billion rupees in 2014.

During the course of 2014 there have been five Equity IPOs, one Equity Introduction and 20 Debt IPOs.

The five equity IPOs raised a total of 2,693.8 million rupees.

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