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CFA Society Sri Lanka Capital Market Awards 2023 celebrates excellence in capital markets industry

CFA Sri Lanka

The 10th annual CFA Society Sri Lanka Capital Market Awards, organised by the CFA Society Sri Lanka, was held on Wednesday, 21 June 2023, at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo, with the objective of recognising and rewarding excellence in the local capital markets.

This year’s event focused on the theme ‘Invest Smart, Build Resilience, Thrive in Sri Lanka.’ The event was attended by the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, the Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange, and other invitees representing regulators, local universities, capital market participants, senior management of listed companies, and CFA Members in Sri Lanka.

Delivering the opening remarks at the awards ceremony, President of CFA Society Sri Lanka Aruna Perera, CFA noted: “Tonight, we celebrate excellence, innovation, and outstanding contributions to our thriving financial industry. This event recognises the tireless efforts and remarkable achievements within our capital markets community. It is a testament to the dedication, hard work, and visionary mindset that propel our industry forward.”

“As we celebrate this evening, let us remember the collective power we hold to shape the future of our industry. Together, through collaboration, innovation and empowerment, we can drive positive change, embrace opportunities and overcome challenges,” he added.

As a part of the 10 th installment of the awards, CFA Society Sri Lanka also unveiled a Capital Market Awards logo at the ceremony. Awards were presented under the categories of Best Equity Research Team, Best
Equity Research Report, Best Sector Report, Best Investor Relations Team and Best Unit Trust Team, with awards for Gold, Silver and Bronze in each category respectively.

Capital Alliance Securities (Pvt) Ltd was awarded Gold for the Best Equity Research Team. Meanwhile, John Keells Holdings PLC was conferred Gold for Best Investor Relations, and Senfin Money Market Fund came out on top as the Best Unit Trust Team.

This year, the event saw the introduction of a new award presented for Best Investor Relations pertaining to listed companies in the less than Rs. 10 billion market capitalisation category, to recognise the efforts made by such companies in emulatint the best practices of their larger peers. The inaugural award was conferred on Hela Apparel Holdings PLC.

The Gold and for the Best Sector Report and Best Equity Research Report were not awarded this year.

In the Best Equity Research Team category, Asia Securities (Pvt) Ltd was awarded the Silver, while CT CLSA Securities Private Ltd received the Bronze award.

In the Best Equity Research Report category, Oshadha de Vas Gunasekara and Stephenson Fernando of CT CLSA Securities Private Ltd and Sajani Dewapura of Capital Alliance Securities (Pvt) Ltd, won the Silver whereas the Bronze award went to Raynal Wickremeratne and Mahesh Udugampala of Softlogic Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd. In the Investor Relations Team category, Silver was won by Sunshine Holdings PLC, with Hemas Holdings PLC awarded the Bronze.

JB Vantage Short-Term Gilt Fund won the Silver award in the Best Unit Trust Team category, while the Bronze was not awarded this year. Tharusha Ashokgar and Ranjan Ranatunga of First Capital Equities (Private) Limited and Hilal Zainudeen and Semini Mendis of Asia Securities (Pvt) Ltd were
presented with Bronze awards in the Best Sector Report category while the Silver was not awarded this year.

The judges commended participants’ efforts in carrying out primary research to enhance the depth and quality of analysis, as well as the addition of an environmental, social and governance (ESG) section in a majority of the reports.

However, they highlighted the need to address factors that drive the prevailing volatility and produce actionable reports that answer the ‘Why to invest now?’ question, along with providing convincing arguments on how growth stories or valuation re-ratings can translate into earnings growth and share price increases for specific companies in the analysed industries.

When it comes to investor relations, the judges pointed to companies increasingly using virtual or hybrid analyst briefings and investor meetings to provide regular updates to both institutional and retail investors, alongside the encouraging trend of increased investor relations activity by certain small-cap companies.

They highlighted areas for improvement such as companies engaging in good investor relation practices irrespective of economic cycles and company performance, given the marked tendency to halt investor engagement during a downturn.

This year’s awards ceremony also featured a panel discussion involving prominent industry figures, with discussion points centering on temporary and long-lasting economic risks, investment portfolio management in the current context and risk mitigation, new avenues of investment including start-ups, and success stories from other markets and countries.

This was followed by a brief Q&A session between the panel and the audience.

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