Retail Foray

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 04, 2010 (LBO) – Two investment companies in Sri Lanka’s Carson group have bought into unlisted Softlogic Holdings as part of a foray into the retail sector seen as having good growth prospects with the end of a war. Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust said it bought a 4.3 percent stake in Softlogic Holdings for 200 million rupees in the financial year ending March 31, 2010.

The company described Softlogic as “an aggressive retail company” having many international agencies such as Nokia, Dell, Panasonic and Samsung and a strategic stake in the Asiri Hospitals group.

“We have invested in the company for its next phase of growth with expansion plans underway to roll out customer centers to market all its brands under the concept of a one-stop shop and to ride the prospective retail boom in the country given the rise in per capita incomes.”

Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust said in its annual report to shareholders its entry to the retail sector was made as it believes the rise in per capita income “would filter down to greater consumption expenditure by the mass market consumers.”

The island’s 30-year ethnic war ended last May, resulting in an economic revival and forecasts of faster growth in future.