June 07, 2011 (LBO) – Orient Garments Limited, a unit of Sri Lanka’s Finco group of companies will be listed on Colombo Stock Exchange’s second board, making it the first apparel maker to go public. At one time, two privatized textile firms were listed but they were unable to compete after import duty protection was withdrawn. Most Sri Lankans, especially people with lower income, now dress better as a result. The firm will enter the market through a process of ‘introduction’ where a formal initial offer for subscription is not made to the public but existing shareholders can sell down after the shares are listed. The CSE said the trading date will announced later.
The company’s website said it had annual revenues of 2.8 billion rupees and had capacity to make 300,000 pieces of garments a month, at five plants.
Garments are Sri Lanka’s largest industrial export. In 2010 Sri Lanka exported 3.5 billion dollars worth of apparel and textiles mainly to the European Union and the United States.
Apparel firms have not sought listings or capital from the public market up to now. Stock valuations have risen sharply following the end of a 30-year war resulting in a flood of new listings.