Colombo, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka’s successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is a positive sign that the country is stable and ripe for international investors, a top government official said.
In an interview with Xinhua on Thursday, State Minister of Money, and Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms Ajith Nivard Cabraal said, “Sri Lanka’s handling of COVID-19 is one of the best in the world and shows investors that we can manage a crisis and come out of it strongly.”
Cabraal, who previously served as central bank governor from 2006 to 2015, said the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has seen a confident recovery since the easing of lockdown measures, with turnover remaining over 5.4 million U.S. dollars for over two weeks.
He acknowledged that the Sri Lankan capital market requires improvements such as offering more stocks, better services and improved governance systems.
“We want to see the market cap rising so that more and more companies will come and list, making space for more financial instruments and greater efficiency,” Cabraal said.
Speaking on plans to digitize the Colombo Stock Exchange, Cabraal said inefficiencies such as duplicate practices in account opening would be ironed out while protecting the overall integrity of the market.
Alongside a growing capital market, Sri Lanka hopes to attract more venture capital and private equity, especially to boost small and medium-sized enterprises in rural and traditional industries.
“We have a niche in the world for an attractive bond market, and we want to establish a new niche in the venture capital and private equity markets,” said Cabraal.
The CSE was established in 1985 and has 289 listed companies. Enditem