Substantial investment opportunities in equity
New fund management to assist local entities
The country has substantial investment opportunities in the equity
market and more players would come in to the field with the peaceful
environment created which is conducive to promote business. There is a
positive outlook for the country’s financial industry to grow, Leopard
Sri Lanka Operations Chairman Ranjit Fernando told Daily News Business.
The first ever fund management company to assist local entities to
achieve long term goals by providing funds will be set up in Sri Lanka
early next year with US $ 100 million fund capital under the name
Leopard Sri Lanka Fund LP for private equity and Leopard Sri Lanka Value
Fund for public equity.
Sri Lanka’s unit trust industry is yet to achieve its full growth.
Private equity and fund management has the potential to grow in the next
five years. There are opportunities to provide funding requirements for
private companies, which are not listed in the stock market.
Awareness among the country’s investor public regarding profitable
investment options is limited and in most instances it is the people who
take deposits, he said.Most foreign institutional sources are keen on
investing in private companies, but do not have direct links and it
could be facilitated by fund managing companies. Therefore, fund
managing companies have an important role to play, Fernando said.
“Our company would look at sectors such as tourism, IT and
outsourcing, infrastructure including power, roads, warehousing, ports,
port related industries, high value agriculture, value addition in
agriculture and gem and jewellery. The company would make a concerted
effort to support projects in the North and the East”, he said.
A fund management is created by attracting foreign institutional
sources which have money to invest. The local company channels the money
in selected investment options which run for five to ten years. With
foreign investors gaining confidence in the country, Sri Lanka has a
variety of opportunities to offer - such as a vibrant private sector,
skilled entrepreneurship, laws to protect local and foreign investors
and an easier place to conduct business, he said.
Leopard Sri Lanka will focus on building a diversified portfolio of
leading businesses in key sectors such as tourism, retailing, food
processing, infrastructure, financial services and property development.