SEC’s Training Division holds awards ceremony | Sunday Observer

SEC’s Training Division holds awards ceremony

The special guests at the certificate awarding ceremony.
The special guests at the certificate awarding ceremony.

The fifth awards ceremony of the Capital Market Education and Training (CMET) Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) was held at the BMICH recently. Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy was the chief guest.

The SEC set up CMET in 2008 as the training arm to provide professional education and training to enhance the knowledge and skill levels of market professionals, investors, issuers and market institutions.

The CMET’s key focus has been the introduction and implementation of the qualification framework (QF) for capital market professionals to enhance the level of financial literacy and professionalism among practitioners, stakeholders and the public.

Director General of the SEC, Vajira Wijegunawardane stressed on the importance of the QF for capital market professionals.

He said that honesty, independence and objectivity are the value system that a professional should possess beyond their qualification. He further stated that these are the characteristics that a true alumni member of CMET should uphold to fulfill the expectations of the SEC and the industry in general.

Wijesinha said that the capital market has an unrealised potential and has a national role to play whereas in relation to the regulation of the industry he emphasised that the SEC has enhanced the scope and effectiveness of regulation and would ensure strict enforcement action against violators of SEC regulations.

Commenting on Unit Trusts, he said that the industry should keep in mind that they cater to the unsophisticated market and that their presence should be felt around the country whereas in relation to margin providers he stressed that the margin providers should conduct their function with a greater degree of responsibility.

Dr. Coomaraswamy emphasized the need to increase government revenue to at least 16.5% of the GDP. He stressed that the challenge is to increase Sri Lanka’s revenue and at the same time boost exports.

Comparing the non-concessional commercial debt which was 3.9% of the total debt in the year 2005, he emphasised on its significant increase to 54.8% of the total debt at present. The main reason behind such increase is to finance the budget deficit with commercial loans since the government revenue has continuously declined.

Commenting on the current account deficit which is around 3.3% of the GDP at present, he stated that it has to be brought down to a manageable level of 2% of the GDP. Dr. Coomaraswamy said that we are a country with twin deficits, i.e a budget deficit and a current account deficit where the financing of such deficits have become challenging.

Commenting on the importance of the capital market, he stated that the present state of over dependency on banks to provide capital, mainly to the private sector, has to be changed by having a liquid and robust capital market.

Comparing the market capitalisation to the GDP in regional countries, he emphasized the need of increasing it to a sizable level.

The programs conducted under the QF include the Certificate in Capital Markets and Registered Investment Advisor programs which are conducted for Investment Advisors of stock broking companies, a Diploma offered jointly with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, UK targeting mature industry practitioners, and a Certificate in Unit Trusts for employees attached to the Unit Trust industry. Over a 100 students received awards at the ceremony.