Colombo Stock Exchange goes digital | Sunday Observer

Colombo Stock Exchange goes digital

20 September, 2020

The digitalisation of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will place our stock market in line with emerging markets and create a new breed of investors far and wide to unveil the untapped potential of the market, said Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) SEC Director General Chinthaka Mendis at a ceremony to mark CSE’s digitalisation last week.

He said the process was complicated and there were many constraints and obstacles along the way, however, I’m happy to declare that all the regulatory and operational requirements are now in place to facilitate the new era. “What is now needed is what the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella advocates, promoting the use of digital technology, in his memoir ‘Hit Refresh’, Nadella claims that the intensity of the use of digital technology is what segregates the developed world from that of the developing world today,” Mendis said, adding that steps should be taken to increase and intensify the use of digital technology, for that matter we need to educate our people better, and we also need to teach them to invest in the stock market.

The habit of making investments should be inculcated in the minds of our children from their formative age.

“The SEC can no longer be restricted to its traditional role of market regulation and take the conventional approach to boost the confidence of investors. SEC has been particularly busy over the past few months, starting with the feasibility study of the entire stock market, we have been focusing on technical and regulatory reforms vis-à-vis to make our market business-friendly, particularly to make our market attractive for local and foreign investors,” Mendis said.

He said the country can no longer sustain economic development at the cost of foreign debt. We don’t need to look elsewhere, this is the place to raise capital to fund the ambitious development projects of the government.

“South Korean President Park picked winners from the stock market, the likes of Samsung, Hyundai and LG that had the potential and innovation to go beyond and rest is history. Similarly winners from our listed companies could be picked by looking at their potential, drive and commitment. We need to incentivize and nurture such winners, free such winning companies to go out and compete with global giants to make headway in economic development, which would change the whole complexion of our stock market that will convert us to a dynamic entrepreneurial state,” Mendis said.