CSE and SEC invite family businesses to list | Sunday Observer

CSE and SEC invite family businesses to list

28 March, 2021
The panel discussion in progress.
The panel discussion in progress.

The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) engaged the family business community in Sri Lanka through the inaugural Issuer Forum for 2021 on the theme ‘Founder to Family - Leveraging Going Public’, at the Shangri-La Hotel Colombo recently.

The event was organised to highlight how a family business can take advantage of going public while ensuring the family retains control and continues to guide the vision of the business and to address the misconceptions regarding listing which deter businesses from exploring an Initial Public Offering. 

Globally, companies access public markets for varying reasons including, diversification of funding options to lower bank credit exposure, funding for growth, attracting strategic investors who believe in the company growth story, strengthening management and corporate governance structures and to ensure survivability post-founding generation.

The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Viraj Dayaratne said, “One of our objectives is to increase liquidity of the market. There are many misconceptions in the market. One is that the listing process is cumbersome, that it takes time and also that it can be very expensive. But it is not cumbersome or expensive as many would perceive. It is one of the best options to raise capital. And that is why we want businesses to come to the capital market and make use of the opportunities. Government has created a healthy environment. The last budget proposal has given many tax incentives which are open until the end of the year. So it is the best time to come and list your company.”

Over 70 representatives of prominent family businesses in Sri Lanka were present. The content discussed included sessions on how best to structure an IPO, the preparatory process for a Family business before an IPO and Wealth Management for Family Businesses, as well as Regulatory benefits and tax advantages post IPO, which will help in balancing the Family’s needs as well as those of future stakeholders. 

The program also featured an interactive panel segment where  SEC Commission Member Manil Jayasinghe, Director General SEC Chinthaka Mendis, CSE Chief Regulatory Officer Renuke Wijayawardhane and the Head of Origination and Issuer Relations at the CSE, Purasisi Jinadasa took part.