Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sri Lanka stock brokers enter former war zone

Six Sri Lankan stock brokers have opened offices in the former war zone of northern Jaffna with the setting up of a branch of the Colombo Stock Exchange there, a statement said.

The stock brokers will offer clients access to online trading, real-time market information, research reports and investment advice, the CSE statement said.

The six stock brokers are Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers, Asha Phillip Securities, Lanka Securities, Capital TRUST Securities, SKM Lanka Holdings and SMB Securities.

The Colombo Stock Exchange Jaffna branch, its fifth branch, was opened Tuesday by CSE chairman Nihal Fonseka in the presence of the head of the regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission, Udayasiri Kariyawasam, senior SEC officials and chief executives of stock broking firms.

Fonseka said the government "is keen that the people of the northern province get the chance to share in the peace dividend which is already benefiting the country, with much more benefits expected to accrue in future," the statement said

The island's 30-year ethnic war ended last May, resulting in an economic revival and expectations of a boom as the resources of the war-ravaged north and east come into play.

The CSE branch will also do educational programmes to raise awareness about stock trading in the northern region where business is reviving and money from the minority Tamil diaspora, which fled the fighting, coming in.

The CSE statement said the market rose 125 percent during 2009 and that in 2010, so far the price indices have risen over 20 percent making the CSE the third best performing stock market in Asia this year.

© Lanka Business Online

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