eNews Letter- Invest Sri Lanka – Attract investment from public residing outside Sri Lanka.
Posted on October 26th, 2009

Jayantha Weerasekera Sri Lankan Community Brisbane.

The research team of the Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka has created a valuable document – Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”A new Story 2 – giving confidence to the investors as to why Sri Lanka should be taken seriously for investment.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Unfortunately very few people has access to these information and thereby the Sri Lankan government lose opportunities in attracting many expatriates who are keen in investing their foreign earnings in Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The migrant communities experience that the banks in developed countries pay less returns on investments than the returns paid by the banks in Sri Lanka. However the investors are looking for stability and security over their investments and absolute confidence in the investing atmosphere is paramount important if the country is serious in attracting excess foreign income from the expatriate community. The time has come for the authorities to do the home work necessary for regaining investor confidence which has been lost over the years due to situation of the country and adverse media publicity. This can only be done by creating awareness among the expatriates of the opportunities currently available in the country..

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Create a Web Page ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” eNews on Investments

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The need for an eNews on investments therefore has been more pressing now than ever before to tap these resources. The web page which conveys this eNews could be a joint release from Ministry of Finance, Central bank and Commercial banks in Sri Lanka. This web page needs to be regularly updated with the financial and economic data with the listing of financial instruments available for investment for the public residing in and out the country. The page would be something like the defence news which is being listed and updated daily.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Ownership and authority of the Web page

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ For no other reason other than the reliability of the financial data provided, this webpage need to be launched and maintained by the Ministry of Finance in Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Finance could formulate an editorial board with members from Central bank, the Treasury Commercial banks and Securities and Exchange Commission. The Commission will be responsible for research, collate analyse and disseminate of data and information on a wide range of investment options and update the eNews and web page constantly. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Need to re-think on Investing instruments

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Apart from the people with banking or financial back grounds others hardly understand the opportunities available for investing public. Their main concern is the security of the deposits and whether these deposits be withdrawn without a hassle in the currency of investments. The only investment opportunity an average expatriate is familiar with may be the fixed deposits or the Non Resident Foreign Currency accounts (NRFC) available. People know only little about the Treasury bonds and the Treasury bills. They do not now how much the Return on Capital Employed (ROCA) and Capital gain they can have from these investments on maturity or resell. They neither have the knowledge about how these investments are used as collateral in their financing needs. Can the government review their traditional strategies and re-think new modes of strategies to attract the investments from the expatriates. The reliable clarifications and information about residency status and the tax effect in the potential investments should be known to the investors.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Stock Exchange

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There are Sri Lankans who owns investments through Colombo stock exchange. However the majority of migrants living overseas have no idea about making a bid in the stock exchange in Sri Lanka. Hence a reliable information base is a timely need to attract these players to the stock market. The eNews can help attract these potential players who are willing to take part in stock market.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Whom to contact and how the investment could be made

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ This is vital information which should be made available to the investors living outside Sri Lanka. This eNews and the Web page could list their contacts and the names of their stock brokers and financial planners to provide the information and to create a relationship with the investors residing outside Sri Lanka. The involvement of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka will give the confidence to the investing public as the Sri Lankan investors have been hit with unrecoverable losses of losing their investments in total capital with the interest by trusting the unreliable published news in the past. In certain cases it had lead to committing suicide their lives. Therefore if the government is very concern of attracting the investors a guaranteed special purpose vehicle under the Ministry of Finance and Central bank needs to be established.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Quashing the bad image over the adverse publicity on commercial banks ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ These are haunting memories of losing millions of investments of middle class pensioners and middle income investing public in recent past. The innocent people who had been attracted for higher rates of interest, have lost everything they had by investing with these opportunistic banks. These are wide spread adverse memories in the minds of migrant communities which fear and prevent them investing in Sri Lanka. What has the government or the Central Bank of Sri Lanka done to avoid re-occurrence of similar incidences and give the investor confidence back rather than waiting to do a post-mortem at the last? ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ These bankers should be now under close monitoring or vigilant observations of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Political Stability

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After long years with the end of the bloodiest terror conflict we have regained the political stability that the country navigates to the future. The politicians should stop campaigns to destabilise and harm the stable political climate so far created. That does not mean that elected government should be there for ever. But the confidence of a stable political climate goes very far in winning the investor confidence in looking for opportunities in Sri Lanka. This must be well understood by the government as well as all the opposition parties.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Conclusion

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Forever we had been depending on the soft loans given by the World Bank or IMF or credit lines from various donors. The recent finance news of Treasury bonds which has been over subscribed by thirteen times is a good example of what can be achieved if the investor confidence is established. In these circumstances creation of online eNews letter on investments by the Ministry Of Finance in Sri Lanka is definitely a solution to build and attract investing expatriates. These investments will certainly help bridge the resources required to rebuild the economy which was driven backwards by many years.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ His ExcellencyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s meeting with the Expatriate Community is a welcome call and should therefore have some focus on the proposal of attracting investments from our own people living offshore.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Jayantha Weerasekera
Sri Lankan Community
Brisbane.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  26th October 2009

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