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Tue, 22 Aug 2017   22:18:37
Marketing Strategy:
23 Mar 2017 21:00:46
By Dr. Nalaka Godahewa
Dr. Nalaka Godahewa on his Capital Market Development Strategy

Mar 23, 2017 (SLBO) - I am glad to see that SEC Chairman Mr Thilak Karunaratne has finally started to follow my foot steps. He is currently doing a roadshow in Australia promoting the Colombo Stock Market like what I did in Dubai, UK, Singapore and USA during 2013-2014 period. But I am afraid it may be a little too late for the SEC . They should have continued from where we stopped with ASPI at 7300 points, Daily Turnover at Rs 2 Billion and last 12 months Returns 23.6%. Not when ASPI at 5990 points, Daily Turnover at Rs 0.6 Billion and last 12 months Returns are negative at -9%.

Oh by the way I saw that SEC has also launched Market Development Strategy 2020 this week. Reminds me that I unveiled the 'Capital Market Vision 2020' on 2nd January 2015. Where was that plan during the last 2 years?

Didn't we read about 2 years ago the new SEC bosses saying market development is not the responsibility of SEC and they will concentrate on regulation. I was surprised then because according to SEC Act 1987 both creation of market and regulation of market are key terms stated under objectives clauses. Then I saw in 2016, the tune at top changing and a press interview where Mr Karunaratane saying that Market Development is priority of SEC . The Daily Mirror journalist who did that interview had written " Our first interview with Mr TK was in 2011 and then he was breathing fire! But this time we found the man mellower......"

Funny, but that shows how people can learn even at old age.

Coming back to the so called new capital market strategy 2020 which you can now download from SEC website I am confused because it lacks even the very basic requirements of a strategy document.

There is no market vision articulated in that document. There are no targets for 2020
There are no milestones or timelines to achieve anything. There is no plan-explained and obviously it is not needed because there is no target /goal to achieve.

It is sad how leadership at these government institutes disregard all the hard work done by previous administrations and try to Reinvent the Wheel.

From 2012 July - 2014 December we achieved a clear growth in the market with ASPI moving from 5180 points to 7300 points and Market Capitalization from Rs 2.1 trillion to Rs 3.1 Trillion. By 2014 Market Capitalization had reached 35% of national GDP. Then we presented a well thought though plan to grow the market to USD 100 Billion ( or Rs 13 Trillion ) by 2020. How to do that was clearly explained and time lines were indicated. We had several new markets/products lined up to achieve a rapid expansion of capital market over the 5 years.

Then this plan was thrown into dustbin in January 2015 by the new bosses who thought they knew better. After 2 years of disaster, suddenly they woken up to the reality that SEC has a role to play in developing the market too.

But releasing a hurriedly put together document which has little substance is not going to achieve the desired results. I am sure local and foreign industry experts would agree with me.

So my advice is that SEC Chairman must be a little bit more hands on and not rely too much on incompetent advisers. Particularly given that this is his second attempt he should know better.

Here is the link to the presentation ‘SEC aiming at USD 100 Billion Market Capitalization by 2020’ SEC chairman Dr Nalaka Godahewa’s address at the "Capital Market Vision 2020" Forum on January 5th 2015 - at Cinnamon Lakeside.

Courtesy -