The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), in association with the Securities and Exchange Commission, continued their drive to raise awareness, about accessing funding through public markets among potential issuers, by organising an exclusive forum for the membership of the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS) recently.
Tech companies present at the Forum were offered perspective on capital raising opportunities available through going public. The event also featured a special discussion on the Empower Board launched by the CSE. Speaking at the event, the Chairman of FITIS Abbas Kamrudeen outlined the importance of the IT industry, and all stakeholders, taking the initiative to drive digital transformation in Sri Lanka; while noting that equity-based funding will offer IT companies opportunities to pursue growth and realise value.
The CEO of CSE Rajeeva Bandaranaike highlighted the multiple entry channels available for companies to list on the stock exchange, noting that with the launch of the Empower Board, CSE now has the capacity to cater to both large and SME type equity placements. He went on to note that a listing on the CSE is a hallmark of prestige and a strong appetite for new equity listings among both local and international investors indicate strong fund-raising potential for companies.
The Forum also offered insights on why a new wave of tech companies globally are accessing funding through public markets, and key learnings from recent large international tech IPOs, through a presentation by the Head of Investment Banking at CAL, Vishnu Balachandran. The presentation also featured key insights into why Sri Lankan companies should consider going public, timing an IPO and the benefits of listing on a stock exchange as opposed to accessing more traditional sources of funding. The Director of External Relations at SEC, Tushara Jayaratne joined the speakers in a panel discussion focused on the common misconceptions with relation to listing on the stock exchange, the process involved and practical implications for tech companies when accessing public funding considering the unique nature of the industry. The event also presented a platform for companies to engage and further discuss the prospect of a stock exchange listing with Empower Board Sponsors who were present. Empower Sponsors play a pivotal role guiding companies interested in listing on the Empower Board.
Capital Raising Forums conducted in collaboration with industry associations are a key part of the CSE-SEC initiative to create awareness among potential issuers, in addition to a series of regional forums conducted for SMEs based around the country. The next event in this series is set to take place in Jaffna on 24 August. Details on the eligibility of listing and the process involved could also be obtained through www.cse.lk