The All Share Price Index has risen by 1.4% to close the eight day long trading period at 2,651.6 points whilst Milanka Price Index gained to 3,283.3 points (up by 0.2%). Blue chip gains were led by; Union Assurance (+31.4%), Associated Motorways (+21.7%), Chemical Industries (+10.3%), Royal Ceramics (+5.1%) and Distilleries (+2.1%) followed by second liners; Kelani Tyres (+ 37.3%), Lanka Ceramics (+19.1%), Ceylon Glass (+19.0%), Balangoda Plantations (+14.4%) and East West Properties (+13.6%) helping both indices to improve.

Average daily turnover has increased sharply by 89.1% to LKR1,060.1 mn with the substantial level of turnover witnessed on the back drop of strategic transactions that took place in Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog Telekom and Hotel Services. Further buying interest from foreign investors materialized in Tokyo Cement [NV], NDB Bank, DFCC Bank, John Keells Holdings, Ceylinco Insurance and Lanka Walltiles. In addition, along with renewed foreign buying interest in the plantations sector, local institutional buying took place in Associated Motorways and Distilleries. Retail buying interest was seen in East West Properties, Overseas Realty and Coco Lanka whilst high net worth individuals bought in to Bukit Darah.

Large blocks of Sri Lanka Telecom changed hands amongst foreign investors as Global Telecommunications Holdings (GTH) raised its stake even further in Sri Lanka Telecom at a discount to the mandatory offer price at LKR50.50. Moreover, turnover levels were further strengthened by the Strategic transaction that took place in Hotel Services in which a stake of 16.4% changed hands at a price of LKR138.00 from a high net worth individual (who previously held 90% plus of Hotel Services) to a foreign based fund backed by a high net worth individual. Additionally, renewed buying interest materialized in the plantation, tile and manufacturing sector in anticipation of strong corporate earnings.

Foreigners remained net buyers primarily in Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog Telekom, Hotel Services, Tokyo Cement [NV], NDB Bank and DFCC Bank whilst contributing closer to 75% to the total turnover.


New qualification framework for investment advisors

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka is pleased to announce that the Investment Advisor Certification programme formerly conducted by the Colombo Stock Exchange has been restructured in accordance with a new qualification framework established by the Financial Services Academy. This will replace the existing Investment Advisor Certification programme conducted by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).

This qualification framework which takes into account the incessant changes the Sri Lankan Capital Market has been facing in the recent years, aims to ensure that professionals practicing in the industry possess the competencies essential to secure the confidence of investors in the capital market. The framework will also assist to develop a pool of candidates who are trained in fundamentals of securities and finance markets through the introduction of a minimum level of proficiency whilst assisting practitioners to progress to more advanced qualifications through the development of continuous professional development programmes.

The framework sets out three levels of qualification, Certificate in Capital Market (CCM), Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and Diploma in Capital Market (DCM). The CCM encompasses three course modules in Equity, Debt and Mutual Funds. Upon the successful completion of CCM, candidates will be eligible to proceed to the next level of certification i.e. RIA, which is a compulsory pre requisite to discharge duties as a financial advisor. This includes modules in financial planning and advising. The final level, which is the DCM, is structured with the view of providing a career progression path for practitioners. In order to obtain the DCM certification, 05 study modules should be completed in addition to holding industry experience as specified by the FSA.

Application forms for the enrollment of the CCM are available at the SEC Reception and could be downloaded either from the FSA website (www.fsalanka.edu.lk) or the SEC website (www.sec.gov.lk). Duly completed application forms should be submitted to the SEC on or before April 30, 2008. The course will commence on May 12, 2008. For further details call 2423261 or email: thushara@sec.gov.lk.


Com Bank ESOP was not 5 percent

With reference to our story ‘Com Bank approves ESOP in stormy EGM’ which appeared in our last week’s issue the Commercial Bank has sent the following correction.

“We refer to your news item appearing in ‘The Nation’ newspaper of Sunday 20th under the above caption and wish to point out certain factual inaccuracies contained in it.

The write up goes on to say that “An Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) granting a 5% stake in four separate tranches of 1.25% each in the Commercial Bank, benefiting some 120 members of the top management was approved on Wednesday…”
This position is not entirely correct since the actual value of the ESOP was 3% of the voting capital and was to be allocated over a period of 3 to 5 years, in a maximum of five annual tranches.

Therefore, you will appreciate that the inaccuracies contained in your write up are material ones concerning the most important terms on which the ESOP was approved. .It may be that your information was extracted from the first paragraph of the Circular to the shareholders on the ESOP, which contains features of the previous ESOP offered by the Bank.

In order that the correct information can be conveyed to the many readers of your newspaper, it will be much appreciated if a suitable correction can be carried at your earliest, preferably on Sunday, April 27, 2008”.