Business Times

Templeton ‘hold’ won’t affect foreign fund flows
By Duruthu Edirimunii Chandrasekera

A recent statement by global fund manager, Mark Mobius, Chairman Templeton Asset Management Ltd, saying that his fund is “‘not rushing in’ to the Sri Lankan stock market even though the re-election of the incumbent President adds some degree of stability”, will not have an impact on other such funds eyeing the local market, local analysts say.

Yadhavan Jeyaram, Manager Sales Bartleet Stockbrokers said that there are many who are interested in the local market. “This has no impact at all and furthermore they (Templeton) were looking at private equity rather than the Colombo Stock Exchange,” he said. Templeton manages US$34 billion in emerging markets funds.

Arjuna Dassanayake, Vice President, Acuitystockbrokers said that Templeton is not the only fund that is looking at the Sri Lankan market. “Also Mark Mobius would certainly not comment and say he’s buying (as it will) keep the speculators out. If the right parcels are offered to him at the right price I think he will make the decisions,” he added. Sarath Rajapakse, Director Capital Trust noted that the victory of President Rajapaksa removes the uncertainty which was one factor that was delaying sustained and aggressive foreign investment at the local bourse and in the country in general (FDI's).

He said that at the time of the election the Government was pursuing very positive economic policies such as opening up the (at least partially) Capital account, progressively reducing effective interest rates, pressurizing banks to lend at reduced rates and at least putting a cap on escalating Government expenditure.

“Our sincere hope is that the IMF will continue to 'guide' the government in the right direction leading towards the establishment of a vibrant 'Free Market Economy' in this country. If that happens we need not bend backwards to woo any ‘Mobius'; foreign investments will start flowing in an unstoppable flood,” he added.

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