Business Times

Credit Suisse checks out Sri Lanka’s investment options

By Chanaka de Silva

Investment opportunities present in post war Sri Lanka has drawn financial giant Credit Suisse to Sri Lanka on a reconnaisance mission. Credit Suisse, listed as the ‘Best Global Bank’ by Euro Money, and specialising in investment banking, to send a top team of 10 investors to Sri Lanka recently.

Speaking to BT, Head of Mission - Chief Operating Officer Asia Pacific Dumith Fernando said, “Credit Suisse has its largest business in Asia outside of Switzerland. We specialize in investment banking and our strength is in emerging markets. We offer innovative investment ideas for our investors. We have been looking at Sri Lanka for a long time well before the end of the conflict. We are now convinced that the time is now ripe to take a more keen interest here now.”

He said the financial bank put together a team of investors who have a total of US$ 1.8 trillion of assets under management. “We are mainly looking at investing here through the listed companies. We have with this view been in discussion with top corporates here for some time.

The investment team consisting of 10 investors that is here now are from Hong Kong and Mumbai. They are the Asia market specialists and more specifically Sub Continent specialists. It will however be a few years before large amounts of funds will come in. Similar studies were done in Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand 10 years ago. Today they receive significant foreign investment,” he added.

Commenting on more specific areas, Mr Fernando said, “ There is a huge need in the leisure sector. This will open growth in other areas as well. Looking at the hotels in the city of resorts there is much room for investment.

The consumer driven markets will also grow, such as the telecom sector. Along with this any other consumer driven companies will also improve. The companies that deal with infrastructure growth will also see a large growth. This will also be an area of interest for the future. With our investors we are looking at more high volume and liquidity which is more challenging for financial investors.”

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