In partnership with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has continued to increase awareness among prospective issuers of access to financing through public markets by organizing an exclusive forum recently for membership of the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS).
Tech firms current at the Forum were given the opportunity to raise funds by going public, where the event also featured a unique debate on the CSE’s launch of the Empower Board. Speaking at the case, Mr. Abbas Kamrudeen, Chairman of FITIS, described the significance of the IT sector and all stakeholders taking the initiative to drive digital transformation in Sri Lanka, noting that equity-based financing will provide possibilities for IT businesses to achieve development and realize value.
Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike, CSE CEO, outlined the various entry channels available for businesses to list on the stock exchange, stating that with the launch of the Empower Board, CSE now has the ability to cater for big and small-scale equity investments. He noted that a CSE listing is a hallmark of prestige and a powerful appetite for fresh equity listings among both local and foreign investors shows powerful fund-raising potential for businesses.
The Forum also provided perspectives into why a new wave of tech businesses are accessing financing worldwide through public markets and main lessons learned from latest major global tech IPOs through a lecture by CAL’s Head of Investment Banking Mr. Vishnu Balachandran. The introduction also provided important insights into why Sri Lankan businesses should consider public access, timing an IPO, and the advantages of listing on a stock exchange as opposed to accessing more traditional financing sources.
Mr. Tushara Jayaratne, SEC’s Director of External Relations, joined the speakers in a panel discussion centered on prevalent misconceptions regarding stock exchange listing, the process engaged and practical consequences for tech businesses when accessing government financing, taking into account the industry’s distinctive nature.
The event also provided a platform for businesses to participate with current sponsors of the Empower Board and explore further the possibility of a stock exchange listing. Empower sponsors play a key role in guiding businesses interested in becoming members of the Empower Board. Together with sector organisations, the Capital Raising Forums are a main component of the CSE-SEC initiative to raise awareness among prospective issuers, in addition to a series of regional forums for SMEs based across the nation. The next event in this series is scheduled for August 24 in Jaffna. Details on listing eligibility and process could also be obtained via www.cse.lk.
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