All posts by Nisansala Munasinghe

First Capital Covid-19 Response – April 2021

Dear Valued Clients and Partners,

Our office premises will be closed for walk-in-visits until further notice due to the increased risk of the ongoing pandemic.

However, we have taken all necessary measures to remotely provide an uninterrupted service, and are otherwise, fully operational.

We will be available via phone, mobile, email and our digital platforms to facilitate your investment needs.

We have implemented a few temporary changes as detailed below:

For clients of First Capital Asset Management – Unit Trusts
Cut off times to facilitate Unit Redemptions and Unit Issuances.

Requests for redemptions should be forwarded the day before the redemption.
Requests on unit issuances (investments) should be forwarded before 11.00am on the date of purchase.
Investments made via cheques will be allocated only if realised prior to 11.00am. Cheques realized subsequently will be issued units on the following working day.
For further clarifications please contact Sayuri 0771 535465 sayuri@firstcapital.lk or Imali 0771 764799 imali@firstcapital.lk

For clients of First Capital Equities – Stockbroker
Payments are expected to be settled via bank transfer and the proof of payment shared with your respective Investment Advisor. For further clarifications please contact Rohana 0773 122997 rohanaw@firstcapital.lk
For account related inquires please contact Shehanka 0772925753, Rashmi 0771576349 and Asha 0772925794  and your Investment Advisor for other inquiries.

For clients of all other Business Units
Our regular operating schedule will continue.

For any urgent matters, please contact Anushi Ranawaka on 0773 876819 or email anushi@firstcapital.lk. You can also log in to our customer portal online.firstcapital.lk

 

Warm regards,
The First Capital Management Team

First Capital Money Market Fund – Fastest to Reach LKR 20bn in Assets Under Management

The First Capital Money Market Fund has been the fastest fund in its category (Open-Ended Money Market Fund) to surpassed LKR 20 billion in Assets Under Management. The fund is managed by First Capital Asset Management Limited the wealth management arm and subsidiary of First Capital Holdings PLC (the Group).

The Fund is the best performing Unit Trust in its category, delivering a return of 11.98%, the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for the past 5 years, as of February 2021. The fund is licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka with Bank of Ceylon acting as the Trustee.

“The fund is used as a de facto savings account yielding a higher rate compared to a one year FD ceiling rate of a Licensed Finance Company and over 250 basis points above a typical savings account,” said Kavin Karunamoorthy, AGM – Asset Management, First Capital Asset Management Limited.  “Leveraging on market opportunities, interest rate fluctuations and our industry expertise in fixed income securities we have been able to compete with the Bank based Savings segment with our Money Market Fund, offering clients an alternative investment product that offer better interest rates, flexibility to conveniently withdraw funds, and peace of mind,” concluded Karunamoorthy.

First Capital is a member of the Janashakthi Group focused on delivering ‘Performance First’ through its operations as primary dealer, stockbroker, corporate advisory, debt structuring and wealth management. With over three decades of expertise in providing capital market solutions, First Capital Holdings PLC is the only listed full-service investment institution in Sri Lanka. First Capital Holdings PLC is rated [SL]A with Stable outlook by ICRA Lanka Ltd.

 

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Caption – In Photo Kavin Karunamoorthy, AGM – Asset Management, First Capital Asset Management Limited

JANASHAKTHI GROUP: FROM FAMILY BUSINESS TO CONGLOMERATE

THE WORD JANASHAKTHI MEANS ‘THE STRENGTH OF THE PEOPLE’ AND IT BEGAN WITH A FAMILY OVER TWO DECADES AGO

Janashakthi Group Chairman Chandana de Silva and Managing Director/ Group CEO Ramesh Schaffter discuss the company’s humble origins and transformation into a leading diversified conglomerate in the country. They also share insights on how different businesses and people across the group are aligned to a single vision to embark on the transformational journey envisioned for the group and explore new avenues of growth.

Tell us how Janashakthi Group is creating synergies between its different business units for growth?

Schaffter: Our group’s businesses are leaders in their respective industries, and we have now aligned ourselves to further strengthen our business operations. This business model allows the group companies to share services and leverage synergies and access expertise across a range of functions. Our strength has been our leadership, both at management and board level, who bring a variety of skills and experience from diverse backgrounds. We believe operational excellence and customer service are essential requirements for growth and for staying ahead of the competition.

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First Capital steps forward as Principal Sponsor of the SSC Open Tennis Championships 2021

Colombo 17th February 2021; Investment institution First Capital Holding PLC has come forward as the principal sponsor for the SSC Open Tennis Championships. The SSC Open 2021 is to be conducted from 19th February to 7th March 2021 at the Singhalese Sports Club (SSC) Tennis courts. The championships will be the first major open ranking tournament for the year 2021 having already attracted more than 650 entries and is one of the most anticipated events for the year.

“First Capital is pleased to sponsor the SSC Open Tennis Championships, as we see the impact of tournaments such as this in upholding high standards and enabling high performance.  The Championships have a strong synergy with our corporate values and our brand promise to deliver ‘performance first’. We are confident this partnership will further strengthen the association between our organizations and enable the upliftment of the sport across Sri Lanka”, stated Mr. Dilshan Wirasekara, Director / Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC, at the event to announce the Principal Sponsorship held recently.

The championships will be conducted under the purview of the governing body of the sport, the Sri Lanka Tennis Association and organized by the SSC Tennis House Committee. ‘All health and safety guidelines recommended by the Ministry of Health will be adhered to in conducting the championship, ensuring maximum safety to its participants and stakeholders at large’ said Mr Chammika De Silva the Tournament Director of the SSC Tennis Championships 2021.

The SSC Open Tennis Championships has had a long history and has gained prominence as a steppingstone for young talent, with most of its winners moving on to the national and international stage in the years ahead. This makes the championships one of the most sought-after fixture in the Sri Lankan Tournament calendar, also gaining the trust in its participant as a well-organized event. The championships will comprise of Girls and Boys events from under 12 to under 18 (Singles & Doubles), Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Veterans events for over 35, over 45 & over 55 age groups.

Long standing supporters of the SSC Open Tennis Championships, Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) and 3 G Sports (Head Tennis Balls) will continue as co-sponsor and the main ball sponsor respectively. Further co-sponsors include ABC Shipping and Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), which will be the nutrition sponsor. The Peoples Bank has also come forward to support the SSC Open this year.

Mr. Mufaddal Hazari, an International Tennis Federation qualified official with long years of experience will serve as the tournament referee.

(Insert photo – with caption) ‘Mr.  Dilshan Wirasekara, Director / Chief Executive Officer, First Capital Holdings PLC (on the Right) handing over the Sponsorship Cheque to Mr. Vasantha Wijesekera, Honourary Secretary, Singhalese Sports Club’, also in the picture (L-R), Mr. Neshan Gunasekera, Honourary Chairman, SSC Tennis House Committee, Mr. Nilanka Peiris, Honourary Treasurer, SSC, Ms. Nisansala Munasinghe, Manager Branding and Marketing Services First Capital Holdings PLC and Mr. Chandana De Silva, Director, First Capital Holdings PLC’

Photo credit – Mr Kamal Wanniarachchi of The Island

 

The First Capital Team – Town Hall Meeting

The First Capital Team have had a great year, marking many milestones while working remotely since October to ensure that our customers’ financial aspirations are achieved, while we protect our staff, our families and our community.

Today we are excited to share some screenshots of our Town Hall meeting where the whole team was logged in together!

#firstcapital #performancefirst #embaringthenewnormal

#teamphot o

First Capital Holdings PLC Announces Appointment of COO

First Capital Holdings PLC has announced the appointment of Tharusha Ekanayake as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) with effect from 09th November 2020. A banking and finance professional, he previously held the role of Vice President / Deputy Head of Treasury – Nations Trust Bank PLC. Tharusha brings 21 years of experience in financial services, spanning Fixed Income Securities, Treasury and Investment Banking activities.

Working across all subsidiaries of the Group, Tharusha will play a critical role in strengthening the Company’s Fixed Income Dealing, Structuring and Trading activities and also Capital Markets Advisory services.

Speaking about the appointment, Director / Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings PLC, Dilshan Wirasekara said: “Tharusha Ekanayake joins us at a crucial juncture in order to drive the future growth of our group businesses. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge on fixed income, further fortifying First Capital’s position as the leader in this space.

Tharusha holds a Bachelor of Science, Special Degree in Chemistry – Honours from the University of Peradeniya.

First Capital Holdings PLC issuer rating upgraded to [SL]A by ICRA Lanka Limited

Stock Brokers in Sri Lanka

ICRA Lanka, has upgraded the issuer rating of First Capital Holdings PLC to [SL]A with Stable outlook from [SL]A- with Stable outlook.

ICRA Lanka has taken a consolidated view of the First Capital group, comprising of First Capital Holdings PLC and its subsidiaries, which is involved in a range of financial services such as primary dealership, equity trading, corporate advisory, debt structuring and asset management. There is a strong interlink between the entities through sharing of a common brand, management team, systems and group treasury functions.

The ratings upgrade factors in the status of the company as the holding company of First Capital Treasuries PLC, the leading standalone primary dealer currently in Sri Lanka with an issuer rating of [SL]A with Stable outlook. The ratings upgrade also factors in the improvement in the capital and gearing profiles, good market position offering diverse financial services, a strong senior management team, risk management processes to reduce market and operational risks, as well as improvement in the capitalization profile through healthy internal generation.

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In photos –

  • Nishan Fernando – Chairman, First Capital Holdings PLC
  • Dilshan Wirasekara – Director/Chief Executive Officer, First Capital Holdings PLC

ICRA Lanka upgrades the ratings of First Capital Treasuries PLC to [SL]A

Rating action

ICRA Lanka Limited, has upgraded the issuer rating of First Capital Treasuries PLC (FCT or “the Company”) to [SL]A (pronounced SL A) from [SL]A- (pronounced SL A minus).

ICRA Lanka has also upgraded the issue rating of the LKR 750 Mn Subordinated, Unsecured, Redeemable Debenture programme of FCT to [SL]A- (pronounced SL A minus) from [SL]BBB+ (pronounced SL triple B plus).

The issue rating of [SL] BBB+ (pronounced SL triple B plus) with stable outlook for the LKR 500 Mn Subordinated, Unsecured, Redeemable Debenture programme of the company has been withdrawn as the said debentures have matured and there is no amount outstanding against the rated instrument. The outlook on the long term ratings remains Stable.

Rationale

ICRA Lanka has taken a consolidated view of the First Capital group (comprising of First Capital Holdings PLC and its subsidiaries), which is involved in a range of financial services such as primary dealership, equity trading, corporate advisory, debt structuring and asset management. There is a strong interlink between the entities through sharing of a common brand, management team, systems and group treasury functions.

The ratings upgrade considers the healthy performance of FCT (a subsidiary of First Capital Holdings PLC rated [SL]A), following the robust earnings of LKR 1,208 Mn and LKR 1,356 Mn in FY2020 and Q1 of FY2021, respectively, in comparison to LKR 96 Mn in FY2019 (LKR 1,671 Mn in FY2018).

Continue reading >>

Personal Budgeting – Thrift Day 2020 – Article on Daily Mirror & Daily FT

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If you are trying to save for a dream vacation, house or to pay off debt, a budget is your first step towards making your financial goals a reality. It is important therefore to set a realistic budget so that it is easy, and you would be motivated to follow through.
Identify your expenses – It is important to identify all the expenses looking at your past spending, by analyzing your bank statements, receipts and financial files.
Some expenses are intermittent such as insurance payments and mortgage or loan instalments, therefore you’ll get the most accurate financial picture if you calculate an average for the past six months.
Monthly payments that might fluctuate such as your utility bills, transportation costs, groceries and clothing and discretionary expenses such as restaurant meals and entertainment should also be added. There should be an additional 5 percent incremental amount added to this list when setting the budget considering the inflation in Sri Lanka.
It is important to factor in unexpected bills, such as unplanned vehicle repairs, medical bills, gift purchases etc. A good rule of thumb is to add an extra 10 percent to 15 percent to that amount which you’ve allocated for your monthly spending to meet thus unexpected expenditure.
Identify your income sources – It is now important to list all your income sources and the income received respectively. In addition to your regular salary, get an accurate picture by adding any extra funds that come your way throughout the year, such as cash gifts, interest or dividends from investments and rental income.
By understanding how much money you need to stay afloat financially each month, you can determine whether your income could meet your expenses. While, there are those who have the tendency to resort to credit options in order to meet such expenditure, their credit piles up without their knowledge by the end of a period.
Either way, creating a budget gives you a clear sense of where you stand financially, allowing you to manage any wasteful spending and to re-evaluate where you want your money to go.
Savings and debt payoff goals – If you determine you’re making more money than you’re spending this amount can be earmarked for savings and to pay off debt. But if otherwise, it’s time to cut down your expenses, so you have something to save and prevent going further into debt.
In the event previously obtained credit facilities are of a lower rate than the current savings rates, it is still advisable to continue with your credit facility rather than settling it in advance and invest your savings at a higher rate.
The best way to figure out which item to slash of your expenses is to track your spending and record for every expense in a month. Seemingly insignificant items may add up to large amounts within six months.
It is now time to be merciless in cutting expenses until your budget is intact. You need to reduce expenses to a point where you are left with 10 percent to 20 percent of your income for savings. If you are unable to cut a significant amount from your budget, consider ways you can increase your overall income or investment income.
Recording expenses and tracking the progress – The best way to stay on top of your budget is to record all your expenses and income. Having to input expenses will cause you to think twice before splurging, and it’s especially satisfying and motivating to record when you’ve met a savings goal.
An easy way to keep track of your expenses is by making all your payments via your credit/ debit card. Most of the banks provide the SMS alert service and a statement free of charge at the end of the period. Also withdrawing a fixed cash amount only once ahead of the week in order to meet the ‘cash’ expenses incurred during the week is a convenient method to keep track of the cash payments made. There are numerous mobile aps designed for this purpose.
Once you determine the portion you can save each month it is wise to transfer it to your savings account immediately by way of providing a standing order to your bank account, so that it limits your spending naturally.
Explore other income sources – If you are in serious debt and wish for relief sooner, it is important to look into other avenues to generate income except for fixed salaried occupation. There are many options that are available once you explore such means. For E.g. if you meet the pre-requisite qualifications, you could provide private tuition for students. Income generated by such means should be directly channeled to set-off the debt.
When looking at increasing your interest income it is important to explore options which provides the best return for your savings. You should also consider the risk aspect of investing in such instruments. For the above purpose it would be ideal to accumulate funds in a savings account or short-term fixed deposit or unit trust account. It is also advisable to open multiple accounts for various purposes. For E.g. the fund which you’ve being building up to purchase a house should not be the fund that you pullout funds from to meet an emergency expense.
Be positive and realistic – It is important to abide by your budget with proper discipline in order to reach your financial goals. Breaking your budget occasionally is fine, providing you get right back on track as soon as possible in order to live a debt free, fulfilled life.

First Capital Money Market Fund – Unit Trust – The main advantage that unit trusts offer is the diversification to a portfolio of investments, which an individual without a large base of savings will otherwise not be able to obtain on his own. A diversified portfolio has investments in many companies, thereby reducing risk while enhancing returns. Because of a large fund base, the asset manager will also be able to negotiate better rates, getting a higher return on his asset pool while bringing in economies of scale. The management expertise and knowledge of the asset manager is also an added benefit of a unit trust, making it less time-intensive for the investor. An experienced fund manager will be more aware of interest rate movements and will know how to minimize risk, generating higher risk adjusted returns over the long term.

First Capital Money Market Fund is such a unit trust fund which is currently yielding 9.55%p.a. (as at 25/10/2020) which has the flexibility of a savings account. Unit Trust funds, accumulates funds from both individuals and corporates and channel them to different investments, striking a balance between the risk and return.
When investing in a unit trust, investors are assured of the active involvement of regulatory bodies and a high level of transparency. Bank of Ceylon, is appointed as trustee and maintains custody of the Fund’s assets, representing the interest of the investors. Moreover, the trustee monitors transactions carried out by the Fund daily. Financial statements are circulated regularly to investors which provide details of the Fund’s progress and statement of financial performance. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) licenses and regulates unit trust funds, conducts periodic on-site audits, and rigorously examines the qualifications of fund managers.

Written by Imali Abeygunawardena of First Capital Asset Management Limited

First Capital Wealth Fund announces dividend of Rs. 100 per unit for FY 2019/20

First Capital Asset Management Ltd., the managers of the First Capital Wealth Fund, has announced a dividend of Rs. 100 per unit for the year 2019/20.

The fund has delivered a return of 11.14% (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) since inception as at 5 October.                                                                                                                       
‘Astute assessment of market opportunities, leveraging on interest rate fluctuations and prudent management is attributed to the successful growth of the unit trust funds under our management,” said First Capital Asset Management Ltd. AGM – Asset Management Kavin Karunamoorthy.

“Utilising our expertise as a specialised knowledge and industry expert, in debt market services and prominent non-bank primary dealer in Sri Lanka, we are confident that the unit trusts managed by First Capital Asset Management Ltd. will continue to reap the rewards of timely, well-informed investments,” he added.

First Capital Asset Management, a subsidiary of First Capital Holdings PLC, is licensed and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) while Bank of Ceylon (BOC) acts as the trustee and custodian for the fund.

The company specialises in managing investments for high net-worth individuals, trusts and companies. First Capital Asset Management Ltd. is a subsidiary of First Capital Holdings PLC which offers investment solutions in fixed income, equities, wealth management and capital markets advisory.