Tag Archives: Investment companies in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Shares Edge up on Foreign Buying, Turnover Hits Near 3-wk High

First Capital’s Head of Research, Dimantha Mathew, speaks to Reuters Fri Oct 21, 2016

Sri Lankan shares ended slightly firmer on Friday, edging up from their lowest close in 1 month hit in the previous session, as foreign investors bought risk assets ahead of a flurry of corporate results and next month’s national budget. Sri Lanka’s quarterly earnings season started last week but the bulk of locally listed firms will not report until late October or early November. The national budget is scheduled to be presented on Nov. 10.

The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.08 percent or 5.17 points firmer at 6,447.53, up from its lowest close since Sept. 20 hit on Thursday. The index fell 0.54 percent on the week, its second straight weekly loss. Turnover stood at 1.15 billion rupees ($7.81 million), the highest since Oct. 3 and more than this year’s daily average of around 741.5 million rupees.

“Today the market was a bit positive with some foreign inflows. Even though the quantity was low the foreign interest was there,” said Dimantha Mathew, head of research, First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

People walk past an electronic board displaying various Asian countries' stock price index and world major index outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2015.  REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Stockbrokers said the stock market was also digesting political concerns over the resignation of the head of Sri Lanka’s anti-corruption body on Monday, a few days after President Maithripala Sirisena implied that the agency was favouring the rival party of his prime minister.

This is likely to delay one of the promises of Sirisena’s coalition government to eliminate corruption and could hurt business confidence, analysts said. Foreign investors bought a net 233.8 million rupees worth equities on Friday, extending the net foreign inflow for the past nine days to 1.15 billion rupees worth of shares. They have sold a net 1.82 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year.

Shares in Sri Lanka Telecom Plc rose 2.77 percent, while top conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended steady.

($1 = 147.2000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

Sri Lankan Shares Close at 1-month Low in Thin trade

First Capital’s Senior Research Analyst, Atchuthan Srirangan, speaks to Reuters Thu Oct 20, 2016

Sri Lankan shares ended slightly weaker on Thursday, posting their lowest close in a month, as investors awaited next month’s national budget and a flurry of corporate results. The benchmark index of the Colombo Stock Exchange ended 0.03 percent or 2.03 points lower at 6,442.36, its lowest close since Sept. 20, in thin trading.

“Investors are waiting to see the outcome of the budget and quarterly results,” said Atchuthan Srirangan, a senior research analyst with First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd. “Market will move sideways until the budget,” he said.

Stockbrokers said the market was digesting political concerns over the resignation of the head of Sri Lanka’s anti-corruption body on Monday, a few days after President Maithripala Sirisena implied that the agency was favouring the rival party of his prime minister. This is likely to delay one of the promises of Sirisena’s coalition government to eliminate corruption and could hurt business confidence, analysts said.

Turnover stood at 365.03 million rupees ($2.50 million), well below this year’s daily average of around 739.4 million rupees. Foreign investors, who have sold a net 2.06 billion rupees worth of shares so far this year, bought a net 39.1 million rupees worth equities on Thursday.

Top conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc ended 0.66 percent weaker while Cargills (Ceylon) Plc fell 4.61 percent. Sri Lanka’s quarterly earnings season started last week but the bulk of locally listed firms will not report until late October or early November.

($1 = 145.9000 Sri Lankan rupees)

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

First Capital’s A- rating was reaffirmed by ICRA Lanka

The issuer rating of SL[A-] with stable outlook was reaffirmed for First Capital Holdings PLC (FC) by ICRA Lanka Limited, subsidiary of ICRA Limited, a group company of Moody’s Investors Service.

ICRA Lanka also reaffirmed the issuer rating [SL]A- with stable outlook for First Capital’s standalone primary dealer First Capital Treasuries PLC (FCT).

The rating report noted potential improvement in the business and financial performances of FCH’s other business entities, which are engaged in corporate debt structuring, corporate finance, asset management, stock broking, extending margin trading facilities and trustee services.

FCH, being a holding company derives its income from the dividends from the group entities and income from its investments, which includes interest income and profit from investments. Total standalone income for FY2016 was adversely affected (LKR 350 Mn total income in FY2016 vis a vis LKR 590 Mn in FY2015) due to non-availability of dividend income (LKR 212 Mn in FY2015), which is linked to performance of the principal subsidiary, FCT. The expected improvement in the performance of FCT in FY2017 vis a vis FY2016, is likely to support the overall performance of FCH.

First Capital power 37th National Conference of Chartered Accountants with Gold

First Capital Holdings PLC has committed to power the 37th National Conference of Chartered Accountants with Gold sponsorships.

The annual flagship event, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) is to be held from 19 to 21 October, under the theme ‘Unleashed Thinking: Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship.’ The conference which has built a reputation as a leading business summit in the country, is expected to attract over 1,500 business leaders including chartered accountants and leaders from other professions.

First Capital Holdings Group Chief Executive Officer Dilshan Wirasekara said that First Capital is delighted to sponsor a benchmark event such as the National Conference of Chartered Accountants for the third successive year. “We see the impact that national level events such as this conference have on the maintenance of high professional standards and practices across the industry as Sri Lanka’s capital market enters the next phase of growth,” he said.

“This year’s conference is expected to focus on the potential of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, specifically on how it can benefit Sri Lanka to drive the country to the next level, boosting its standing as a global player in the international business arena.
Reputed as a business summit, the conference aims to stimulate vibrant innovative entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs whilst establishing high profile market leading companies to be ready for the new challenges that they will have to face as a result of disruptive technology, consumer demand and the aspirations of millennial workforce,” he said.

Welcoming the companies onboard, CA Sri Lanka President Lasantha Wickremasinghe said as a highly respected professional organization, the institute takes it upon their responsibility to give the necessary boost not only to enhance the standing of the accounting and finance professions, but also to be a catalyst in helping Sri Lanka’s achieve its growth goals.

“As a country, we have great potential to be a global player, and we believe this summit which attracts a significant representation of corporate leadership, will be the perfect platform to promote and stimulate upon the importance where both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs  can take the lead to help Sri Lanka achieve it’s true potential,” Wickremasinghe said.

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First Capital Chief Executive Officer Dilshan Wirasekara, Senior Manager – Business Development and Corporate Planning Kosala Liyanagedara and Manager Branding and Marketing Services Nisansala Munasinghe exchanging the sponsorship cheque with CA Sri Lanka President Lasantha Wickremasinghe, Vice President Jagath Perera, Conference Committee Chairman Tishan Subasinghe and CEO Aruna Alwis
First Capital Chief Executive Officer Dilshan Wirasekara, Senior Manager – Business Development and Corporate Planning Kosala Liyanagedara and Manager Branding and Marketing Services Nisansala Munasinghe exchanging the sponsorship cheque with CA Sri Lanka President Lasantha Wickremasinghe, Vice President Jagath Perera, Conference Committee Chairman Tishan Subasinghe and CEO Aruna Alwis

Unit Trust Solutions

First Capital Holdings PLC is a full-service investment bank with a 30-year history, which offers an array of investment solutions to its clients including services in capital markets advisory, fixed income, equities and wealth management.

The company’s wealth management suite serves individual and institutional investors through unit trusts, financial planning and discretionary portfolio management.

Currently, the company is focusing on promoting its unit trust products to the market, which offers a low-risk investment option. Unit trusts are well suited for both corporates and individuals, as it allows for capital to be invested and managed professionally. The unit trusts funds act as a pooling vehicle in which funds from multiple investors are accumulated, allowing for larger investment in certain instruments with negotiated terms.

First Capital unit trusts products cater to a large base of high-net-worth and institutional clientele including SME and mid-level corporates.

The funds are managed by professional fund managers, who ensure that risks are diversified over a multitude of assets, while the largest state bank, the Bank of Ceylon acts as an independent trustee. Investors are given further peace of mind through the stringent monitoring and regulatory control of the unit trust industry by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

Globally, the unit trust sector asset  base exceeds that of the banking sector. According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka the bank deposits at LKR 4.7 trillion as at year end 2014, is leaps ahead of industry assets under management LKR 133 billion. Considering the tax exemptions given to unit trusts investments and that retail investors are seeking higher-yield alternative investments away from conventional bank-deposits, the company sees potential for growth in this segment.

Striving to excel in its customer centricity, First Capital encourages potential investors to consider their risk appetite, objectives, and purpose for investing prior to getting involved, ensuring that customers choose the most fitting investment option. “We profile the client, looking at age, responsibilities and commitments, and help them understand what sort of risk they should be taking, to fulfil their goals in life,” explains CEO, Dilshan Wirasekara. The company conducts financial planning on behalf of its clients to help them assess where they stand in relation to achieving their goals.

First Capital has a range of unit trust products targeting varying investor requirements. For the passive investor, it provides a gilt-edged fund, which invests purely in government securities, while providing a money-market fund for moderate risk-takers giving a return of 7-8% per annum, giving a higher rate than short-term bank deposits.   For the more aggressive risk-takers who want high returns, the company offers an equity fund, maintained on ethical grounds.

The company’s flagship unit trust fund – First Capital Wealth Fund was the best-performing fund in its category in 2013 and 2014, and has outperformed the unit trust industry in terms of Annual Equivalent Rate (AER) for the five years ended December 2015.

First Capital even offers customised portfolio management for investors with larger funds, and provides investment advice covering many business sectors.

Wirasekara comments: “The Company differentiates itself by the ability to navigate varying market cycles in multiple asset classes. Its superior performance in unit trust is a result of the ability to identify advantageous trends coupled with exemplary risk management.”

First Capital’s asset management business is only one aspect of its total offering. “We are a fully-fledged investment bank, having many other business lines,” avers Wirasekara adding that “being a primary dealer, we have insights into the bond market and interest-rate direction.” As testimony, First Capital claims to have been the largest manager of debt issuance in the market last year, raising LKR 25 billion of debt.

The company enjoys an unparalleled advantage with its research-backed market insights and expertise, which enables its fund managers to make notable capital gains by capitalising on movement, through risk mitigation and locking-in long-term rates at high yields.

First Capital has extended its local footprint through branches in Colombo, Kandy, Matara and Kurunegala. The company is geared for its journey towards growth in unit trust investments and customer-centric wealth management.


Published in May 2016 on the LMD Magazine – Digest Segment on Wealth Management

First Capital Holdings honours stakeholders

First Capital Holdings PLC recently hosted an evening of cocktails to celebrate the ongoing success of its partnerships and fete its stakeholders. Speaking at the reception, Executive Chairperson Manjula Mathews reflected on the company’s sustained growth and thanked those present for their continued support.

“We have achieved considerable progress over the past year thanks to the shared vision of all our stakeholders and propelled by a combination of teamwork, favourable market conditions and financial experience. We are sincerely grateful to our clients and other partners for their unstinting support as we progress on our journey towards becoming Sri Lanka’s leading investment bank.”

Elaborating on the company’s way forward, Mathews noted that the group plans to consolidate and build on the growth momentum of the past year by offering innovative and profitable investment banking solutions. Held at Cinnamon Grand, the reception brought together over 400 guests for a memorable evening of fellowship and entertainment and served as an occasion for the company to show its appreciation towards its regulators, collaborators, clients and members of the media.

The exclusive event provided an opportunity for the group’s senior management to engage and interact with all stakeholders and reaffirm the company’s commitment to strengthen and build on the trust and confidence placed in First Capital. During the first half of the financial year 2014/15, First Capital Holdings PLC reported profit after tax of Rs.868 million and received an upgrade in its national long-term and short-term corporate credit rating to A- /P2.

The company achieved several milestones such as the launch of a ‘Platinum Bond’ – the first-ever long-term repo investment product, pioneering the first ever microfinance-backed securitization and the introduction of three new unit trusts including a gilt-edged and money market unit trust. The First Capital Wealth Fund was lauded as the best performing fixed income unit trust over the past 12 months, with returns of over 25 percent. The corporate structuring arm of the company is accredited with the management of a landmark AAA-rated debenture, while First Capital Treasuries is currently the market leader in its niche, among standalone primary dealers.

Keenly attuned to the market and strengthened with a strong group research unit, First Capital Holdings PLC has recently added finance advisory services to its range of services in order to cater to the diverse needs of its clientele and provide superior investment banking solutions. First Capital Holdings PLC comprises of First Capital Treasuries Limited, First Capital Asset Management Limited, First Capital Equities (Private) Limited, First Capital Markets Limited and First Capital Limited. The company has a network of branches in Colombo, Matara, Negombo, Kandy and Kurunegala and is equipped with nearly three decades of experience in financial services.

First Capital Holdings appoints new CEO

First Capital Holdings Plc has appointment of Dilshan Wirasekara as its Chief Executive Officer. An experienced financial services professional, Wirasekara previously held the role of Deputy CEO at First Capital Holdings PLC and brings 18 years of experience in financial services, spanning both debt and equity related businesses.


Since joining the company in late 2013, Dilshan has managed the integration of the five subsidiary business units, enabling the First Capital Group to provide a wide range of non-banking financial solutions, leading the company to achieving a sound and sustainable business performance. Dilshan will continue to oversee operations across the subsidiary businesses of the Group and will play a critical role in strengthening the company’s Corporate Advisory Services, while emphasising broader investment banking services.

Speaking about the appointment, Managing Director of First Capital Holdings PLC, Manjula Mathews said: “Dilshan Wirasekara has shown tremendous leadership and professionalism during his tenure with the company and we are pleased that he will be heading the First Capital Group as CEO. He possesses invaluable experience, enthusiasm and a keen understanding of the financial market. Dilshan’s appointment marks a momentous occasion in the group’s journey as it amplifies its efforts in attaining its vision of becoming Sri Lanka’s leading investment bank”.

“This is a significant time in the development of the company and it is a privilege to step into this role. I am excited about meeting the challenges and opportunities of the coming years and am looking forward to leveraging our resources and leadership capabilities to drive the next stage of First Capital’s growth,” said Wirasekara.

First Capital Holdings posts healthy profits

Colombo, 13 May, First Capital Holdings PLC has posted a healthy profit after tax for the financial year 2010/2011 of Rs. 990,260,000 compared to Rs. 682,244,000 for the previous financial year. Profits for the quarter ended 31 March 2011 were Rs. 81,299,000 an improvement on Rs. 41,264,000 for the same period the previous year. Earnings per share were Rs. 10.03 whilst Net Assets Per Share stood at Rs. 15.04.

“In the last couple of years, we have seen exceptional profit growth at First Capital,” a Company official said. “In 2010/11 although conditions were less conducive than those in the previous year in which a highly favourable bond trading environment resulted in exceptional profits by the Group’s primary dealer arm, the Company was able to sustain its momentum helped by strong performance in all areas.”

He went on to explain that reported profits were boosted by a one-off gain from the sale of an associate company – Kotmale Holdings PLC amounting to Rs. 180 million and a decision in the company’s favour by the Inland Revenue Board of Review resulting in a tax reversal of Rs. 444 million. He affirmed that First Capital was gearing up for measured and steady growth.

“First Capital Wealth Fund – a Unit Trust dedicated to investment in fixed income securities was launched and the company was granted a license to function as a Dealer on the Debt Exchange (DEX). Promotional campaigns and initiatives to further broad-base the services of the Group are on the cards,” he added.

The First Capital Group boasts of a rich pedigree in the Sri Lankan financial services arena with its lineage tracing 28 years. Having obtained its Primary Dealership license in 1992, when the Central Bank formed the Primary Dealership system, First Capital Treasuries has steadily grown to become a strong and resilient front runner with a loyal and widening customer base. With pioneer status in this area, aided by an unblemished reputation, First Capital Treasuries has developed strong bonds with its principal business partners which are commercial banks, other primary dealers and investors both big and small.

First Capital Asset Management Limited under license from the Securities and Exchange Commission, functions as an ‘Investment Manager’ and has mobilised a substantial quantum of funds under management on discretionary mandates. Upon being approved by the SEC to manage Unit Trusts, the company launched First Capital Wealth Fund in October 2010.

First Capital Markets is an SEC approved Margin lender for listed equity. It has, over the years, built up a strong client base. With the recent surge in the share market, this area has featured as a prominent contributor in the performance of the group.

First Capital Limited is actively involved in structuring and underwriting both short term and long term corporate paper and in generating placements on these and other secondary market debt instruments. The company has positioned itself as a debt market specialist by creating a ready marketplace for those seeking investments in debt securities and those vying to borrow from the debt capital markets.