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First Capital Research : Top Equity Recommendations 2018

Equity Portfolio Performance 2014-2017

As at 31st Dec 2017 at 2018, First Capital Research Top Recommendations have achieved a Capital Gain of 6.4% (Excluding Dividends) compared to the market performance of 2.3%.

Following are our current and previous top recommendations and their performances for 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 for your reference.


Top Recommendations for 2018

Brief Equity Outlook

Market earnings: The current tight monetary policy has slowed down the economy significantly reducing earnings growth for most companies. The situation is expected to ease off towards 2H2018. Therefore the companies are likely to have a better earnings performance in 2018E/19E compared to the weak performance we are experiencing in CY17/FY18E. We believe overall market earnings are likely to grow by a modest 5%-7% during 2018E/FY19E supported by a recovery in economic performance in the 2H2018. Earnings Growth is likely to accelerate to 10%-12% towards CY19E/FY20E backed by further improvement in economic health of the country and also easing of the monetary policy with more stability in the system.

Market Returns: Market returns are likely to be slow but positive in the 1H2018 due to attractive valuations prevailing in the economy and is likely to improve in the 2H2018 supported by expectations of a better economic outlook and earnings performance. Thereby, we expect overall market returns are likely to be 10%-12% approximately 50% above the expected earnings performance as some counters are likely to re-rate with an expected better earnings outlook in the future. In terms of the ASPI index it is only likely to reach 7000 (+10% or +650 points) towards end of 2018. Market returns are likely to accelerate towards the 2019 to about 15% with the actual earnings performance and renewed investor confidence. Index is likely reach 8000 level (+15% or +1000 points) towards 2019. These targets however are highly dependent on the current stable outlook and reform agenda continuing during 2018 as well.

Key Sectors: We believe the key sectors that are likely to outperform the market and expected provide high returns are the Banking Sector, Building Materials Sector and Apparel Sector while the energy sector also may turnaround depending on the implementation of the pricing formulas by the Government which is also a condition of the IMF.


First Capital is an investment bank offering services as Stock Brokers in Sri Lanka. The Company acts as a conduit between retail and institutional clients and the secondary market of the Colombo Stock Exchange. First Capital’s best-in-class research team provide a series of actionable trade recommendations, daily and periodic market commentaries and publications for Stock Brokers in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s changing investment landscape set for analysis in 2017 report

Sri Lanka’s efforts to boost capital inflows through the gradual liberalisation of its trade and investment laws will be explored in a forthcoming report by the global publishing firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

Invest in Sri Lanka with First Capital Holdings Plc

The Report: Sri Lanka 2017 will look in detail at what the country’s capital markets sector is doing to prepare for an era of higher investment. Key developments set for analysis include a drive under way to modernise the industry and the emergence of new private equity groups on the scene.

OBG’s report will also consider the economic challenges that Sri Lanka currently faces, led by rising debt levels and balance of payment issues.

First Capital Holdings PLC has signed a second memorandum of understanding (MOU) with OBG for the publishing firm’s forthcoming report on the country. Under the MOU, the investment bank will team up with OBG once again to compile and produce the capital markets chapter of The Report: Sri Lanka 2017.

Dilshan Wirasekara, Group CEO, First Capital Holdings PLC, said he was confident that OBG’s 2017 report would play a pivotal part in highlighting the opportunities emerging across Sri Lanka’s economy to investors keen to tap into the country’s post-war economic expansion.

“Initiatives such as Oxford Business Group’s reports are helping to meet growing demand for up-to-date, accurate information on Sri Lanka at a time when efforts to attract new foreign investment for projects are gaining pace,” he said. “I look forward to partnering with the Group’s team and once again contributing to what is undoubtedly a valuable global research tool.”

Welcoming First Capital Holdings on board, Andrea Tsiachtsiri, OBG’s Country Director, agreed that the rolling out of big-ticket, capital projects, such as Colombo Port City and Megapolis, had heightened the need to keep business leaders updated on developments in Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka’s Government will be looking to its project pipeline to help ensure that future growth is broader and more inclusive,” she said. “First Capital has been a key player on Sri Lanka’s financial services industry for over 30 years, giving its experts an in-depth knowledge of the country’s capital markets and investment banking spectrum. I’m thrilled that our readers will once again benefit from its team’s input.”

The Report: Sri Lanka 2017 will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The publication will also contain interviews with leading representatives, including President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It will be available in print and online.

First Capital Holdings PLC an investment bank in Sri Lanka.

The company operates in the capital markets of Sri Lanka in government securities – treasury bills and bonds, stock brokering and share market investments, asset management, private wealth management,  retirement planning, personal financial planning, unit trust, margin trading, capital market research, trustee services, corporate finance advisory services including corporate debt structuring (debentures, trust certificates, commercial papers), valuations, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPOs) and project advisory. 

The First Capital Group consists of First Capital Treasuries PLC, First Capital Limited, First Capital Markets Limited, First Capital Asset Management Limited and First Capital Equities (Private) Limited covering Colombo, Negombo, Matara, Kandy and Kurunegala.