October 15, 2019
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    Need to increase Govt. revenue to 16.5% GDP-CB Governor

    February 28, 2019

    The SEC established CMET in 2008 as the training arm to provide professional education and training to enhance the knowledge and skills levels of market professionals, investors, issuers and market institutions. Since its establishment, CMET’s key focus has been the introduction and implementation of the qualification framework (QF) for capital market professionals with the intention of enhancing the level of financial literacy and professionalism among practitioners, stakeholders and the general public of Sri Lanka.

    Vajira Wijegunawardane, Director General of the SEC in his opening speech, stressed the need of the QF for capital market professionals. He stated that the QF intends to ensure a minimum level of competency and serves as a quality standard for investment advisors in the stock broking industry in Sri Lanka. While appreciating the requirement of a professional qualification for all practitioners in the capital market, he emphasized the need for ethical conduct by such practitioners. Wijegunawardane also stated that the SEC revised the QF in 2018 , considering developments that had taken place in the securities industry over the past 10 years. The revised Certificate in Capital Markets programme of the QF now consists of five different levels of certifications, in which three modules have been made mandatory. Thus, the framework addresses the future developments of the capital market and the need for Sri Lanka’s economy in general.

    Ranel T. Wijesinha, Chairman, SEC, in his address, especially told the award recipients that they should become globally employable and mobile (GEMs) professionals. Commenting further, he stated that honesty, integrity, independence and objectivity were the value system that a professional should possess beyond their qualification. He further stated that these are the characteristics that a true alumni member of CMET should uphold in fulfilling the expectations of the SEC and the industry in general. Commenting on the industry, he said that the capital market has an unrealized potential and has a national role to play, whereas in relation to the regulations of the industry, he emphasized that the SEC has enhanced the scope and effectiveness of regulation and would ensure strict enforcement action against violators of SEC regulations. Commenting on Unit Trusts, he stated that the industry should keep in mind that they cater to the unsophisticated market and that their presence should be felt around the country, whereas in relation to margin providers, he stressed that the margin providers should conduct their functions with a greater degree of responsibility.

    Addressing the gathering and delivering the keynote address at the ceremony, Central Bank Governor Dr Coomaraswamy, explained the present status of the economy. He emphasized the need of increasing government revenue to at least 16.5% of the GDP. He stressed that the challenge is to increase Sri Lanka’s revenue and at the same time boost exports.Comparing the non-concessional commercial debt which was 3.9% of the total debt in the year 2005, he emphasized on its significant increase to 54.8% of the total debt at present. The main reason behind such an increase is to finance the budget deficit with commercial loans, since the government’s revenue has continuously declined. Commenting on the current account deficit which is around 3.3% of the GDP presently, he stated that it has to be brought down to a manageable level of 2% of the GDP. Dr. Coomaraswamy further added that we are a country with twin deficits, i.e a budget deficit and a current account deficit, where the financing of such deficits have become challenging. Commenting on the importance of the capital market, he stated that the present state of over dependency on banks to provide capital, mainly to the private sector, had to be changed by having a liquid and robust capital market. Comparing market capitalization to the GDP in regional countries, he emphasized the need for increasing it to a sizable level. Dr. Coomaraswamy appreciated the efforts taken by the SEC in developing the capital market such as the multi currency board, formulation of a new SEC Act, demutualization of the Colombo Stock Exchange, amendments to the Takeovers and Mergers Code and the proposal to list State owned enterprises in the CSE.

    The programmes conducted under the QF include, the Certificate in Capital Markets and Registered Investment Advisor programmes which are conducted for Investment Advisors of stock broking companies, a Diploma offered jointly with the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, UK targeting mature industry practitioners and a Certificate in Unit Trusts for employees attached to the Unit Trust industry. Each of these programmes take into account the challenging circumstances faced by the Sri Lankan capital market and associated industries and aims to ensure that professionals practicing in the industry possess the competencies essential to conduct their activities with integrity.Over hundred students received their awards at the ceremony., according to a Press release.

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