CLSA Buys Into Sri Lanka’s CT Smith Holdings!

Hong Kong based CLSA investment group has bought a 25 percent stake in Colombo based CT Smith Holdings Ltd in a bid to better sell Sri Lanka to frontier market investors, officials said.

Donald Skinner, Global Chief Operating Officer of CLSA (Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia) said a long standing relationship between the two firms has been deepened with the purchase of an equity stake.

The joint venture will focus on investors from the US that want to get into frontier markets, as well as their clients from the UK and Hong Kong, he said.

CLSA’s clients were already investing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam, but Sri Lanka was an easier market to enter, Skinner said.

CT Smith has brought about 40 percent of the foreign investment into the stock market in 2013, officials said.

Marianne Page, consultant to CT Smith who has a long track record of bringing foreign investments to Sri Lanka said investors were increasingly interested in consumer goods sector in Sri Lanka in addition to areas like banking that was a main area.

CSLA will distribute CT Smith’s Sri Lanka economic and equity research.

“Research is a key component of this deal,” Skinner said. “CT Smith produces a very high grade of research in Sri Lanka.”
Following the investment CT Smith Holdings will change its name to CT CLSA Holdings Ltd. CT Smith Stockbrokers will be renamed CT CLSA Securities.

CT Capital will go as CT CSLA Capital (Pvt) Ltd and Comtrust Asset Management (Pvt) Ltd, a unit trust manager, will operate under the same name.