Opening a securities account to trade on the Colombo Stock Exchange is a straight forward process.
All foreign institutional and individual Investors are required to open a Securities Investment Account (SIA) via a local custodian bank.
If you would like a member of our sales team to walk you through the whole account opening process please share your phone details with us and we will get in touch with you promptly.
The most frequently used custodian banks in Sri Lanka by foreign clients to open a SIA accounts include HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche and Citi.
The SIA permits the foreign institution or individual to trade in any listed security without any restrictions or limitations on the repatriation of funds. Upon opening an SIA account, the relevant account holder will be issued with a Central Depository System (CDS) account number (example 4321 FC) which needs to be quoted when executing a transaction.
An SIA account would typically take two weeks to be opened by a foreign fund upon submission of all required documents and being vetted by the regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission. A non-resident individual account typically takes 2 - 3 days to be opened upon submission of all required documents. For details regarding documentation required to open a securities account for foreign funds, company or individual as well as contact details of leading custodian banks in Sri Lanka please click here
For account opening forms and details regarding opening a direct securities account with John Keells Stock Brokers for a local institution or individual, please click here
Foreign investment is encouraged and investment in companies listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange is unrestricted. Foreign ownership is permitted upto 100% in all listed securities except for a 40% cap on Plantations. Equity holdings in banks are restricted to 10% for any single local or foreign account holder or account holders acting in concert. Ownership in banks can be extended to 15% with the approval of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
There is no Capital Gains Tax imposed on quoted securities, while a withholding tax of 10% is charged on dividends.
A local or foreign client must inform the Colombo Stock Exchange upon acquiring 10% of a listed entity with the next level of disclosure coming at the threshold of 20%. Furthermore acquisition of 30% of the voting shares of a company by an individual/entity or a group acting in concert triggers a mandatory offer to purchase all outstanding shares in accordance with the take-overs and Mergers Code 1995 – (amended 2003).
Investors may place their orders with JKSB via Bloomberg mail/IB, office email, phone or fax with execution instructions. Foreign institutional and individual clients may also direct orders via one of our multiple global trade execution partners. For further information on our global trade execution partners please contact our foreign sales desk.