What is the Colombo Stock Exchange?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2019
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The Colombo Stock Exchange is the major national stock exchange within the nation of Sri Lanka. This exchange has over 200 listed companies and is a hub of trading for equities and debt instruments, as well as derivatives and funds. The Colombo Stock Exchange was established in 1982 after a similar financial entity was set up in 1985. With over 12 billion U.S. dollars in total market capitalization, the CSE represents a significant block of traded capital for the South Asian region of the world.

Before the emergence of the Colombo Stock Exchange, a prior trading organization had been around since about the turn of the century. The Colombo Share Brokers Association began in 1896, when British traders were still primarily involved in the region. The market now known as the Colombo Stock Exchange, or CSE, remained through various political events into its modern incarnation as a national institution with several offices in different parts of the Sri Lankan territory.


As an established national exchange, the Colombo Stock Exchange is governed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka. Fifteen corporate entities make up its membership, with traders being appropriately licensed for the financial transactions involved in the market. This exchange also maintains a Central Depository System for safe keeping of equity and securities records and electronic listing resources. The idea that the CSE offers investment in both equities and debt instruments shows some of the sophistication of this regional market, and gives both locals and foreigners incentive to follow its offerings through public resources.

Like many national exchanges around the world, the Colombo Stock Exchange has become fairly open to international investment. Although most of the items found in this market are open to purchase by foreign venture catalysts, some international restrictions have been imposed as part of the sovereign rights of the Sri Lankan government. The Colombo Stock Exchange maintains index tools and other normal financial infrastructure to present the performance of its traded items to the general public. The main indices are the All Share Price Index (ASPI) and the more localized Milanka Price Index (MPI). The Colombo Stock Exchange also has its own fully operational web site where investors can look at each specific type of financial opportunity that is traded through this Sri Lankan market and get more data on how the CSE handles its responsibilities as a trading center for the world.


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