Team University of Sri Jayewardenepura wins CFA Sri Lanka Research Challenge 2019/20

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a global competition that tests the equity research and valuation, investment report writing, and presentation skills of university students. This challenge also promotes best practices in equity research among the next generation of analysts through hands-on mentoring and intensive training in company analysis and presentation skills. This challenge has three levels: local, regional, and global. Winners at the local level are advanced to compete against teams within their geographic region at the regional level namely, Asia-Pacific Region, Europe, the Middle-East and Africa Region, and Americas Region. Winning teams at each regional level are thereafter advanced to compete at the global level. One team is designated the ultimate winning team, or champion, at the global level.

For the 13th consecutive year CFA Sri Lanka Society organized the Sri Lanka Research Challenge partnering with the Colombo Stock Exchange, Acquity Partners (PVT) Ltd., Capital Alliances PLC, Lynear Wealth Management, and Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel. Ten teams from six state Universities took part in the preliminary round of this completion since September 2019 which primarily emphasized on in-depth analysis and valuation of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC, the publicly traded company on Colombo Stock Exchange assigned for the challenge this year, and investment report writing.  These investment reports of the ten teams were evaluated and scored by a panel of expert CFA Charterholders who are leading investment professionals representing prominent corporates in Sri Lanka.  The top four teams of the preliminary round presented their research to a panel of experts from top financial institutions of Sri Lanka followed by a Q&A session at the Local Finals of this challenge held on 6th February 2020 at Hilton Colombo Residences.

The team of five final-year undergraduates of Department of Finance representing University of Sri Jayewardenepura who also secured the first place in the preliminary round, became the Champions at the Local Finals. The team members are Ruwangi Mahanamahewa (Team Leader), Didula Silva, Kovida Gunawardana, Jeyaraman Yashwin Kumar, and Thiran Ranasinghe. The team was guided by the Industry Liaison – CFA Charterholder – Ms. Ananya Udeshi of Capital Alliances PLC and the Academic Liaison – Ms. Piumi Abeyrathne, Senior Lecturer of Department of Finance throughout the challenge. The team representing University of Colombo became the runners-up at the Local Finals. Mr. Renuke Wijayawardhane, Chief Regulatory Officer at Colombo Stock Exchange, Mr. Zaffar Jeevunjee, President CFA Sri Lanka Society, many other investment professionals, senior management of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC, and academic staff members of state Universities graced the occasion. Local Champions won a cash award of Rs.200,000 and they will be representing Sri Lanka at the Asia-Pacific Regional Finals which is scheduled to be held in Seoul, South Korea on 18-19 March 2020.