Faculty & Research

Lalith P. Samarakoon

Professor and Department Chair : Finance Department

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Lalith Samarakoon is a professor of finance and the chair of the Department of Finance. He teaches Contemporary Global Finance Issues, International Finance, Financial Management, and Investments.

Professor Samarakoon’s primary area of research is international finance, with particular focus on emerging and frontier markets. He has published numerous scholarly articles dealing with issues such as market liberalization and return volatility, investment behavior of investor classes, return predictability, relation between returns and inflation, interest rates and dividends, tests of asset pricing models, mean reversion in stock prices, ownership structure, capital structure, initial public offerings and stock market interdependence, contagion, and the U.S. financial crisis. His current research focuses on understanding financial and policy issues associated with financial crises, specially the European debt crisis.
Professor Samarakoon is an international expert in financial sector and capital market development and government debt management. As a financial economist, he has worked with key multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, the USAID and the ADB, and key financial sector institutions such as the Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, SEC, and the Colombo Stock Exchange of Sri Lanka. He also held head of research and financial consultant positions in the investment banking industry.

Before joining the University of St. Thomas, Samarakoon was a visiting professor of finance at the University of Houston and the professor of finance and head of Department of Finance and Accountancy at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka.

Professor Samarakoon is also a Chartered Accountant and a CFA.


Academic and Professional Background

B.Sc., business administration (First Class), University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
M.B.A., finance, University of New Hampshire
Ph.D., finance, University of Houston
CFA, Chartered Financial Analyst
FCA,Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka


  • Capital markets and corporate finance with special reference to emerging and frontier markets
  • Equity and debt market development and policy
  • Government debt management and policy
  • Causes, consequences and solutions to financial and economic crises
  • Sri Lankan financial sector 

Current Research

  • Contagion of the Eurozone debt crisis
  • Two-tier board system and underpricing of initial public offerings in Austria
  • The Euro crisis and interdependence and contagion in financial markets
  • Monetary policy model with asset-price bubbles
  • The Euro crisis and the sustainability of the Eurozone sovereign debt
  • The relation between sovereign debt and stock prices
  • Cross country differences in government debt policy and debt management practices
  • Financing capability and stock returns of Chinese firms

Recent Research

SSRN Author Page: http://ssrn.com/author=327186


  • The Financial Market of Sri Lanka (in Tamil), 1st Ed., Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, 2011.
  • Equity Securities: Theory and Practice, 1st Ed., Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, 2010.
  • Debt Securities: Markets, Instruments and Analysis, 1st Ed., Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, 2010.
  • The Financial Market of Sri Lanka, 1st Ed., Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, 2009.
  • The Stock Market of Sri Lanka, 4th Ed., Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, 2005.
  • Sri Lankan Corporate Bond Market, 1st Ed., 2000.

Major Advisory Work 

  • World Bank
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • U.S. State Department
  • Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  • Employee Provident Fund, Sri Lanka
  • Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka
  • Ministry of Finance and Planning, Sri Lanka
  • Colombo Stock Exchange
  • Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka
  • Lanka Securities
  • Bank of Ceylon


  • Member, American Finance Association
  • Member, Financial Management Association
  • Member, Global Finance Association
  • Member, CFA Institute
  • Member, Minnesota CFA Society
  • Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka