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Lalith Samarakoon

Professor

  • Education
  • B.Sc., Business Administration, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
    M.B.A., Finance, University of New Hampshire
    Ph.D., Finance, University of Houston
  • Research Interests
  • International finance, with a particular focus on emerging and frontier markets.

Lalith Samarakoon, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Finance at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. He is also a chartered accountant and a certified financial analyst. Currently, Samarakoon is serving as the secretary-general and chief economist of the National Economic Council of Sri Lanka. He is also the president of the Sri Lanka Finance Association.

Samarakoon teaches global economics, contemporary global finance and financial management courses, and he serves as the director of two China study abroad courses: Global Financial Services and Emerging Financial Markets. He is also a global business research fellow at St. Thomas.

Samarakoon’s primary area of research is international finance, with a 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, the 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 US financial crisis.

Samarakoon’s current research focuses on financial and policy issues associated with financial crises, particularly the European debt crisis, monetary policy and asset bubbles.

As a financial economist, Samarakoon has extensive advisory experience in financial sector development, securities markets and public debt management and policy with multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, USAID, ADB, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Finance, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Colombo Stock Exchange. He also has private sector experience in areas such as investment banking, business restructuring, economic and financial analysis and fund management. He has published four texts relating to financial markets.


  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2017). Contagion of the Eurozone debt crisis. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money,
  • Samarakoon, L. P., & Kadapakkam, P. (2014). The two-tier board system and underpricing of initial public offerings: Evidence from Austria. Corporate Ownership and Control, (12)(1), pp. 352-362
  • Fonseka, M. M., Samarakoon, L. P., & Tian, G. (2012). Equity financing capacity and stock returns: Evidence from China. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, (22), pp. 1277-1291
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2011). Stock market interdependence, contagion, and the U.S. financial crisis: The case of emerging and frontier markets. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, (21)(2011), pp. 724-742
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2010). The short-run underpricing of initial public offerings in Sri Lankan Stock market. Journal of Multinational Financial Management, (20), pp. 197-213
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2010). Asymmetric investor behavior between buyside and sellside: Evidence from investor classes in the Sri Lankan stock market. Journal of Multinational Financial Management, (20), pp. 93-113
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2009). The relation between trades of domestic and foreign investors and stock returns in Sri Lanka. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, pp. 850-861
  • Samarakoon, L. P., & Jaleel, F. M. (2009). Stock market liberalization and return volatility: Evidence from the emerging stock market of Sri Lanka. Journal of Multinational Financial Management, (19), pp. 409-423
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2004). Efficiency of the Sri Lankan stock market. (1), pp. 1-22
  • Samarakoon, L. P., & Hasan, T. (2003). Altman's Z-Score models of predicting corporate distress: Evidence from the emerging Sri Lankan stock market. (1), pp. 119-125
  • Samarakoon, L. P., & Dissa Bandara, D. (2002). Dividend announcements, firm size and dividend growth in the Sri Lankan stock market. (7)(3 & 4), pp. 228-245
  • Samarakoon, L. P., & Hasan, T. (2000). Short-term interest rates and expected stock returns in Sri Lanka. (6), pp. 337-348
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1999). The capital structure of Sri Lankan companies. (4), pp. 18-30
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1999). The ownership structure of Sri Lankan companies. (4), pp. 143-171
  • Samarakoon, L. P., Hasan, T., & Hasan, S. (1999). Stock price behavior in a less developed market: Evidence from Sri Lanka. Journal of Applied Business Research, (16), pp. 15-23
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1998). Indices to measure the performance of the Sri Lankan corporate bond market. (3), pp. 186-203
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1998). An Index to measure the performance of the Sri Lankan Treasury bond market. (3), pp. 204-220
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1997). The cross-section of expected stock returns in Sri Lanka. (2)(3), pp. 233-250
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1997). Stocks, bills and inflation in Sri Lanka. Vidyodaya Journal of Social Science, (8), pp. 17-183
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1996). Predictability of short-horizon returns in the Sri Lankan stock market. (1), pp. 207-224
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1996). Credit rating factors for corporate bonds. (6), pp. 16-20
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (1996). Stock market returns and inflation: Sri Lankan evidence. (1), pp. 293-311
  • Samarakoon, L. P., & Hosseini, J. (1989). Decision support systems for drilling oil wells. (13), pp. 101-110
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2011). The financial market in Sri Lanka (Tamil translation), 1st ed.. Colombo, Sri Lanka Colombo, Sri Lanka: Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2010). Equity securities: Theory and practice, 1st ed. Sri Lanka Sri Lanka: Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2010). Debt securities: Markets, instruments and analysis, 1st ed... Sri Lanka Sri Lanka: Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2009). The financial market in Sri Lanka - 1st ed. Sinhala Sinhala: Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2005). Portfolio performance evaluation.
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2005). Securities market in Sri Lanka, 4th ed. Sri Lanka Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Securities & Exchange Commission
  • Samarakoon, L. P. (2000). Sri Lankan Corporate Bond Market, 1st ed.. Sri Lanka Sri Lanka: Nawala

  • Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Reviewer
  • Financial Management Association European Conference, Reviewer
  • International Journal of Management Science and Engineering Management, Reviewer
  • International Review of Financial Analysis, Reviewer
  • Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Reviewer
  • Journal of Multi-disciplinary Studies, Reviewer
  • Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Reviewer
  • Journal of Risk and Control,
  • North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Reviewer
  • Sri Lanka Finance Association, Officer
  • The African Finance Journal, Reviewer
  • The Financial Review, Reviewer
  • CFA Institute
  • European Financial Management Association
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka
  • Minnesota CFA Society
  • Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science

  • Professor, University of St. Thomas, Mineapolis / St. Paul (2012 - present)
  • Department Chair - Finance, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2011 - 2015)
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2001 - 2012)
  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of Houston, Houston (2000 - 2001)
  • Professor of Finance, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, (2000 - 2001)
  • Senior Lecturer in Finance, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, (1994 - 2000)
  • Assistant Professor of Finance, Alabama A&M University, (1993 - 1994)
  • Assistant Lecturer in Business Administration, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, (1985 - 1994)
  • Teaching Fellow in Finance, University of Houston, Houston (1989 - 1993)