18 year Hayleys-Jetwing relationship ends
Nepali investor looking to take
further hotels’ stakes
The Nepali investor who bought Carbotel
Ltd., a Hayleys Group’s subsidiary’s stakes in Vil Uyana
and Seashells hotels is looking to buy Carbotel’s stakes
in three of its four remaining hotels as well as its/Hayleys
Group’s stake in the management company that runs those
hotels, a hotelier alleged.
Jetwing Hotels Management Services
(Pvt.) Ltd., Managing Director Ruwan Samarasinghe told
The Sunday Leader that Binod Chaudhary who
controls the Cinnovation Group and is into investments
in several commercial sectors including the leisure
sector had allegedly evinced such interest.
Hayleys’ Carbotel recently exited from
loss making Vil Uyana and Seashells hotels for Rs. 175
million to Cinnovation. Those sales included a 49% stake
in Seashells and a 50% stake in Vil Uyana.
Jetwing Group with which Hayleys has had
an 18 year commercial relationship, holds
the remaining stakes in those two hotels
which are unlisted. Additionally, Hayleys Group has a
40% stake in Jetwing Hotels Management, which management
also includes hotels such as the Beach in which the
Jetwing Group has a 70% stake and Carbotel 30%; Hunas, a
quoted company cum hotel in which Jetwing has a 15%
stake and Carbotel 49%; Lighthouse, another public
quoted company cum hotel in which Jetwing has a 48%
stake and Carbotel 27% and Tropical in which Jetwing has
a 60% stake and Carbotel 40%.
The balance 60% stake of Jetwing Hotels
is owned by the late Herbert Cooray’s family.
Hayleys Group and Jetwing also co-own a
25 acre hotel property in Trincomalee in which the
former has a 42% stake.
Jetwing also operates some other hotel
properties independent of the Hayleys Group.
However a Hayleys source said that they
have no plans to exit from Hunas in which they have a
49% controlling stake. But its "thumbs up" for the sale
of the other properties, he alleged.
Samarasinghe alleged that Hayleys had
indicated to them six months ago that they had wanted to
exit from the hotel sector. This was after the entry of
Hayleys’ newest shareholder Dhammika Perera, he alleged.
Perera has a 22% stake in the Hayleys
Group and is its single biggest shareholder.
"As Perera and his companies are also
involved in the leisure industry, he probably didn’t
want a duplication, hence his desire to exit from
Hayleys’ investment in the leisure industry," alleged
Perera and his companies have a 51%
stake in four hotel properties, one each in Dambulla and
Kandy and two down South, by the coastal belt, popular
for tourism. It’s learnt that Perera has no intention of
giving up those properties.
Samarasinghe said that Jetwing Hotels
gets a percentage from the turnover and the profits of
the hotels they manage as management fees, though the
company per se is of nominal value.
" However, the Cinnovation Group has
indicated that they want us to continue with the
management of those hotels," said Samarasinghe.
The Cinnovation Group was allegedly
introduced to Jetwing by a local business contact.
Tourism which took a beating in the past
26 years due to the terrorist war, is now looking up,
with the end of this war.
Meanwhile the moneys made by Hayleys
through the sale of its stakes in Vil Uyana and
Seashells have been reinvested in upping their stake in
Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills Plc by 14.1% to 55.3% for Rs.
Samarasinghe said that overseas, they
took over the management of a 20 room hotel in Vietnam
owned by a Vietnamese last month, who wants to add
another 20 rooms. "Vietnam gets two million tourists,"
he said. "We are also looking at hotel investments in
Laos and Cambodia, but we were a little too late in the
Maldives with its property prices escalating," admitted
Meanwhile, Cooray’s only daughter
Shiromal Cooray, Managing Director Jetwing Travels and a
director at Jetwing Hotels said that they are also
exploring the possibility of managing some smaller hotel
properties owned by the Cinnovation Group in Nepal. She
also said that Cinnovation is the largest shareholder of
Taj Samudra, Colombo.
A tax consultant on Wednesday advocated
the setting-up of an expenditure control department to
be run in parallel with the Inland Revenue Department to
minimize Government expenditure.
N.R.Gajendran, partner, Gajma & Co.,
speaking at the Association of Accounting Technicians’
annual conference in Colombo said that while the private
sector has introduced salary cuts to get over the
current economic morass, Government expenditure, led by
wasteful recurrent expenditure, was however expected to
rise from Rs. one trillion to Rs. 1.2 trillion year on
year (y.o.y.) according to Budget 2009.
Central Bank Assistant Governor Dr.
Nandalal Weerasinghe speaking at the same seminar said
that export earnings in June fell at a slower pace than
in the previous month indicating that exports were on
the road to recovery.
He said that export earnings in June
fell by 14% y.o.y., compared to a 28% fall the previous
Weerasinghe further said that the
retardation in credit growth will be arrested due to
proposed investments in the tourism sector. For the
first time in the country’s history, credit growth of
banks fell by 2% in the period December 31, 2008 to June
Navy seeks export markets
Sri Lanka Navy (S.L.N.) is exploring the
possibility of exporting their boats manufactured in
their Welisara boat yard.
Commodore Travis Sinniah told The Sunday
Leader that they make inshore patrol craft (I.P.C.) and
Special Boat Squadron (S.B.S.) boats-which manufacture
he said was unique to Sri Lanka, at their Welisara yard.
The speeds of those boats vary from between 450-1,000
horse power and can carry crews of between 7-8, with
S.B.S. operations being similar to that of commando
They have manufactured more than 50
I.P.C., each worth close to Rs. 10 million and several
He said that S.L.N. will participate in
the Maldives International Boat Show that will be held
in Male from October 12-14, in order to find export
markets for their manufactures.
Additionally Colombo Dockyard
manufactures fast attack craft (f.a.c.) built according
to S.L.N. design.
Paradoxically Sri Lanka’s own boat show
which was inaugurated last year will however not be
repeated this year because of the global recession, one
of its organizers told reporters on Tuesday.
Neil Fernando of Neil Marine, one of the
country’s premier boat builders and exporters said that
instead this show will be held next year.
Sri Lanka exported some Rs. 2.1 billion
worth of boats in the first four months of this year.
Ceylon Tea by any other name
Raknish Wijewardene at the Hong Kong
international tea Fair
Men and women from every corner of the world assemble
at an enormous conference building. An array of
journalists, translators, organizer as well as
security personnel in dark suits hover around the
fringes of the gathering - as fleets of limousines
arrive to deposit yet more designer draped executives.
With the flags of dozens of countries on display and
a dizzying number of languages audible in the one
immense hall this could easily be a sitting of the
united nations but its not; for one things its
far too crowded.
Around the central gathering of assorted
dignitaries throngs an immense mass of the general
public. Thousand of people queuing to enter the
venue- all jostle for space. “Its like a Hindu
melha- or the haj,” noted an Indian
journalist, but in fact this is not a religious
celebration though there seems to me an almost
religious fervor among the crowd; this is simply the
Hong Kong international tea fair.
And its only on witnessing an international event on
this scale that its possible to comprehend the
significance of the world’s tea industry; an industry
worth over 20 billion dollars.
The fair gathers buyers sellers and producers of
tea from all over the world and the general public
a chance to buy rare teas or quality teas at a discount
And the atmosphere is made all the more electric
by the fact that the worlds most ancient and
popular beverage is on the ascendant.
After years of concern that coffee was gaining
popularity among young consumers and with American
coffee house culture gaining an almost cult following
internationally, recent studies confirming the health
benefits of tea have thrown the ‘cup that cheers’ back
into the limelight.
Now every week sees new reports of the near
miraculous properties of both green and black tea –to
reduce the risk of heart disease strokes, and even
prevent cancer and demand for tea among the world’s
increasingly health conscious public is rising rapidly.
The result regardless of the global economic down
turn is that the tea industry is expanding and buyers
from unlikely destinations including Mexico, Canada
and even France – not countries normally thought of as
major tea consumer can be found across the fair.
As you see a Turkmen businessman carry a dozen
samples away from a Sri Lanka tea stall you realize
that the little green leaves that carpet the hill
country flow to just about every corner of the world.
Yet its difficult to believe that all the
publicity, the crowds and the speeches are about
nothing more than cups of tea –of the sort most of us
drink on a daily basis.
is just the point for billions of people around the
world tea constitutes an essential part of their daily
routines. And in a sense tea is no less an
essential commodity than bread, rice or milk.
And of course for Sri Lanka at least the price of
tea is no less significant than the price of oil and
the crop remains the nations second largest export-
no other nation is as dependent on ‘green gold’.
Thus the buoyant mood of the tea fair is perhaps
no where more significant than in Sri Lanka.
However with increasing demand competition in the
world’s tea market is intense and with the growing
popularity of tea other producers are looking to enter
or expand their share of the tea market.
Kenya already exports more tea than Sri Lanka while
other low cost producers like Vietnam and Indonesia
are looking to further expand their market share.
Industrialized producers like Argentina and
Australia who benefit from economies of scale - huge
land areas and modern technology, are also looking to
enter the market.
And the reality is that Sri Lankan tea can no
longer compete on price- all the land available for
cultivation has been utilized and productivity on
plantations is already high.
Value addition; packing and selling finished products
rather than bulk
tea is the only means by which many Sri Lankan
producers can obtain a viable market price for their
While a kilo of bulk tea may retail for $3 at the
Colombo tea auction valued added products realize 8
dollars or more per kilo.
According to the Sri Lanka tea board enormous
progress has already been made in terms of value
addition and 40% of the country’s tea exports are value
Some Sri Lankan exhibitors at the Hong Kong fair
however suggested that even the significant progress
made in value addition thus far was inadequate.
“Its time for legislation- the government should
mandate that all tea leaving Sri Lanka should be in
value added/ packaged form. While in the short term it
will hurt some smaller producers like us in the long
term it would force us to add value and think more
competitively.” Claimed Mohamed Refai of Reza Seylani
“It will also compel international buyers and
brands to establish factories in Sri Lanka. If Sri Lanka
can only export packaged products then they will have to
open packing plants in Colombo; they wont have a choice-
the Ceylon tea brand is so strong and tastes so distinct
that major labels will have no other option. This is
how we can make maximum use of the strength of the
Ceylon tea brand.”
Others however felt that such legislation would be
premature “you cant force everyone to eat red rice – but
in time value addition is going to increase its
Argued Anil Cooke from president of Asia Siyaka
Mr. Cooke however called on the government to do
more in terms of promoting and supporting the local tea
“The government imposes a cess of 4 rs on every
kilo of tea exported- as the country exports 300 million
kilos of tea that cess earns billions of rupees but
that money frankly has not been going into tea. The
money from the cess is supposed to be reinvested in the
industry. Now with the war over there are no more
excuses the industry needs to see that money then we
will see if the government really is serious about
supporting tea exporters. Recently we’ve heard that
the tea board will be scaling down its participation at
international tea events like this one, and that the tea
research institute has cut back on its activities due
to a lack of funds – this is entirely the wrong
direction I mean we are going back wards- and in
this industry that’s something you cannot afford to
Lalith Hettiarachchi of Sri Lanka tea board however
was more positive “while there has been a
problem with the cess over the past 2 years we have seen
a improvement this year, We are already using the
money to support exporters make the transition to
value added products ”
While the overall future for the industry looks
positive a number of problems remain.
“Russian legislation placing prohibitive duties on
the import of packaged tea into Russia is a huge
stumbling block as far as value addition is concerned
as they are our biggest importers. We need to
circumvent that somehow and we need state support to do
that,” Claimed Lalindra De Silva of Expolanka teas.
“That’s why we need our own legislation- if Russia
can refuse to import package tea we can refuse to
export unpackaged products they will be forced to
concede. Tea is not oil its not going to start a war
but Russian buyers need our product so that sort of
legislation is the way forward.” Said Mohamed Refai.
A second problem reported by tea traders was that
blenders in the middle east and Russia sometimes
blend other teas with Sri Lankan tea and sell the
final product as pure Ceylon tea.
According to Lalindra De Silva; “This is an inferior
product and it hurts the value of our brand. If tea was
packaged locally of course this would not occur .”
However ultimately the problems currently encountered
by tea exporters are outweighed by the opportunities
“We have tremendous scope in a number of new markets
in Japan, the USA, even Canada. In Japan the Uva tea
brand is enormously popular – not just Ceylon tea but
specifically Uva tea. This sort of regional branding
provides huge scope for years we have been trading under
the Ceylon name but India for example has developed
regional identities- Darjeeling, Assam.
We are hoping to register seven GIs geographic
indicators this year like Uva, Dimbula Nuwaraeliya and
Ruhuna, which will be linked to a specific area like
French wine or cheese. This will be a huge step in
terms of developing the overall Ceylon tea brand.”
Continued Mr. Hetiarachchi Chairman of the Sri Lanka
At the fair competition is intense. With bidders
offering 160 000 Hong Kong dollars or over 2 million
rupees, for just 200 grams of 100 year old
Chinese Puerh tea.
The intensity and the interest are an indication of
how serious the tea industry has become. 140 after
the first commercial tea estates were planted in Sri
Lanka tea Ceylon tea is ‘still green gold’ and with more
value addition the crop could easily regain its position
as the country’s largest foreign exchange earner.
“All the income from tea exports goes to Sri Lanka –
where as with garments the raw materials are imported
so the figure of 3 billion dollars worth of exports is
only a gross figure. Tea on the other hand really
benefits every segment of the economy and population”
explained Malin Goneratne CEO of the Ceylon Planters
association at his presentation in Hong Kong.
And therefore all the fuss about tea can ultimately
only be a good thing- for Sri Lanka’s beleaguered
Captive funds buy bonds
In a market "where longer the tenure
higher the yield," principle works due to a distrust by
the market that rates would come down in the longer
term, sources believe that Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.)
got captive funds to invest in Thursday’s primary
Treasury (T) Bond auction in an attempt to keep yields
They said that whereas a Bond maturing
on January 15, 2011 was being traded at 12.55% in the
secondary market on Thursday, a Bond due to mature six
months later on July 15, 2011, fetched a weighted
average yield (w.a.y.) that was five basis points (b.p.s.)
lower, at 12.50%, at Thursday’s primary auction,
indicating that it was not the market that subscribed to
this Bond auction.
Similarly, 2013 maturing Bonds in the
secondary market were trading at 13%, whereas at
Thursday’s primary auction those fetched a w.a.y. of
12.88%, again indicating an intervention. Likewise 2015
maturing bonds in the secondary market were being traded
at a 13.05% yield, while in the primary auction of
Thursday, they fetched a w.a.y. of 13%, five b.p.s. less
than the market rate, again indicating Government
intervention to control yields.
The main story in last week’s business
pages of this newspaper reported that both inflation and
interest rates have hit the bottom. The movement of
yield rates in the secondary market on Thursday appears
to confirm this report.
Results of Wednesday’s T. Bill primary
auction also appeared to reconfirm this view, with 91,
182 and 364 day maturing T Bills fetching w.a.y.s of
10.57%, 11.43% and 11.98%, down one b.p.s., and up by
two and three b.p.s respectively over that of the
previous week’s w.a.y.s.-
Reason for war win
The strategy of maximizing enemy
casualties and not wanting to hold onto large swathes of
land was that which led to the annihilation of the
L.T.T.E., Sri Lanka’s youngest Major General said on
Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva (44) speaking
at the Association of Accounting Technicians’ annual
conference in Colombo said that by adopting this
strategy in Mannar they killed 2,000 frontline L.T.T.E.
Silva a key field commander in the final
war with the terrorists said that in the Mannar battle
the army took as long as 8½ months to march five
kilometres in this war of attrition.
"But soon after, Pooneryn and
Kilinochchi also fell," he said.
Silva who was a Brigadier then, said
that another strategic battle was the battle for
The terrorists had overrun the army
forward defence lines (f.d.l.s) in Muhamalai in 2006
when the then Army Commander Lieutenant Gen. Sarath
Fonseka (now a fully fledged General) had summoned him
from the Diyatalawa Military Academy where he had been
serving, and had ordered him to regain Muhamalai.
Silva not only regained the Muhamalai
f.d.l., but also captured the Tigers’ f.d.l. in the same
area, a line which the terrorists had been holding since
2000, and which was captured by Silva’s troops in only
1½ hours of fighting.
The falling of the L.T.T.E. f.d.l. in
Muhamalai paved the way for the recapture of Elephant
Pass in under three years later.
He said that another reason for his
success was that he always took his troops into his
confidence. Success is about correct leadership,
soldiers believe in their leader (officer), that trust
must not be betrayed, said Silva.
He briefed his troops about the dangers
that lay ahead in the Muhamalai battle.
Silva said that a distance of 400 metres
separated the two warring parties. Some 25,000 anti
personnel mines were buried in that space. They didn’t
have any mine plucking machines.
The L.T.T.E. line was some eight km.
long. Silva expected 35 troopers to lose their limbs in
this advance. The final count was 27.
Describing the two final battles that
led to the complete destruction of the L.T.T.E., he said
that in the battle for Puthukudiyiruppu, a place that
lies between Chalai and Mullaitivu, some 750-1,000
L.T.T.E. cadres broke through a line that was thinly
held by 16 soldiers.
"I knew what the L.T.T.E. objective was,
and I took a gamble and allowed them to advance," he
said. "Then we encircled them and attacked," said Silva.
Hardly any of them were able to escape, he said. They
asked Pottu Amman for reinforcements, but he had said
that he was unable to send the same because of army
fire. Prabhakaran was not in command, said Silva.
In the final battle he adopted a pincer
movement, which gradually reduced their land mass from
1½ square km. To 400 sq. metres. In the ultimate
headcount in the final battle, some 630 L.T.TE bodies
were found. Among the L.T.T. E leaders killed in the
final two battles were Bhanu, a senior L.T.T.E. leader,
Theepan, Vidushan and Durga.
There was superb coordination among the
forces, especially with the airforce, said Silva.
Unmanned aerial vehicles which normally used to be
operated from either Colombo or Anuradhapura, were
allowed to be operated from his own field headquarters
in the Wanni.
His belief in the two mottoes, "unity is strength"
and "nothing is impossible" was vindicated, said Silva.
IFS AND BUTS...
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.)
Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, apart from helping the
Government of Sri Lanka (G.o.S.L.) to clinch the U.S.$
2.6 billion I.M.F. Standby Arrangement, has earned a
reputation nowadays of using the phrase "if not for the
war" in his speeches delivered at various seminars and
Cabraal, in those speeches said,
"Investors used to say if not for the war they would
have done this or done that…"
"But now that the war is over, investors
could now get on with their jobs," Cabraal used to say.
What he says may be true, but there is a
catch here, he has forgotten about the global recession,
that has led to a capital flight from emerging economies
such as Sri Lanka and has also made international credit
tight, which are disincentives for investments and makes
it difficult to obtain funds for much needed development
The other day this reporter was speaking
to a stock broker who said that if not for the recession
the stock market would have had gone through the roof,
similar to what took place in the brief two year period
of the Ranil Wickremesinghe Government when there was
"peace" in the island. Peace because of the ceasefire,
coupled with the international goodwill led by the West
that prevailed then, a factor that is conspicuous by its
absence currently, of which these pages have had touched
upon on numerous occasions in the past, made the economy
However there was a glimmer of hope in
what this stock broker told this newspaper.
He said that currently global markets
are on the verge of recovery which is also a positive
sign for the local market.
The source further said that
international fund managers, managing billions of
dollars worth of funds, were now looking at emerging
markets. And the fact that the island has peace, coming
out of a 26 year old war is a definite plus factor, he
Those fund managers are on their summer
holidays and will be getting back to work only this
week. As such the coming weeks will be crucial to Sri
Lanka, he said.
It’s also important that nothing
untoward happens in the island that would jeopardize
investor confidence in the island, the source emphasised.
Now that the threat of bombs going off
in the city has fast dissipated after the crushing
defeat inflicted on the L.T.T.E. by G.o.S.L. forces in
May, which resulted in the jurisdiction of the entire
island being brought under Colombo’s writ after a lapse
of 26 years, it’s important that this peace is continued
to be maintained to boost investor confidence further.
In this regard, lawlessness will be an
issue that will have to be dealt with firmly by the
However, another point that this stock
broker said was that the tourist season which begins
with the onset of the coming winter was not something to
write home about because of the global recession that
has put the brakes on this industry, with Sri Lanka not
getting the flood of tourists which otherwise it would
have had got because of the peace factor.
However, next year is expected to be
good, he said, stressing the importance of being patient
The recently ended Nuwara Perahera was
also nothing much to shout about as far as tourist
arrivals are concerned, he said. That this was going to
happen was reported on these pages a few weeks prior to
the perahera taking place.
So, it will be until next year that the
country will have to wait patiently for the economy to
take-off, which, however would not have had been the
case if not for the recession, where the take-off then
would have had been almost immediate.
These pages, in this newspaper’s last
week edition, quoting a banking source said that
industry players had applied to C.B.S.L., seeking
permission to open some 70-80 additional bank branches
in the North and East (N.E.) now that the war is over.
This is a very positive development to
say the least, but the rider here is to re-settle the
280,000 refugees still languishing in camps as fast as
possible in their original homes for this to take place.
Screening and demining have to be
expedited for these to happen.
Those refugees, though living in camps,
apparently have money. That is the reason for those
banks wanting to rush to the N.E., to open more branches
in that sensitive area, now that peace has dawned upon
In the late 1990s, the late Brigadier
Larry Wijeratne (posthumously promoted to the rank of
Major General after being killed by an L.T.T.E. suicide
bomber), told this reporter that the people in Jaffna
have money. Wijeratne, who was then the Security Forces
Commander of the 51-4 Brigade in Vadamarachchi, said
that at least one family member, of a family living in
Jaffna, was in the West, sending money to their families
back at home. As such they didn’t have to worry about
how they were going to make ends meet.
The same may also be true of the Tamil
refugees in Wanni. They too may be having at least one
family member living abroad, and sending them money.
That may be the reason why banks want to rush to the
Wanni. They know that it’s a cash cow.
Nearly three months have passed since
the war end.
And G.o.S.L. made a pledge to re-settle
80% of those refugees back in their original homes
before the year end.
This milestone is only four months away.
And it’s hoped that G.o.S.L. would be able to re-settle
a substantial number of those refugees, even if it’s
unable to meet the promised 80% target before the year
end, due to logistical reasons.
This will not only be an exercise of
G.o.S.L. wanting to keep upto its commitment of
re-settling the Wanni refugees, but will also give that
much needed boost to Sri Lanka’s flagging economy,
which, for the first time in its history, recorded a
negative 2% credit growth. Resettlement will liberate
funds, hopefully for much needed development, which,
otherwise would have had to be spent for the upkeep of
And, at the same time this action would
revive the dormant economies of the N.E., made dormant
because of the 26 year old war, with the rest of the
country’s economy enjoying the trickle down effects of
such economic activity, once started.
Let not the holding of a plethora of
elections be a distraction to the G.o.S.L. from
achieving this goal.
Reaching out to micro entrepreneur
Timely delivery of services and not
interest rates are that which is important in
microfinance, a provider of this service told The
Gamini Bandara Yapa, Senior Manager
Micro Finance, Central Finance Company Plc (C.F.) said
that delays in getting loan approvals and such like are
that which is hurting the microfinance beneficiary.
He said that in areas like Dambulla,
where the Yala season is currently being cultivated, the
farmer is toiling his field from 7am to 7pm. "As such
time lost in getting his loan application right is
something that he can ill afford," said Yapa.
Yapa who was involved with his former
employer Hatton National Bank Plc’s (H.N.B.’s) Gami
Pubuduwa microfinance since its inception in the late
1980s has opened one C.F. microfinance station at
Nikawatawana Grama Sevaka Division, 20 kilometres off
Dambulla, with plans to open two more-at Muwanpelessa,
12 kms., off Suriyawewa, Embilipitiya and the other at
Keppetipola, Bandarawela this month.
These offices will be linked to the C.F.
branches in Dambulla and Embilipitiya (15 kms., from
He also has plans to expand to the North
and East (N.E.), with his parent company opening a
branch office in Batticaloa recently.
"On an average, virtually every family
living in the N.E. has at least one family member
domiciled in the West or in Australasia," said Yapa. So
they have money coming in, he added.
Yapa believes that the potential for
microfinance was enormous because there were a number of
micro entrepreneurs who were operating outside the
conventional banking system.
According to Yapa, H.N.B.’s most
profitable southern branch last year, Suriyawewa, first
began as a microfinance (Gami Pubuduwa) unit. It was
also so in the case of H.N.B.’s Buttala branch, he said.
Yapa who has recruited three experienced
field officers to scout for business in the Nikawatawana,
Sooriyawewa and Keppetipola areas respectively, said
that the microfinance loans that they will be offering
will carry a 28% annual interest.
"When there is no microfinance credit
available to the borrower, he has no recourse other than
to go to the village money lender, where the interest
charged may be as high as 120%," said Yapa.
Target audience will be individuals or
individuals operating through groups, where in the
latter case, two from the group in question will have to
sign as guarantors.
"Group" (i.e. individual loans backed by
guarantors) will be exclusively for women entrepreneurs.
"Even individual loans will need two guarantors, but the
difference is that we shall not be asking for any
collateral," Yapa said.
Group loans will be exclusively for
women, with each group comprising a minimum of seven and
a maximum of 12 women entrepreneurs.
The value of each loan will vary from Rs.
25,000 to Rs. 50,000; with the full sum disbursed either
upfront or in two instalments.
C.F. has released Rs. 18 million for
this project which may be enhanced to Rs. 25 million if
the company starts microfinance operations in the N.E.
Yapa is also working with an Italian
based microfinance donor, with the expectation of
getting a further funding of Rs. 25 million for this
Each beneficiary will be mandated to
open a C.F. savings account. Target areas are rice, big
onion, potato, vegetable and dairy farming, tailoring
and such like industries, said Yapa.
The tenure of the loan will be three
years, i.e. in the case of project loans, while in the
case of the others it will be seasonal, where the loan
will be settled after harvesting the crop.
"Currently where there are no
microfinance facilities available, there are instances
where the farmer pledges his harvest to loan providers,
such as those who supply him with chemicals and
fertilizer for a pittance," said Yapa.
Even environment management plays a key
role in C.F.’s microfinance loan scheme, said Yapa. "We
shall encourage each of these beneficiaries to plant a
tree annually and educate him on the proper use of agro
chemicals to prevent unnecessary waste, which will end
up polluting the atmosphere," he said.
Rs. 150,000 income from bus
One meets some interesting people at the
most unexpected places and one such person was Manjula
Dodangoda (37), whom yours truly met in a bus last
Dodangoda said that he was the owner of
this bus, and he makes a clear profit of Rs. 5,000 a day
from its operations.
"I have given this bus to the driver for
hire," said Dodangoda. And the contract is that he has
to pay me Rs. 5,000 daily, he said. Vehicle maintenance
and the diesel bill is his baby, added Dodangoda.
The bus owned by Dodoangoda does the
Panadura-Colombo run. The daily hire earned by the bus
is Rs. 15,000; said Dodangoda who owns a 42 seater Ashok
Leyland second hand bus which he bought for Rs. 3.4
million, inclusive of its route permit recently.
"It does about eight trips a day, up and
down, and earns on an average Rs. 2,000 on a trip," said
Dodangoda. On good days they earn as much as Rs. 5,000
on a trip, he said.
Dodangoda who embarked on this bus
business last month had been living in the Continent and
in the U.K. for the past 21 years on a work permit,
before his return to the island..
His logic for returning home was that he
was earning around five Great Britain Pounds or six
euros an hour in Europe. His last job was being attached
to a transport sector organisation in Manchester.
"Working for 7½ hours a day there, that translated to a
Rs. 7,000 a day take home earnings," said Dodoangoda.
"But here I’m in Sri Lanka, where,
virtually, without any sweat, I earn Rs, 5,000 a day
from this investment," he said. "I realized that the bus
business was good because when I was young, a ticket
from Colombo to Panadura was a mere Rs. 5.50," said
Dodangoda. But now it’s Rs. 35, he added. Besides, there
is now peace in the island. Dodangoda said that his
rights are protected through a written agreement,
committed to by the driver.
Married to a Sri Lankan, Dodangoda,
originally from Kandy, now resides in Ethul Kotte. He
has a daughter. "The money I made and invested here was
what I earned when living in Euroipe," said Dodangoda,
who also operates a construction firm.
If what Dodangoda says is true, one
wonders whether there is a case to up bus fares, which
private bus operators are currently agitating for.
Promotion extended HNB Assurance p.a.t.
HNB Assurance Plc in the second quarter
(2Q) ended June 30, 2009 saw profit after tax (p.a.t.)
increase by 72% year on year (y.o.y.) to Rs. 18.04
million. The company in the first half (1H) ended June
30, 2009 saw p.a.t. increase by 38% y.o.y. to Rs. 33.90
HNB p.a.t. up 76%
Hatton National Bank Plc in the 2Q ended
June 30, 2009 saw p.a.t. increase by 76% y.o.y. to Rs.
996.44 million. The company in the 1H ended June 30,
2009 saw p.a.t. increase by 31% y.o.y. to Rs. 1,708.22
Sampath p.a.t. up 20%
Sampath Bank Plc in the 2Q ended June
30, 2009 saw p.a.t. increase by 20% y.o.y. to Rs. 449.05
million. The company in the 1H ended June 30, 2009 saw
p.a.t. increase by 21% y.o.y. to Rs. 846.47 million.
Pan Asia p.a.t. up 346%
Pan Asia Bank Plc in the 2Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 346% y.o.y. to Rs.
206.69 million. The company in the 1H ended June 30,
2009 saw p.a.t. increase by 165% y.o.y. to Rs. 299.15
Ceylinco Insurance p.a.t. up 3%
Ceylinco Insurance Plc in the 2Q ended
June 30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 3% y.o.y. to
Rs. 112.78 million. The company in the 1H ended June 30,
2009 saw p.a.t. decrease by 15% y.o.y. to Rs. 213.95
Spence p.a.t. down 24%
Aitken Spence Plc in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw its p.a.t. decrease by 24% y.o.y. to Rs.
293.85 million. "Weaker leisure performance has pulled
down Group earnings."
Hemas p.a.t. down 33%
Hemas Holdings Plc in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw its p.a.t. decrease by 33% y.o.y. to Rs.
S.L.T. p.a.t. down 75%
Sri Lanka Telecom (S.L.T.) in the 2Q
ended June 30, 2009 saw net profits decrease by 75%
y.o.y. to Rs. 376 million. The company in the 1H ended
June 30, 2009 saw p.a.t. decline by 57% y.o.y. to Rs.
1,350 million. "Negative revenue growth along with
higher costs dilute earnings."
Spence Hotels’ losses decline
Aitken Spence Hotels in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2009 saw its losses decrease by 137% y.o.y. to
Rs. 114.41 million.
Lighthouse increases losses
Lighthouse Hotel Plc in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2009 saw its losses increase by 29% y.o.y. to
Rs. 9.40 million.
Hotel Sigiriya losses up
Hotel Sigiriya Plc in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw its losses increase by 20% y.o.y. to Rs.
Serendib Hotels losses up
Serendib Hotels in the 1Q ended June 30,
2009 saw its losses increase by 20% y.o.y. to Rs. 12.43
Keells Food reduces losses
Keells Food Products in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2009 saw its losses decline by 156% y.o.y. to
Rs. 8.65 million.
Keells p.a.t. up 35%
John Keells Plc in the 1Q ended June 30,
2009 saw net profits increase by 35% y.o.y. to Rs. 45.62
Keells Hotels losses up
Keells Hotels Plc in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw losses increase by 54% y.o.y. to Rs. 149.69
C.C.S. p.a.t. up 120%
Ceylon Cold Stores (C.C.S.) in the 1Q
ended June 30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 120%
y.o.y. to Rs. 1.10 million.
DIMO makes loss
DIMO in the 1Q ended June 30, 2009 made
a Rs. 51.95 million loss compared to a Rs. 17.37 million
profit made in the corresponding Q the previous year.
Asian Hotels p.a.t. down
Asian Hotels & Properties in the 1Q
ended June 30, 2009 saw net profits decrease by 61%
y.o.y. to Rs. 54.12 million. "Although earnings from
hotels improved, earnings dipped due to ‘higher’ profit
recognition on property segment in 1Q 2009."
Nestle p.a.t. up 71%
Nestle Lanka Plc in the 2Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 71% y.o.y. to Rs.
421.94 million. However, the company in the 1H ended
June 30, 2009 saw p.a.t. decline by 3% y.o.y. to Rs.
Overseas Realty p.a.t. down
Overseas Realty in the 2Q ended June 30,
2009 saw net profits decrease by 5% y.o.y. to Rs. 128.56
million. The company in the 1H ended June 30, 2009 saw
p.a.t. decline by 4% y.o.y. to Rs. 240.52 million.
Union Chemicals p.a.t. up
Union Chemicals in the 2Q ended June 30,
2009 saw net profits increase by 6% y.o.y. to Rs. 9.71
million. However, the company in the 1H ended June 30,
2009 saw p.a.t. decline by 5% y.o.y. to Rs. 17.37
M.B.S.L. p.a.t. down 15%
M.B.S.L. in the 2Q ended June 30, 2009
saw net profits decline by 15% y.o.y. to Rs. 36.37
million. The company in the 1H ended June 30, 2009 saw
p.a.t. decrease by 11% y.o.y. to Rs. 66.13 million.
Sunshine p.a.t. down 15%
Sunshine Holdings in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits decline by 15% y.o.y. to Rs.
Horana makes loss
Horana Plantations in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 made a Rs. 2.6 million loss compared to a Rs.
8.39 million net profit made in the corresponding Q the
Losses up 92%
Hayleys Exports PLC in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 increased their losses by 92% y.o.y. to Rs.
DFCC p.a.t. down 7%
DFCC Bank Plc in the 1Q ended June 30,
2009 saw net profits decline by 7% y.o.y. to Rs. 479.75
Printcare p.a.t. down 87%
Printcare Plc in the 1Q ended June 30,
2009 saw net profits decline by 87% y.o.y. to Rs. 1.07
Watawala p.a.t. down 37%
Watawala Plantations in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2009 saw net profits decline by 37% y.o.y. to
Rs. 37.46 million.
Dipped p.a.t. down 37%
Dipped Products Plc in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits decline by 37% y.o.y. to Rs.
Kelani Valley p.a.t. down 37%
Kelani Valley Plantations Plc in the 2Q
ended June 30, 2009 saw net profits decline by 37% y.o.y.
to Rs. 41.16 million. The company in the 1H ended June
30, 2009 reduced their losses by 102% y.o.y. to Rs. 4.81
Hunas p.a.t. up 158%
Hunas falls Hotels in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 158% y.o.y. to Rs.
Kelani Tyres p.a.t. up 2,182%
Kelani Tyres Plc in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 2,182% y.o.y. to Rs.
Chemical Industries p.a.t. down 44%
Chemical Industries in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits decrease by 44% y.o.y. to Rs.
Cargills’ p.a.t. up 37%
Cargills (Ceylon) Plc in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 37% y.o.y. to
Rs. 162.29 million.
Hayleys’ p.a.t. up 16%
Hayleys’ Plc in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 16% y.o.y. to Rs.
Parquet’s losses up 16%
Parquet (Ceylon) Plc in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2009 saw its losses increase by 43% y.o.y. to
Rs. 1.22 million.
Stafford Hotels’ p.a.t. up
Stafford Hotels Plc in the 1Q ended June
30, 2009 saw net profits increase by 117% y.o.y. to Rs.
6.84 million. "Other incomes and gains boosted
Haycarb p.a.t. up
Haycarb Plc in the 1Q ended June 30,
2009 saw net profits increase by 70% y.o.y. to Rs. 88.35
International college in Malabe
Located in a four acre salubrious
environment overlooking paddy fields, away from the
hustle and bustle of city life; a school stands tall.
This school is none other than Horizon College
HCI at present is the only one of its
kind in Sri Lanka. Why may you ask is it so? A student
who enters HCI does not need to worry about which
university he/she should attend to follow a degree
programme. HCI offers it all under one roof on one
campus from "kindergarten" to post graduate. HCI is
affiliated to recognized universities in England,
America, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
HCI is the brain child of Upul
Daranagama CEO of the College. He first started with
Oxford College of Business, a popular well patronized
institute situated at Thurstan Road, Colombo. The Dean
of the Graduate and Post Graduate faculty is managed by
well known veteran educationist Dr. Egerton Senanayake.
Horizon College Principal, the latest
campus at Malabe, is Mrs. Maryanne Hills. She was
Principal of one of the largest private schools campuses
in Pakistan known as The City School. She was also
Bishop’s College Colombo Vice Principal and Regent
International College Gampaha founder Principal. She
possess 35 years of experience in teaching and
Horizon College will start its academic
year next month. The Grades will be from Play Group to
Grade 5 initially and in 2010 September from Grade 6 to
A/L. Admissions are in progress right now. The school
will follow the London Syllabus (Cambridge) The
Cambridge syllabus is a popular and widely accepted
syllabus in the sphere of education today. The College
will maintain a high standard of education by using the
best available resources, to go beyond the required
standard for the London Exam so that the student will be
geared to score not an average pass, but an excellent
The school has recruited teachers from
leading International and local schools in Sri Lanka. A
modern and easy up to date teaching and learning
methodology programmes will be followed at the College.
The primary’s large airy classrooms are equipped
according to "particular themes" The furniture is
beautiful. This is one of the many special aspects of
the school. Each child that enters the school will have
a medical card wherein all the details of the child will
be documented after the required tests are done with no
cost to the parent. The school has linked up with a
private hospital where a qualified nurse will be in
charge of the college sickroom.
Subjects taught will be English, Maths,
Science, Social Studies, Computer Studies. Physical
Education, Swimming, Music, Sinhala, Tamil,
French/German, Dancing and Religion (Buddhism,
Christianity, Islam and Hinduism). It was decided to
include Tamil as this is an essential language in Sri
Lanka. Horizon College will take responsibility for the
students academic development and help students reach
beyond the required grade by having special classes
after school where necessary at no extra cost to the
Yet another facility provided to the
students is transport to and from the school from major
transport hubs in and around Malabe. Parents need not
worry about having to drop and pick their children at
school. All this has been thought of and will be planned
out by the college’s administration department. On
completion of the buildings by the month end, the school
buildings will be divided as the Primary, Middle school
and Senior sections There will be two libraries, two
computer labs with state of the art technology, junior
laboratory and separate science labs for seniors.
To mould the "total person," the college
will have all the extra curricular activities such as
Swimming, Badminton, Tennis, Basketball, Netball,
Cricket, Chess, Scrabble, Cub Scouts, Scouting and Girls
Opens after 1½ years
Loss making Excel Global Holdings
unveiled a Rs. 40 million children’s park at its
premises in Colombo recently.
Owned by Francis Chokatte, an Indian and
his family, who also run Trendsetters, a garment
exporting firm from Sri Lanka, this park was originally
leased out to P.G. Martin’s until 1½ years ago.
In the interim period, upto now, the
company apparently tried various other income generating
strategies, which, however were not successful.
The company’s Joint Managing Director
Kiron Shenoy told reporters that the company year on
year had reduced its losses, upto the financial year
ended March 31, 2009.
He attributed these losses to the
country situation that prevailed then, but was
optimistic that they would be able to do a turnaround
now that the war was over.
The firm expects to recover the above
investment in four years.
Shenoy an Indian said that they plan to
invest a further Rs. 60-100 million by March next year.
That will include an additional
investment of Rs. 25 million on their children’s park.
The company which is also into the food, beverage and
banquet business, earns 35% from this sector, with the
balance coming from the children’s sector.
The company has invested Rs. 500 million
in these properties since the new management took over
the firm a few years ago, said Shenoy.
S.Port lease rental: US$ 5 mn.
China Merchant International Hong Kong’s
(C.M.I.’s) low royalty offer has to be looked at in the
context of the other charges that the Sri Lanka Ports
Authority (S.L.P.A.) may earn, an official told The
C.M.I. which was the sole bidder for the
first terminal to be built under the Colombo South Port
development project has offered to pay S.L.P.A., the
landlord, a royalty of U.S.$ 2¼ per twenty foot
equivalent container unit (t.e.u.) handled in the first
year, less than half the U.S.$ five offered by the two
front runners in the earlier bid, Port of Singapore
Authority (P.S.A.) and Hutch Ports, Hong Kong, whose
bids were ultimately rejected due to a dispute between
the then S.L.P.A. chairman and the Cabinet Appointed
Negotiation Committee (C.A.N.C.), and the call for fresh
requests for proposal (r.f.p.) as a result, to which
only C.M.I. responded.
C.M.I.’s quotation is however
The other private terminal operator at
the Colombo Port, S.A.G.T., pays a royalty of U.S.$ 3
per t.e.u. to S.L.P.A., the landlord of the Colombo
Port. S.A.G.T.which has the capacity to handle a million
t.e.u.s. annually, has increased it to 1.5 million
t.e.u.s. due to shorter ship dwell times.
In addition, C.M.I., whose technical bid
was passed and whose commercial bid is currently under
evaluation by the project committee headed by Janaka
Kurukulusuriya, S.L.P.A. Chief Engineer, if selected,
will have to pay S.L.P.A. a rental of U.S.$ five million
annually for using the port premises, which amount would
be increased by 3% annually over the 35 year
concessionary period, as per r.f.p. conditions.
Currently the annual lease payment made
by S.A.G.T. to S.L.P.A. is U.S.$ 2.2 million, having
started at U.S.$ two million, when that sector, i.e. the
then Queen Elizabeth Quay, was given to it on a 35 year
old build, operate and transfer (b.o.t.) agreement in
Sources said that additionally S.L.P.A.
may earn money on shipping charges and pilotage,
commonly known as navigational charges from ships
berthing at South Port’s first terminal, whose costs
have been estimated at U.S.$ 330 million by S.L.P.A.,
but which C.M.I., if awarded the contract, says would
cost them U.S.$ 450 million to build.
The first terminal which will have the
capacity to take in 2.4 million t.e.u.s once completed,
is estimated to take two years to build from the date of
award of contract.
Meanwhile, the breakwater of the South
Port has to be built by the S.L.P.A. The breakwater,
which costs U.S.$ 350 million, is being built after
obtaining an A.D.B. loan for U.S.$300 million, payable
over 20 years, with the first tranche due in 2012. This
loan carries an interest equivalent to L.I.B.O.R. plus
0.6%. L.I.B.O.R. currently is 1%.
The breakwater, which is being built by
Hyundai Korea, is expected to be on stream by April
Back after 20 years
Hertz, the international car rental
company is back in Sri Lanka after a lapse of 20 years.
Withdrawing from the country at the
height of the war, and having decided to return just
prior to its end, a company executive told The Sunday
Leader that they were looking at the long term, when
asked as to why they decided to return, in the backdrop
of the global recession.
However, Mahen Kariyawasan, whose firm,
Andrew The Car Rental Company (Pvt.) Ltd., represents
Hertz, was confident that he could recover his money in
this venture in three years.
Andrews which has to pay royalty for
using the Hertz name, said that some of the hotels down
south were currently almost full.
On the travel advisories, he said that
apart from Germany, other countries in the Continent
that matter and U.K., have had softened the tone of
their travel advisories.
Guide to Colombo 2009
he 2009 launch edition of Living Colombo
Guide has been released to retail stores, a press
release from its publisher Media Services/LMD said. The
release adds that inbound tourists will also be given
complimentary copies at the Bandaranaike International
Airport in the near future.
Media Services says it will also be
releasing a CD version of the guide at the month end
(August) and this too will be retailed islandwide
alongside the hard-copy version.
The all-new guide, which is printed on
high-quality FSC paper, offers a comprehensive listing
of services and facilities in the city and useful
information such as addresses and telephone numbers of
clothing boutiques, spas and hairdressers, bookshops,
banks, airlines, diplomatic missions, clubs and
recreation facilities, libraries, hospitals, restaurants
and museums–amongst a host of others.
"The guide’s listing on more than 150
pages of restaurants in the city is an up-to-date and
comprehensive directory segmented under various types of
cuisine," the communiqué said.
For tourists, Living Colombo Guide
provides information on exchange rates, holidays,
weather and rain patterns, railways stations, festivals
and events and exhibitions in the city. It also contains
a fact file on Sri Lanka and a map of Colombo.
Media Services also publishes the
leading business magazine LMD, bimonthly lifestlye
journal Living, "most Respected," THE LMD 50 and Brands
It is also the presenter of the
Benchmark, the business programme for television which
is aired on TNL.
he Exterminators (Pvt.) Ltd., Sri
Lanka’s leading pest control company recently achieved
the ISO 14001-2004 Environmental Management System from
Sri Lanka Standard Institution. The company is the only
pest control company in Sri Lanka and the 3rd
in South Asia to achieve this standard.
Exterminators is one of the few
companies in the pest management industry in the world
to have the ISO 9001-2000 and ISO 14001-2000 standards.
The standard covers quality management and environmental
management systems for the provision of pest and termite
control services & fumigation services.
Exterminators is setting a benchmark in
Sri Lanka pest management industry and the company also
implemented IPM- Integrated Pest Management System to
minimize chemicals use on environment and also
introduced non chemical pest control methods to the
island’s pest management industry. Exterminators is
licensed and authorized by ROP- Agriculture Department
Sri Lanka and also accredited AQIS Agriculture
Department Australia and affiliated to pest management
associations in USA and Singapore. It also holds
environmental protection license issued by the Central
yber Concepts (Pvt) Ltd was recently
awarded ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certification
by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) B.V., Netherlands, the
world’s largest certification body.
It thus becomes the first Sri Lankan
software and web solutions company to obtain this
Information Communication Technology
Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) selected Cyber Concepts from
several other competing companies and funded 75% percent
of the certification cost under the World Bank funded
ST13–Company Quality Certification Programme.
Cyber Concepts CEO Ravi Rajapathirane
said that the company focuses on developing software for
the local industry where product customisation will have
a greater advantage over imported software.
"We will help save foreign exchange by
winning the confidence of the local industrialists and
encouraging them to use Sri Lankan software over the
more expensive foreign imports".
The Company’s development team is led by
Chief Software Architect Ms.
Krishjian Rajapathiarne, a BSc. Honours
graduate from Colombo University, counting over 20 years
in IT industry working in multinational companies which
includes Uni Lever and PricewaterHouseCoopers.
The team consists of young software
professionals, mostly graduates from Sri Lankan
"We began operations eight years ago
focusing on the SME sector in Sri Lanka and worldwide.
We have thus been developing customized software and web
solutions to local and overseas markets in Enterprise
Resource Planning, accounting, stock and inventory
control, E-Commerce Solutions and IT Consultancy",
"We have also participated in many
Government projects including the e–Sri Lanka
Development Project where Cyber Concepts developed a
common Web portal for all 25 district secretariats and
340 divisional secretariats, which are the Government’s
local service delivery point," he added.
anka ORIX Leasing Company PLC’s (LOLC
Group’s) IT arm, Lanka ORIX Information Technology
Limited (LOIT), a company specialized in developing
applications systems to the banking and financial
services sector attained Gold Certified Partner status (G.C.P.s)
in the Microsoft Partner Programme.
LOIT fulfilled the competencies in the
areas of Information Worker, Networking Infrastructure
and Advance Infrastructure Solutions. As a Microsoft
G.C.P., LOIT has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft
technology and "proven its ability to meet customers’
demands and requirements to the fullest." With this LOIT
managed to build a strong technical team with required
"We are pleased to have attained G.C.P.s
in the Microsoft Partner Programme. This opens a new
world for our business opportunities in Microsoft
Platform based solutions. By virtue of us being able to
carry logo, we are able to outwardly show our
competencies and convince potential customers. I thank
the LOIT Microsoft competency team who made it happen
and we are committed to build other competencies in
Microsoft Technologies which will further enable us to
promote our relationship with Microsoft to our
customers," said LOIT Managing Director/CEO Conrad Dias.
Along with the Microsoft G.C.
Partnership, LOIT received several benefits that will
help the company to serve customers "better and faster."
These include advance access to the latest Microsoft
platforms and development environments, new software and
products licenses to test drive and carry research and
development, training, exclusive web casts and direct
access to Microsoft technical support.
This award is another milestone in a
series of initiatives LOIT has undertaken as a fast
growing and focused ICT company. LOIT is a "focused"
partner of Oracle Corporation USA that offers Oracle
Application Consultancy to the market. The company has
obtained ISO 27001:2005 certification for the Enterprise
Data Centre managed by LOIT for LOLC Group which makes
it the first ISO 27001 certified data centre in Sri
Lanka’s banking and financial services sector.
LOLC’s product portfolio ranges from Leasing, Asset
Financing, Hire purchase, Loans, Working Capital and
Factoring, Fleet Management, Insurance Services, Agro
and Micro Financing and also non-financial solutions
such as IT, Project Development, Real Estate and
Forestry, while its subsidiary Lanka ORIX Finance
Company Ltd. offers Savings and Fixed Deposits, NRFC &
RFC Accounts, Islamic Financing and Pawn Broking to its
Asian Alliance Insurance (AAI)
recognizes passion for excellence & professionalism year
on year, celebrating excellence and quality of their
team’s performance with a view to shaping and motivating
higher standards of achievement and spawning a new breed
of professionals for the future.
AAI celebrated their 8th Annual Sales
Convention-"Quality Awards 2009" recently. The awards
ceremony was held on a grand scale under the theme of
"Power the Difference".
Chief Guest was AAI Chairman Paul
Ratnayeke while Director/CEO Ramal Jasinghe along with
executive committee members & senior management graced
Provincial Sales Manager Kapila
Suriyaarachchi began the evening rewarding the
achievements of professionals through his welcome note.
Sales & Marketing General Manager Chula
Hettiarachchi shared the Company’s achievements and
provided a sneak preview of the future plans unveiling
the theme "Power the Difference". In his address, he
highlighted AAI’s initiatives that will enable this
change and provide more power to the team of energetic
and dedicated professionals in making the difference in
the fiercely competitive market place.
Chairman Ratnayeke in his speech
underlined that the Board together with the shareholders
look forward for greater achievements of the talented
sales force with confidence. He also said that taking on
new opportunities that arise within a post war Sri Lanka
will enable AAI to strengthen the positioning of the
Company amongst the competitors.
Jasinghe commending the achievements of
the team and reinforced the values that the Company
subscribes to without compromise. Addressing the
challenges in the competitive insurance marketplace as
well as the threats that prevail in the current economic
backdrop, he positioned the Company’s performance and
placing within the industry as a force to be reckoned
Jasinghe stressed that the unique
business strategies & processes that AAI follow has
driven the Company towards success in turbulent times.
Defining his role in the greater scheme of things for
the Company, he concluded his speech, requesting the
energetic team of professionals to "Power the
Difference" & introduce new benchmarks to the Industry
for others to follow.
Kottawa Regional Distribution Office’s
C. Upul Jayasekara was awarded Best Performer of the
year, while Moratuwa Divisional Office’s Jayantha
Amarasinghe claimed the Asian Alliance’s Most Valuable
Sales Person Award.
Senior Regional Distribution Manager
Kottawa Soma Hettiarachchi was awarded Best Regional
Distribution Manager while Colombo Central’s Ms. Chintha
Wijerathne & Gampaha’s Parakrama Balasooriya claimed the
runner up awards. Kottawa’s Upul Jayasekara was awarded
Best Field Manager 2008.
Expands services in Kandy
Abans Financial Services Ltd. (AFSL)
opened its Kandy City Window, an extension of their
Katugastota Branch recently.
It was opened by Kandy Mayor.L.B.
Aluwihare. Located at D.S.Senanayake Vidiya, Kandy
amidst a large gathering of Kandy City’s business
community, deposits over Rs.23 million was mobilized on
the opening day.
AFSL Managing Director Mrs. Mano Alles
while thanking those present, also thanked the company’s
loyal customers for placing their confidence in it in
its formative years and for having had supported them
during the turbulent period.
She also said that with the economic
resurgence and public confidence returning, AFSL was now
ready to launch on its next phase of growth to expand
its operations to a wider spectrum of the country and
enable more people to become players in the formal
Investors and businessmen in Kandy said
they welcome Abans Finance as a safe and solid finance
company to invest their money and to also seek a range
of financial products and services.
With the return of confidence in
financial institutions, Abans Finance has recorded a
marked improvement in deposits and savings in June 2009,
and is currently conducting an aggressive campaign to
mobilize deposits. The entire staff has been geared to
take up this challenge.
AFSL, a member of the Abans Group of
companies with just three years in operation has become
a leading player in financial services, and growing at a
steady pace with the opening of new branches and windows
throughout the island.
Central Bank of Sri Lanka has announced
that it proposes to list all registered finance
companies in the Colombo Stock Exchange by 2011. This
move will certainly increase the level of public
Bharti Airtel Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., on
Thursday entered into an exclusive agreement with Nokia,
wherein customers who buy Nokia handsets can receive an
Airtel handset bundle offer.
The exclusive deal is obtainable through
Softlogic, Nokia’s National Distributor in Sri Lanka and
its dealers and registered retailers islandwide, in
addition to all Airtel Stores and Airtel dealers,
totalling well over 3,000 outlets islandwide.
Nokia Emerging Asia General Manager Prem
Chand said, "Consumers are at the forefront of
everything we do at Nokia and we always welcome
opportunities to work with relevant stakeholders to
offer ‘irresistible’ solutions to consumers. We are
delighted to launch this joint promotion with Airtel
which would benefit Sri Lankan consumers and help them
to be connected to what’s important to them." "Optimising
value to deliver customer delight will remain a focus at
Airtel. Our partnership with Nokia is a pioneering
effort in that regard. Providing value at customer
touchpoints has now been enhanced through the collective
expertise of both Airtel and Nokia in one bundle,"
Bharti Airtel CEO Amali Nanayakkara said.
World prize winner
Maleen Abeydeera (20) is a shining
example of how CIMA Sri Lanka continues to shape many a
young talented business leader who is sharp, competent
Abeydeera is CIMA’s latest world
prize-winner, scoring the highest marks in the world
(94) for Financial Accounting and Tax Principles at the
May 2009 Exam.
A Royal College student, Abeydeera
started CIMA’s basic foundation stage when he was just
16 due to his parents’ advise. He recently entered
Moratuwa University’s engineering faculty. Abeydeera
represented Sri Lanka at the International Mathematical
Olympiad held in Vietnam in 2007. He considers it as his
finest achievement so far, along with this CIMA world
The purposeful youngster is into
swimming, badminton and cricket in his free time and has
a lot going for him. He says he owes this world prize to
the encouragement, dedication and support of his parents
and the CIMA lecturers.
According to Abeydeera, more than the
subject knowledge CIMA lecturers provide students with,
it’s the sharing of experiences in the corporate world
which is really valuable. He says, "What matters finally
is not how you do at exams, but how you perform in the
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