Checkpoints hurt tourism
checkpoint (file photo).
hurt tourism, a hotelier told The Sunday Leader
Furkhan, Chairman of Confifi Hotel Group said that
a group of tourists who visited the island soon
after the military crushed the terrorists in May
this year, were taken aback when they saw security
checkpoints close to Colombo Airport in Katunayake
despite the war end. "That conveyed the wrong
message, that all is not O.K to the tourist,
leaving aside the fact that such checkpoints put
them off," he said.
Meeting to resolve estate wage impasse
estate unions encompassing over 150,000 plantation
workers will be meeting representatives of plantation
management companies tomorrow to resolve the current
impasse over worker wages, an official told The Sunday
M. Aluvihare who heads the Employers’ Federation of
Ceylon’s (E.F.C.’s) Plantation sector said that the
earlier offer of a 12½ % wage hike on workers basic
salaries had been rejected by those unions.
however refused to give details of the alternative pay
package that would be presented to the unions at
tomorrow’s meeting. Talks with the unions have been
going on since April.
workers currently get an all inclusive salary of Rs. 290
a day which includes a Rs. 200 basic wage and a Rs. 70
attendance allowance. Unions involved in tomorrow’s
negotiations are the C.W.C. the U.N.P. backed L.J.E.W.U.
and the J.P.T.U.C.
instead are agitating for an all inclusive Rs. 500 basic
salary for a day.
worked out showed that if the management gives into this
demand, it would result in 18 of the 21 regional
plantation companies that have been captured in a survey
making an annual loss of Rs. 87 billion, E.F.C. Director
General Ravi Peiris said.
computation includes all statutory payments such as
e.p.f., e.t.f. and gratuity payments.
however unaware of the losses that those companies were
currently making. The industry has taken a hit due to
the global recession and a drought.
further said that workers have had stopped teas bought
by buyers (importers) from leaving their warehouses to
the port for shipment.
said that this was serious because this sabotage was in
regard to teas that had been already bought by the
foreign buyers. Peiris said that the Planters’
Association of Ceylon is taking action in this regard
with the I.G.P.
after garments and worker remittances is Sri Lanka’s
third largest foreign exchange earner.
Bangalore flight suspended
Kingfisher, a private Indian airline which does the
daily Colombo-Chennai and Colombo-Bangalore run, will
however stop its Bangalore leg from September 15.
company’s Vice President Global Sales Siva Ramachandran
told reporters in Colombo on Monday that the reason for
stopping this service was economics. “We found this
sector uneconomical because the passengers who use this
service are generally transit passengers, transiting
from London,” he said.
Ramachandran said that the Bangalore-London return
flight takes 23 hours for which service the company had
to employ two aircraft, with one virtually idling for 24
hours, he said. That was the reason for suspending this
however said that Kingfisher has made an application to
the Indian authorities to start a service from Mumbai to
A.S.P.I. up 1%
market, in the week ended Thursday saw the benchmark
A.S.P.I. gain by 1.1% week on week (w.o.w.) to close at
2,630.77; while the more sensitive M.P.I. gained by 0.6%
to close at 2,983.55.
week under review which was a short week on account of
Friday’s poya holiday, saw daily turnover average at
Rs.768.6 million, a w.o.w. increase of 12.2%. The week
under review saw a marginal net foreign inflow of Rs.
2.2 million compared to a net foreign outflow of Rs.
126.2 million the previous week.
Current laws prohibit foreign investments in unit trusts
unless such funds have a cap of 20% in its exposure to
government securities, a fund manager told reporters on
Jeyavarman, C.E.O. N.A.M.A.L., said that they are
working with the authorities to change this law. “We
have asked Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.) to
remove this condition completely,” he said.
there are no limits in foreign investments in the
equities market, except in the case of banks where there
is a 15% cap (which limit however could be enhanced with
C.B.S.L. permission) on ownership, foreigners may also
invest in Treasury Bond and Bills upto a maximum of 10%
of its outstanding values respectively.
investments are made by foreigners being permitted to
open Share Investment External Rupee Accounts for
foreign exchange payments made for such investments as
well as for outflows in the event they chose to exit
from such investments.
Corporate debt however is not open to foreign
Lanka’s first unit trust fund is up for listing, having
on offer 20 million units (shares) at Rs. 50 a unit,
with the minimum subscription fixed at 200 units. This
Rs. one billion fund which is of a 10 year tenure has
already found buyers for units worth Rs. 100 million
each in the form of D.F.C.C. Bank and Hatton National
Bank (H.N.B.) respectively.
D.F.C.C., H.N.B. and N.A.M.A.L. are controlled by
business magnate Don Harold Stassen Jayawardena. H.N.B.
and D.F.C.C., also through the latter’s commercial
banking arm D.F.C.C. Vardhana Bank, will canvass the
sale of these units among rural investors, said
fund will have a 100% exposure to the equities market,
with the flexibility to have a change in direction, and
have a 100% exposure to fixed income securities if the
trusts exposure in the equities market is in the region
of Rs. 4-4½ billion currently, said Jeyavarman.
Turnaround in sales
Lanka’s ice cream market, with an annual value of Rs.
four billion and equivalent to 20 million litres in
volume terms, though having had experienced a 4%
negative growth year on year (y.o.y.) last year and a 2%
y.o.y. negative growth in the first six months of this
year, is showing signs of turning around in the current
“Retardation in consumer spend appears to have had
bottomed out, coupled with the opening up of the North
and East because of the war end and the upturn in
tourist arrivals augurs well for business,” Jitendra
Gunaratne, President, John Keells Holdings (J.K.H.)
Consumer Foods Group President told The Sunday Leader.
company which claims to have more than a 2/3rds. share
in the island’s ice-cream market, saw its share in
Jaffna drop to zero with the closure of the A 9 road
due to the outbreak of the war after the breakdown of
the 2002 ceasefire agreement.
“Jaffna, as far as ice-creams are concerned is a market
that we are starting from ground zero, i.e. after the
breakdown of that market with the dissolution of the
ceasefire, he said.
the A 9 is now open for business, and we are rolling out
our ice-creams to the peninsula,” Gunaratne said.
company in the current quarter is seeing an upturn,
after a dismal performance in the previous quarter. The
breakdown of the ceasefire had also caused a 70% drop in
its soft drinks sales in Jaffna.
with the opening up of the A 9 road and stocks rolling
in to the peninsula, the company has appointed 180-200
distributors in Jaffna to take its sales forward in the
peninsula, its Frozen Confectionery Head Neil
Samarasinghe told reporters on Wednesday.
company claims to be the first to have had started ice
cream sales to the peninsula, which they began four
have also enhanced their presence in Vavuniya in the
last four months, catering to the lucrative i.d..p.
(internally displaced persons) market there.
J.K.H. Group also plans to open two supermarket outlets
in Jaffna and in the East respectively before the year
end, its C.E.O. Sanjeewa Jayaweera said. The Group
currently operates 47 supermarkets in the island, with
the majority of those concentrated in the Western
consumer sales took a hit with the crash of Golden Key
Credit Card Company last year,” he added.
Gunaratne told reporters that their ice-creams have more
than a 50% share of the Maldivian market, but refused to
divulge the size of that market in volume terms.
however said that despite the Indo-Lanka Free Trade
Agreement it did not make economic sense to try to
penetrate the Indian market, though Keells Foods was
having a presence in the sub-continent.
company on Wednesday launched a new ice cream variety
called “Hakuru Mix.“
Rs. 500 mn. + for B’tota hotel
over 100 room Bentota Beach hotel has been earmarked for
refurbishment at a cost of more than Rs. 500 million.
Keells hotel, this investment follows a Rs. 500 million
refurbishment done on another Keells hotel, Cinnamon
Lakeside, formerly known as Trans Asia Hotel, which was
relaunched on Monday.
company was however able to claim Rs. 300 million of
this cost from insurance on account of an L.T.T.E. plane
attack on the hotel in April.
Doing it wrong
Visible presence of armed troops in a five star hotel in
Colombo and restricted movements of hotel guests within
the hotel itself as a result, convey the impression that
the country is still at war, a source who did not want
to be named told this reporter.
said that on Monday, allegedly because of the presence
of Premier Ratnasiri Wickramanayake at a five star hotel
in Colombo, these restrictions had been imposed. He and
an Indian colleague had been staying in that hotel at
after speaking to those personnel, I and my colleague
were allowed to walk to the place where we wanted to go
inside the hotel premises itself,” the source said.
made his Indian colleague, referring to the war end, to
say: “I thought you have got over your problems,” the
said that such impediments are detrimental to the growth
of the country’s leisure sector.
Talking of motor- traffic forced to stay idle to allow
V.I. P. convoys to first pass through, on Monday
evening, at about 6.50 p.m. the bus in which yours truly
was travelling had to idle for 15 minutes to allow such
a convoy to first pass through.
happened near Pittala Handiya down Dharmapala Mawatha,
Colombo, with easily over a hundred vehicles caught up
in this traffic jam. Conveying the wrong signals
Market expects rate cut
popular Treasury (T) Bonds of 2012 and 2013 maturities
fell by 10 basis points (b.p.s.) to 12.40% and 12.45%
respectively at Thursday’s secondary market trading
(over that of Wednesday) on expectations of a rate cut
at the September 16 Monetary Board meeting, market
sources told The Sunday Leader.
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.) last cut its policy
rate, the rate at which it lends money to commercial
banks and primary dealers, after its monthly Monetary
Policy meeting in June, when it reduced its overnight
lending rate by 50 basis points (b.p.s) to 11%.
Meanwhile Wednesday’s T Bill auction saw the 91day bill
slipping by a marginal two b.p.s to 10.55% week on week
(w.o.w.), 182 day bills by one b.p. to 11.42%, while the
364 day bill remained unchanged at 11.98%.
Sources attributed as reasons for weighted average
yields to remain virtually unchanged w.o.w. in the past
few weekly auctions to the high cost of living resulting
in savers, especially pensioners, wanting to get higher
rates on their deposits in order to survive.
has resisted a dip in deposit rates, coupled with the
expected borrowing needs of the Government for
North-East reconstruction works which would make funds
said that previously when the market bid high, C.B.S.L.
used to reject such bids in toto, thereby forcing the
market to come down on their bids in the following
week’s auction. “But this time they are not doing that,”
sources said. C.B.S.L. nowadays only reject part of the
auction, and not the auction in its totality, they said.
may be an I.M.F. condition, that the market must be
allowed to determine rates, without forcibly trying to
bring down yields, the sources said.
Wednesday’s T Bill primary auction had a total of Rs.
12,000 million worth of T Bills up for re-issue, of
which only Rs. 8,870 million were re-issued to the
market, while the offers for the balance rejected.
Lanka recently obtained a U.S.$ 2.6 billion I.M.F.
standby arrangement, of which the first tranche of U.S.$
322 million has already been disbursed. Additionally the
I.M.F. through another facility, disbursed U.S.$ 475
million to C.B.S.L.’s reserves fund recently.
Corruption blunts trade efficacy
Corruption at the local Customs was highlighted as a key
bottleneck to trade (import-exports) facilitation at a
seminar in Colombo on Tuesday.
learnt that Customs is in the process of recruiting
graduates and paying them “premium” salaries in order to
tide over this problem.
preliminary report submitted by a Singapore consultancy
firm on trade facilitation has made 13 recommendations
in this regard.
the recommendations are the establishment of a
Presidential Commission for Government-Business Trade
Facilitation Committee where it was said that the work
in this connection was in progress.
recommendations included elimination of paper
submissions and submission of customs declaration forms
(cusdecs) electronically; extending customs entry
receiving beyond the current 3 pm time deadline for
cusdecs; standardization of tariff classification;
provide all customs related information to interested
parties; establish pre-arrival manifest submissions;
review licensing procedures and reduce applications on
consignment business; implement single electronic
window; establish a national value added network
framework similar to the SWIFT system for banks;
eliminate duplication of samples by customs and other
government agencies and establish online applications
said at this seminar that in studies compiled by the
World Bank and the World Economic Forum, Sri Lanka, in
the doing business indicator (2009) had been ranked 101
out of 178 countries; logistics performance indicator
(2007): ranked 92 out of 150 countries; Global Enabling
Trade Report (2009): 78 out of 121 countries and 66 out
of 178 countries in doing business-trading across
“Foreign investors look at these indicators before
committing themselves to a particular country,” alleged
Jonathan Koh. of CrimsonLogic, the company employed for
this study funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat. He
said that the total cost of this project would be U.S.$
26 million which could be recovered in three years.
are expected to come out with their final report by the
Soya milk saga
of soya bean can produce six litres of soya milk, much
more than what a cow could give, National Agribusiness
Council (N.A.C.) Chairman Asoka Gopallawa told The
bean has a protein nutrient content equivalent to that
country is suffering from a dearth in soya bean
production, which cultivation was neglected after the
country embraced the open economy in 1977.
Gopallwa however said that there was a move in the early
1980s to provide schoolchildren with a glass of soya
bean milk which was in tune with the election promise
that the then President J.R. Jayewardene had made, of
providing schoolchildren with a free glass of milk.
Assistance from Denmark was obtained for this project,
where the necessary equipment was available for
procurement from Danish companies at 6% interest.
Gopallawa was employed by the Danes in the promotion of
farmers too were enamoured by this project and were even
prepared to supply some of the soya bean free because it
was their children who would be benefiting from this
project,” said Gopallwa.
the project came to a dead end after Jayewardene, who
initially showed interest in this project, backed out,”
alleged Gopallawa. “It was corruption involving this
project, the proverbial 10% commission that officials
needed to make the project a reality, but which
Jayewardene was allegedly not prepared to fight, that
put an end to this scheme,” he added.
$ 150 mn. cut needed to keep export momentum
Lanka will have to slash U.S.$ 100-150 million in costs
in the event it loses the G.S.P. + duty free facility in
garment exports to the European Union (E.U) to keep up
its sales momentum to the region, despite the concession
been taken out, official sources told The Sunday Leader.
charged on garment exports to the E.U. market in the
event the G.S.P. + concession is removed is 10%. On that
basis is the additional costing worked out.
Garment exports are Sri Lanka’s largest foreign
exchange (forex) earner with the main markets being the
E.U. and U.S.A., and the latter being the biggest market
last year according to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.).
Garment exports last year brought in a total of U.S.$
3.5 billion into the country according to C.B.S.L.’s
2008 Annual Report. This industry also provides
employment to 300,000.
“Slashing down of such costs are all the more important,
because the U.S.A. has been badly hit by the recession,
resulting in garment exports to that region falling,”
the sources said.
such excess costs are cut down by trade facilitation,
like by slashing down on unnecessary costs at Customs,
thereby making S.L.’s garment exports still competitive
despite the absence of the G.S.P. + facility, the status
quo in regard to exports to the E.U. could yet be
maintained,” the sources alleged.
further alleged that Government’s backing is there for
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.) Governor Ajith
Nivard Cabraal told invitees at the unveiling of the
Bank’s monetary policy roadmap at the beginning of the
year, that C.B.S.L. will strive to be transparent in its
C.B.S.L.’s recent action of stopping the circulation of
banking industry statistics such as the growth in banks’
non performing loans (n.p.l.s) and retardation in credit
growth (this indicator however turned around in July) as
reported in the main story of these pages last week,
belies that promise.
providing such information is a threat to national
security or may cause a systemic risk to the country’s
financial system, it’s then understandable C.B.S.L.
suppressing the dissemination of such information, but
in this case it poses neither of those risks.
data previously used to be circulated at C.B.S.L.’s
monthly meetings with bank C.E.O.s where recent trends
showed an increase in banks’ n.p.l.s from 5% as at end
December 2008 to near 9% by May 2009.
was also no let-up in banks’ seeking parate executions
from borrowers to recover what was due to them.
the worst was the industry recording a negative 2%
credit growth in May 2009, vis-à-vis the end December
2008 credit figure, according to industry sources, which
is also a dubious first for the local banking industry.
in bank credit is an indicator that investments are also
growing in the country, thereby spurring growth, and
opening-up avenues of employment to the tens of
thousands of youth who join the job market annually.
Therefore, naturally, a retardation in bank credit
growth translates to a retardation in investments, with
a negative knock on effect on employment creation.
newspaper, as and when available, used to regularly
publish these statistics obtained from its sources,
which naturally reflected that all was not well with the
C.B.S.L. however stopped the circulation of such
information since July.
wonders whether the publication of such negative
statistics faithfully by this newspaper, was the reason
for C.B.S.L. to have had stopped disseminating such
information to bank C.E.O.s, an activity that used to
take place monthly, at the latter’s meetings with
C.B.S.L. officials to discuss industry issues.
however alleged that though C.B.S.L. had stopped the
dissemination of such information, if industry players
ask for those statistics, those would be readily made
available to them by C.B.S.L.
not a single C.E.O. had allegedly asked C.B.S.L.
officials for such information at these monthly meetings
after the circulation of such figures was stopped since
this newspaper leaking out such statistics to the
public, it may be possible that the reason why not a
single bank C.E.O. has asked C.B.S.L. for this data
after it was stopped being disseminated, may have had
been due to fears that if this newspaper published such
information after the dissemination of such statistics,
that particular C.E.O. would have had been singled out
as being the person who would have had been leaking out
this information to the press, with the risk of him and
his bank falling from grace from the C.B.S.L. and
Several factors have had been adduced to the growth in
bank n.p.l.s, and likewise the retardation in credit
growth, which, however had turned to a positive 1% by
end July due the coming down of lending rates with
inflation being reined in, and possibly the Government
of Sri Lanka (G.o.S.L.) seeking credit from the banking
Budget 2009, presented in parliament last November
articulated zero funding from the domestic banking
sector to meet G.o.S.L.’s expenditure needs, the truth
however was that G.o.S.L., in the first four months of
this year had borrowed Rs. 149 billion from the sector.
the reasons for a high interest rate regime to be
prevalent in the economy is due to the demand for credit
from the domestic banking sector by G.o.S.L., which in
turn pushes up rates, makes credit more expensive,
thereby leading to a contraction of the same, whilst at
the same time increasing n.p.l.s because of borrowers’
inability to pay back their loans due to the operation
of a high interest rate regime in the economy.
However, the war end has created a paradigm shift in the
economy, and what better proof than the near U.S.$ 900
million inflow into the Government Treasury Bond market
by foreign investors late last month, followed by a
U.S.$ 475 million inflow into C.B.S.L. reserves due to a
new I.M.F. allocation, thereby topping reserves to a
record U.S.$ 3.9 billion.
Therefore, if the reason for the C.B.S.L. to stop
disseminating those statistics was through fear that
such data would create a negative perception in the eyes
of the public and investors in regard to the state of
the economy, coupled with the fact that the Southern
Provincial Council elections are also looming large,
they now need not harbour such trepidations.
sudden withholding of such information, now encompassing
two monthly meetings, i.e. in July and last month when
bank C.E.O.s used to meet-up with C.B.S.L. officials in
their regular monthly meetings, also calls to question
C.B.S.L.’s independence and creates doubts among the
public about C.B.S.L.’s and Cabraal’s credibility and
the transparency of that venerable organisation.
with those indicators now turning for the better,
coupled with the fact that this newspaper has
highlighted that C.B.S.L. had stopped disseminating such
data, it may be possible that from this month, C.B.S.L.
would again make available such information to bank
C.E.O.s, when they meet-up with C.B.S.L. officers in
their regular monthly meeting for this month, or more
subtly, through news releases to the press, to allay
fears that C.B.S.L. had been in a campaign to suppress
the dissemination of negative banking indicators.
However the tragedy is that such a reversal of attitude
may deal a blow in regard to the credibility of the
Governor and C.B.S.L. officers, thereby making it
difficult for the public to disbelieve that C.B.S.L. is
not a politicized institution, and calling to question
its ability to take or make independent decisions,
regardless of whether such actions are good or bad for
the Government in power.
for the sake of greater transparency, as was pledged by
Cabraal at the beginning of the year, it would
strengthen C.B.S.L.’s credibility if it would once again
start disseminating such information, for better or for
Aims for 100 entries
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (I.C.A.S.L.)
is aiming for 100 entries at this year’s annual report
competition despite the economic downturn.
I.C.A.S.L President Nishan Fernando told reporters
recently that a downturn would induce more companies to
take part in this competition.
competition however has no focus on bottomline
performance, but rather on factors such as “financial
reporting, corporate governance disclosures, corporate
social responsibility and management commentary,” for
year the competition attracted 85 entries, up from the
75 the previous year.
I.C.A.S.L. President Yohan Perera said that though there
are over 200 listed companies, the reason why the
competition doesn’t attract an equivalent number of
entries was because listed group companies like John
Keells, Hayleys and Carson Cumberbatch used to compete
in this event, but not their listed subsidiaries.
parent companies don’t want their subsidiaries to
compete with them,” he said. Entry fees are Rs. 50,000
per applicant. The awards ceremony will be held at the
Cinnamon Grand on November 25.
competition is also open to unlisted organisations,
including those in the public sector as well as N.G.O.s.
Bribery case, six years in limbo
clear that bribery is rampant in every sphere of our
society, so much so that it doesn’t even prick the
consciences of those who offer bribes to get things
done. Sometimes it becomes a part of our lives. We have
to give bribes to get things done, otherwise things
don’t happen. We are at a stage where it has become a
necessary thing in our lives; the current situation is
that bad,” Rienzie Arsakularatne (P.C.), a former
Bribery Commission Director told Benchmark recently.
on to discuss what could be done to change the status
quo, he said: “I don’t know about the efforts made by
the Bribery Commission and whether it is making serious
efforts in this regard. I say this with reason. Because
the last year I worked in the Attorney General’s
Department, I was prosecuting in a certain bribery
case-that was on May 23, 2003. Now, six years later, the
case is still pending and being prosecuted by many
officers. So, if the Bribery Commission is serious about
this business, it should have ensured that this case is
prosecuted to an end.”
is important is to conduct proper detection, effective
investigation and launch effective prosecutions. Another
important aspect is to have prosecutions concluded early
so that justice is dispensed early. Otherwise, this
prosecution business becomes a failure because witnesses
go abroad or they forget things and matters end up in
acquittals. In order to arrest this, launching of
effective prosecutions and investigations is necessary,”
Commenting on our political system, which allows
corruption to creep in at all levels, he told the show’s
Special Correspondent Ms. Savithri Rodrigo that the only
way to emerge from this mire “is to launch effective
prosecution, getting proper convictions and getting
courts to pass proper sentences.”
said: “Deterrence is the only way-if one or two cases
are dealt with properly, that will signal to the rest of
society that this cannot be done any longer. Unless
somebody gets a deterrent sentence, this situation will
continue. It is important for the Bribery Commission to
look at it in this light and use its resources towards
that end.” The widely-watched business TV programme is
presented by LMD and produced by the wrap factory.
Among top two
Softlogic Trading, part of the Softlogic Group, which is
the exclusive distributor for U.S. headquartered Dell
computer products in Sri Lanka, is among the top two IT
companies in this category in the island.
per cent of the company’s sales are generated by selling
computers and the necessary ancillaries and
infrastructure to the public sector and the balance to
the private sector,” Sidantha Peeris, Sales & Marketing
Director Softlogic Trading (Pvt) Ltd., told reporters
sales of Dell Computers to the public sector, Defence
followed by the Education category leads the way, while
in the private sector and even in certain sub-sectors of
the public sector, it’s banking followed by the telecoms
industry that spurred Dell’s growth in the Sri Lankan
Softlogic Trading’s Director/C.E.O. Roshan Rassool said
that People’s Bank uses 3,000 Dell manufactured personal
computers (p.c.s), Hatton National Bank between
2,500-3,000; whilst Standard Chartered Bank and
Commercial Bank also use Dell products. He added that
virtually all of “LMD 100” companies use Dell products.
an annual turnover of between U.S.$ 16-17 million,
Softlogic Trading has been able to beat the recession
and industry performance, and continue to make gains.
the IDC survey showed that there was a 30% drop in
computer hardware sales, our company however experienced
an 8-10% growth both in volume and value terms,” said
Computers which hitherto concentrated in selling
desktops, notebooks, servers and such like targeting
only the public and private sectors, will, however from
this month launch products targeting the local consumer
sector which is estimated to be 30% of the market, of
the type of products Softlogic/Dell deal in.
Valerie Lim, Dell’s Director & General Manager
Developing Markets Group avoided answering the question
whether the delay in seeking opportunities in this
sector was because of the war.
hqrs., in the U.S.A. first does an evaluation before
launching such products,” she said.
However, HP, one of Dell’s competitors is already in the
local consumer market.
South Asia/Developing Markets Group Regional Managing
Director Varinderjit Singh talking of prospects said:
“Situation of the country is resolved. Though businesses
were not what they were two or three years ago, we see
business picking up. So Sri Lanka is on top of the radar
screen as far as emerging markets are concerned. We
expect business led by infrastructure development to
take off 2-3 years from now.”
Opportunities in Trinco
profit margin in operating an ice plant in Trincomalee
is 50%. A fisherman who operates four trawlers in the
area is now going to invest in an ice plant, Eagle
Insurance Managing Director Deepal Sooriyaarachchi on
opportunities in Trincomalee because of peace, speaking
at a Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport
seminar in Colombo recently said.
further said that the largest rice miller in Trincomalee,
a Tamil, has named his mill “Sithamu,” with “Si” being
the shorten form for Sinhala, “tha” for Thamil and “mu”
production director is Sinhalese and his finance
director a Muslim, added Sooriyaarachchi.
also said that in the insurance industry there is very
little collaboration, “so ultimately the consumer will
have to pay for it. It’s so with banks, each competing
to have their ATM machines,” said Sooriyaarachchi. Get
efficiencies in technology, but compete in front, he
Sooriyaarachchi further said that most accidents in Sri
Lanka are due to fatigue. “I know this as an insurer,”
Storm in teacup
reference to the article that appeared on these pages in
The Sunday Leader issue of August 23, 2009 under the
heading “Suspension, not ban,” we respect Sri Lanka Tea
Board (S.L.T.B.) Chairman and Director General M.D
Hemarthne, but we have our reservations on other
officials of the Tea Board, specially the Tea
regard to the said suspension we record: We were not
informed, contacted or consulted on this matter which is
detrimental to the small and medium tea exporters. Nine
organizations including the Colombo Tea Traders
Association (C.T.T.A.) and the Tea Exporters Association
(T.E.A.) have been informed, why not the Association of
Small & Medium Exporters of Tea (ASMET)?
up bona fide cases on a case by case will not be
justifiable by other exporters as it may be
discrimination. If 95- 98% of tea that are exported is
via auction channel why this suspension that affects 5%
to 2% of the export volume? If all teas are first
certified by the S.L.T.B. prior to sale, why worry on
the quality of the teas as all the teas will be as per
regard to “abuse” of teas not originating from the
factories of manufacture we remember raids made on
several such irregular tea traders in 2004. But we do
not know how many such errant tea traders were brought
before the law.
C.T.T.A. has exporter members and producer members.
Their membership is two fold, active members and
associate members. There are about 50 active members who
are large exporters or large producers, these members
have the voting rights to elect the executive
committee consists of active members.
Whereas, the associate members who number over 200 have
no opportunity to be in the management committee or use
a ballot or vote to elect the management committee. The
present C.T.T.A. Chairman is the immediate T.E.A. past
Chairman and the present T.E.A. Chairman is the C.T.T.A.
these circumstances will justice and fair play prevail
in the tea industry?
Committee year after year.
Promoting Lanka in France
Franco- Sri Lankan relations will be brought to the
forefront in the 19th edition of the Lyon International
Class Export Forum, the major event concerning
Class Export Trade Fair (C.E.T.F.) assembles all the
major players in International Trade from France under
one roof in Lyon.
Magazine, a French leader in the Press for import/export
companies, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Paris and. Tima
Lazarus of Investment Service Asia/Eastbound, a
company specialized in Franco-Sri Lankan relations
are behind this initiative.
gives an opportunity to re-launch the Franco-Sri Lanka
business Council with vigour as French entrepreneurs
feel that the time is conducive for a giant leap in
bilateral trade and investment. The eagerness to trade
and invest was lacking due to protracted conflict in the
north and east of Sri Lanka. But with the conflict
coming to an end, the interest in Sri Lanka as a trade
and investment partner is expected to grow rapidly.
Lanka is ideally located and could be considered as an
effective entry into the Indian market through the
Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement. Lazarus is confident
that a visit of a leading French business delegation
could be organized to Sri Lanka by March 2010 after
displaying the potential of the country at the C.E.T.F.
in December 2009.
Rhone-Alpes region supported Sri Lanka recently by
setting up four craftsmen training centres in Matara,
Kalutara, Balapitiya and Thamaduwa following the
Tsunami. Furthermore Grand Lyon upgraded the Wallasmulla
Hospital water and sewerage system. CGPME (Confederation
of Small & Medium Sized Companies) has initiated and
brought many French delegations to Sri Lanka & South
India over the past 10 years which resulted in quite a
few French companies in Lyon & the region, investing and
trading in Lyon.
have not forgotten the support and trust of friends and
partners from Lyon, during some of the difficult times,
like François Turcas (President of CGPME RA)” Lazarus
says. “We need to build on those relationships and
encourage more French companies to come to invest and
trade in Sri Lanka and vice versa. It is important to be
proactive, as the opportunities are numerous and in a
few years the cost to penetrate this market would be
much more costly.”To launch this promotion, an official
has been made by a Sri Lankan delegation to Lyon headed
by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in France and Export
Development Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris.
Sri Lankan delegation, was welcomed by representatives
from the Town Hall, Grand Lyon, Classe-Export, the CGPME
(Confederation of Small & Medium sized Companies) & the
Lyon Chamber of Commerce.
Minister addressed leading institutions involved in
trade and heads of companies.
promotion of Sri Lanka will end in December, with a
series of articles published in the Classe-Export
Magazine highlighting the advantages of investing in Sri
Lanka. The magazine is read by over 35,000 persons
involved in the import/export sectors in France.
62% debt, domestic
Government’s debt mix, i.e. domestics debt versus
foreign debt in June 2008, May 2009 and June 2009 ratio
wise were 57.2: 42.8, whilst in the last two data
captures they remained unchanged at 61.9: 38.1
outstanding government debt increased by 1.7% month on
month (m.o.m). to Rs. 3,904.4 billion as at end June
2009. On a year on year (y.o.y.) basis this increase was
Revenue down 7%
Government revenue in the first six months of the year
declined by 6.6% y.o.y. to Rs. 289.7 billion. Revenue so
far collected comprised 33.9% of “Budget 2009” target of
Capex down 5%
Government capital and lending minus repayments in the
first six months of the year declined by 4.6% y.o.y. to
Rs. 120.2 billion. This comprised 32.6% of Budget 2009’s
capital expenditure target of Rs. 368.2 billion.
However, current expenditure in the period under review
increased by 25.7% y.o.y. to Rs. 432.6 billion and
comprised 52.5% of the Budget 2009 estimate of Rs. 823.5
Meanwhile government expenditure & lending minus
repayments in the first six months of the year increased
by 17.6% y.o.y. to Rs. 552.8 billion. This comprised
46.4% of the budgeted expenditure figure for the year of
Rs. 1,191.7 billion.
Tea down 21%
production in the first seven months of the year
declined by 20.9% y.o.y. 157 million kilos, while
coconut production in the period under review increased
by 13.6% y.o.y. to 1,662.5 million nuts. Rubber
production meanwhile in the first six months of they
year increased by 3.5% y.o.y. to 69.5 mn., kg.
Outstanding down 2%
Outstanding credit card balance as at end July declined
by 2.3% m.o.m. to Rs.32,635 million, while active cards
in circulation also declined by 0.8% m.o.m. to 867,499.
$ 1..1 bn., purchased
Central Bank bought U.S.$ 1,130.75 million worth of
foreign exchange from the market last month.
Commercial banks’ average weighted prime lending rate in
the week ended Thursday was 13.23%. (Source: Central
Running out of options
Central Bank of Sri Lanka has also brought Asian Finance
Ltd. (AFL) and Ceylinco Investment & Realty Ltd. (CIRL)
under the Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka PLC (MBSL)
Previously they were managed by Lankaputhra Development
Bank Ltd. (LDB). Earlier, another troubled Ceylinco
finance company, The Finance Plc too were brought under
the MBSL umbrella from LDB. MBSL also manages Finance &
Guarantee, another troubled Ceylinco finance company.
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.) has directed banks
to transfer all monies and other assets lying unclaimed
for more than 10 years to a special account maintained
lawful owner or beneficiary of such assets can submit a
claim to the respective licensed bank and is entitled to
recover such assets, C.B.S.L. further said.
Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.) on behalf of the
Government obtaind seven bids for lead manager /
bookrunners slots to issue an international Sovereign
Bond amounting to US$ 500 million in international
markets next month.
proposals are being evaluated by a steering
committee/technical evaluation committee, comprising
senior officials of C.B.S.L. and Finance Ministry to
appoint the same by the middle of the month.
Waiting for reward
Government’s Export Development Reward Scheme (E.D.R.S.)
is not working, a tea exporter alleged.
Zarook, who owns and operates Sinbad (Pvt.) Ltd., which
deals in tea and spices, said that the E.D.R.S. works on
the basis that if an exporter, in the first quarter (1Q)
of this year exported items which were equivalent in
value to 90% or 80% of the export value in the 1Q of the
previous year, then he would be eligible to obtain
either 5% (for the 90% export value) and 3% (for the 80%
export value), as a reward in rupees by the Government.
percentage is based on the f.o.b. value of such exports.
Another condition is that the company should have the
same number of staff as last year.
said that he has fulfilled these conditions and had sent
in his application, but is yet to receive his reward.
said that in the 1Q of this year his tea exports were
valued at Rs. 79 million, a Rs. seven million year on
year (y.o.y.) increase compared to 1Q 2008.
on August 17 also sent in his application for rewards
for the 2Q.
the 2Q my exports amounted to Rs. 65 million, Rs. five
million less on a y.o.y. basis, the criterion for the
2Q E.D.R.S. is that 90% of 2Q ’08 should be met to
qualify for the 5% reward, we have also met that
target,” said Zarook.
is however no reward for meeting the 80% criterion for
this Q, he said.
However, an official source said that they have cleared
14 claims for payment amounting to Rs. 500 million.
Payments will be made on a first come, first served
Commerce Department is the disbursing authority, with
moneys received from the Treasury.
Department has received a total of 153 E.D.R.S. claims
and the backlog will be cleared in the coming weeks, the
source said. The highest claim amounts to Rs. 300
million, that claim is currently being whetted.
of the E.D.R.S. applications run into 150 pages, with a
number not complying with the laid down criteria. Among
the criteria is that those claims have to be certified
by an independent auditor, the source said.
Only Rs. 75 mn., finalized
Government has finalized payments totalling Rs. 75
million under the Export Development Reward Scheme (E.D.R.S.),
an official told The Sunday Leader on Tuesday.
Development Ministry Secretary S.Ranugge said that those
were pertaining to 13 applications out of a total number
of 250 applications received. Payments will be made in a
fortnight’s time, he said.
Ranugge said that the slowness in processing the
applications was due to having to match the exporters’
claims with those of customs statistics.
Seylan to raise Rs. three bn.
Bank Public Share Issue of 54,290,000 ordinary (voting)shares
opens on Sept 22.
shares are offered at Rs. 35 per share.
Bank’s existing ordinary (voting) shareholders
registered as at end of trading on Wednesday will be
given preference on allotment upon application being
made, to a minimum of one share for every two shares
held subject to prevailing shareholding limits under the
minimum subscription for the public per application is
Rs. 3,500 or 100 shares and in multiples of 50 (Rs.
1,750 thereafter. The total amount proposed to be raised
through the issue is Rs. 1.9 bn.
Bank Chairman Eastman Narangoda said the primary reason
for this share issue was to strengthen the Bank’s
capital base to facilitate expansion plans that are in
Bank will also be issuing 32,150,000 new ordinary
(voting) shares at Rs. 35 each by means of a private
placement, out of which Bank of Ceylon (B.o.C.) is to
take up 13 million ordinary (voting) shares and Sri
Lanka Insurance Corporation (S.L.I.C.) the balance
19,150,000 shares, thus totalling 24.7% of the increased
capital. National Savings Bank already holds a 3.5%
stake in Seylan.
total capital expected to be generated from both the
private placement and public offering will be Rs. three
the allotment of new shares to state held B.o.C. and
S.L.I.C. under the private placement, state
institutions’ total stake held in Seylan will be 28% of
the increased capital. Shares held by the Bank’s
Employee Share-owing trusts will amount to a further 9%
of the increased capital.
Nations Trust Bank Plc (N.T.B.) opened its 38th branch
in Vavuniya recently.
opened in the presence of Vavuniya District
Secretary/Government Agent Mrs. P. S. M. Charles (Chief
Guest), bank officials, invitees and a large customer
Bank set up operations in Vavuniya as the first step
towards plans for expansion to the North and East (NE).
N.T.B. DGM Sales and Marketing Priyantha Talwatte in his
speech said, “The opening of the Vavuniya branch is an
important milestone in our expansion plan as it marks
the Bank’s affirmation in taking banking services and
facilities to areas that are emerging. We are confident
that our brand of banking services will be of value to
the people of Vavuniya and its suburbs. This marks our
entry to the NE with more branch openings planned in
2009 4th quarter,”
new branch located at Kandy Road, Vavuniya offers
customers banking services 365 days of the year with
extended banking hours, as well as a host of value added
Opportunities for N.C.R.E.
Although potential for medium scale hydro power projects
might be limited due to environmental constraints,
opportunities for small scale hydro, wind and biomass
plants are considerable”, an industrialist in the power
Nanayakkara, Managing Director Hemas Power said: “There
still is a sizeable area of unexplored Non-Conventional
Renewable Energy (N.C.R.E.) opportunities. Opportunities
in the wind and bio-mass front are hardly tapped.
Although the country’s best small hydropower sites have
already been developed, we believe there are still a few
sites with reasonably good hydrological properties
available for development. All of this undoubtedly point
to interesting times ahead for the development of
N.C.R.E. in the country.”
Lanka’s National Energy Policy (N.E.P.) has identified
fuel diversity and energy security in electricity
generation as a strategic objective.
development of N.C.R.E. projects was part of the
According to N.E.P., the target is to generate 10% of
the country’s energy output through N.C.R.E. sources by
also outlines plans to set up a special “Energy Fund” to
provide incentives to promote N.C.R.E. technology and
thus strengthen the transmission network. With this in
view, G.o.S.L. recently obtained a U.S.$ 160 million
long term loan from A.D.B. to support energy efficiency
improvements, develop renewable energy use and increase
connections and services to rural households.
Lanka’s small hydropower sector has today evolved into a
sizeable industry. As of June 30, 2009 a total of 81
N.C.R.E. projects have been supplying 164 m.W. to the
national grid. Of this, 76 small hydropower projects
accounts for a 153 m.W. of installed capacity
representing 93% of the N.C.R.E. sector.
Power, since its launch in 2003, supplied local
consumption through both its Puttalam joint venture (j.v.)
thermal power plant and its Teldeniya hydro power
Following Hemas Group’s initial foray into the power
generation sector via its j.v. investment in Heladhanavi
and the success of its power plant, the Group further
explored opportunities in the area of mini-hydro power
generation. This saw the commissioning of its first-ever
hydro power plant in Teldeniya in October 2008.
Nanayakkara said, “Hemas initially entered the power
generation industry at a critical time when the
Government of Sri Lanka (G.o.S.L.) encouraged private
sector participation in power generation in the face of
the country’s increasing demand for energy coupled with
G.o.S.L.’s inability to meet this demand.”
“N.C.R.E. sources such as small scale hydropower, wind
and biomass are on the rise, with wider awareness on the
minimisation of the carbon footprint of the country and
the intention to reduce dependence on imported
fuel-based power plants.”
Four branches in North
out the five new branches that Union Bank (U.B.) will
open in the ensuing months Will be in the Northern
Province, i.e. Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and
Chavakachcheri; with the other branch to be opened in
this expansion, U.B. will increase its network to 19
branches, which will be linked on line on a real time
the services that the Bank will offer through its new
branches will be agricultural financing,
micro-financing, financing to the fisheries, poultry and
animal husbandry sectors,SMS banking, telebanking and
after tax profit in 2009 first half (1H) increased by
96% year on year (y.o.y.) to Rs. 32.5 mn.
Bank said that consideration the difficult operating
conditions in the country, the significant growth
achieved in the 1H of the year can be considered
extremely encouraging. It attributes this impressive
performance to increased revenues and streamlining of
interest income increased by 20.7% y.o.y. to Rs 951.8 mn.
income mainly arising from commissions, foreign exchange
and investments amounted to Rs 99.9 mn., compared to Rs
81.6 mn. for the corresponding period of the preceding
year. Although interest expenditure increased from Rs
615 mn. to Rs 739 mn in 1H 2009, Bank’s net interest
income improved to Rs 213 mn. as against Rs 173 mn. in
1H 2008. After providing for overheads amounting to Rs
205 mn, the Bank made a profit before corporate taxes
and VAT of Rs 87.5 mn in the period under review
compared to Rs 54.8 mn upto June 2008.
the most prudently managed and stable banks in its
league, the Bank receives its guidance from a Board of
Directors comprising leading corporate personalities and
eminent professionals in the banking, legal and ICT
sectors. In addition, there is an Advisory Committee
comprising two Sampath Bank directors.
Bank recently strengthened its management with the
recruitment of several professionals specialised in HR,
International Trade, Marketing and Credit Operations.
this overall support structure in 2009, U.B. will
continue along its strategic path to become the
“Preferred Bank for the Small and Medium Sector (S.M.S.)
in Sri Lanka.” In this context U.B. will focus on
strengthening its brand position to differentiate its
services and will also embark on an ambitious expansion
Bank’s “ Cirrus” –linked network of Automated Teller
Machines provides access to its customers to a total of
more than 500 ATMs locally.
addition, the Bank has a strategic arrangement with
Sampath Bank, enabling U.B.
Another significant achievement is the Bank’s recent
appointment as a principal agent for Western Union (W.U.).
Together with the branch network and selected strategic
partner institutions, the number of locations at which
recipients of W.U. transfers could encash their
remittances will amount to more than 150.
Bank has entered into strategic alliances with almost
all utility service providers in the Island, including
C.E.B., L.E.C.O., N.W.S.D.B. Mobitel, Dialog Telekom,
Lanka Bell and Suntel, facilitating bill payment through
all of its delivery channels, including branches, ATMs,
telephone banking and internet banking.
Bank will strive during the ensuing months in achieving
its strategic vision of emerging as the “preferred
bank’’ for the S.M.S.
Tourism will lead way
Tourism will lead the way in the near future,
particularly as travel advisories are progressively
eased–this is happening as we speak, HSBC (Sri Lanka and
Maldives) CEO Nick Nicolaou told Benchmark’s Special
Correspondent Ms. Savithri Rodrigo last Sunday.
tourism point of view, the war definitely kept people
away, he said.
Asserting that the recent military victory will prove
positive to international investors, Nicolaou revealed
that overseas investors in various sectors looking to
invest into Sri Lanka have already made several queries
in this regard.
Discussing Standard & Poor’s grading of Sri Lanka’s B
Sovereign rating, he said: “Theoretically, it’s not
actually a downgrading. The sovereign rating is still B.
What’s changed is a rating outlook, from stable to
negative. In the current global economic environment, a
number of economies have had their outlook changed.
fact, the UK has had its rating outlook changed. But we
firmly believe that with the post-conflict scenario,
expected improvements in the economy and the
much-improved reserves position in the last few months,
the outlook will become more positive in the future.”
Commenting on Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves and
the situation vis-à-vis foreign banks and inward
remittances, he that Central Bank statistics “have shown
that despite the worst economic recession in the world
in the last year or so, inward remittances to Sri Lanka
have actually remained robust, and have reduced only by
a very small amount–thus helping bridge the trade
added: “Without doubt the reconstruction efforts in the
north and east will require a vast influx of funds.
“Because the amounts are going to be so huge, they will
have to come from international capital markets which in
itself will generate inward flows.”
Discussing the impact that recent fiascos in the
financial services industry have had on commercial banks
in general, Nicolaou said: “For starters, the financial
crisis has impacted the way banks assess credit.
the main reasons for the crisis was loose credit and
risk management. Clearly, that is no longer going to be
the case. So, it’s a little bit harder to obtain credit
because there are more stringent requirements.”
“Interest rates have also gone up, simply because of
the higher risks and scarcity of liquidity. In the local
context, customers are wary of the party with which they
do their banking or deposit business and are looking at
the safety and security of the institution,” he added.
Islamic finance to Maldives
Sri Lanka Division launched the CIMA Certificate in
Islamic Finance course in the Maldives at a seminar
titled “Islamic Finance Principles with Business
Context” under the patronage of Maldives Monetary
Authority Governor Fazeel Najeeb and Auditor General
Ibrahim Naeem recently.
day’s programme started with an introduction by Dr.
Anwer, Dean, Villa College (V.C.), CIMA’s partner
organisation in the Maldives. CIMA South Asia Regional
Director Bradley Emerson then provided the audience with
a presentation on CIMA’s Islamic Certificate Programme.
underlyed reasons for CIMA’s entry into an industry
which has shown growth over the past several decades.
Islamic Banking & Finance (IBF) which now straddles over
40 countries has been plagued by a dearth of qualified
personnel to service the growth it has enjoyed.
has also been a lack of academic and professional
qualifications with international recognition. These
factors have contributed to CIMA introducing its
Certificate programme to complement its Accountancy
programmes which have gained international repute. As an
organisation that has grown over the 90 years of its
existence, CIMA’s entry into one of the fastest growing
industries in global finance is one which will be
welcomed by corporates and individuals alike, since it
fills a void that exists in the IBF industry.
and Naeem also spoke at this event.
presence signified the importance that the Maldivian
authorities placed on this landmark event. The Governor
welcomed CIMA’s initiative in conjunction with its local
partner V.C. in introducing a programme of this nature
to the Maldives. He said that IBF was on the radar of
the Maldivian authorities, adding a caveat that the
domestic environment should be first made conducive in
order to facilitate the entry of IBF into the country.
Naeem stressed the need for integrity in the transacting
process, in both the conventional sphere as well as
under the Islamic Finance umbrella.
Following the introductory addresses, the seminar on IBF
titled ““Islamic Finance Principles with Business
Context” by SAIF Capital MD Ishrat Rauff started. He
gave the audience a detailed explanation of IBF from a
business perspective. The efforts made by U.K. in
developing IBF and positioning U.K. as a hub for Islamic
Finance was dealt in some detail. Given the proximity of
Sri Lanka to the Maldives, the initiatives undertaken by
various stakeholders in IBF in Sri Lanka were also cited
as a case study to model.
response of the audience, comprising over 55 delegates
from a multitude of industries and the extent of
interaction that took place was an indication of the
interest that IBF had generated in a relatively new
market. Delegates in the audience included those from
the public and private sectors.
decisive stage of a child’s education is passing their
Advanced Level exam.
prime responsibility of a parent or guardian whose child
faces the most competitive A/L exam is to choose a
professional qualification as their next step for
education which would adequately carve their potential
with knowledge and competency.
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL)
is a national accounting body that has earned the trust
and dependability globally for the past 50 years of its
service rendered towards the education of youth.
Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification which
comes with a local taste is an excellent foundation for
a child’s successful future career.
there are many qualified students who are unemployed.
There are also students who have given up their higher
studies and are employed with the ambition of climbing
the ladder of succession in their respective careers but
are unable to achieve their dream due to the lack of
is the right opportunity for such desirous young brains
to join hands with. The designation of a Chartered
Accountant is a hallmark of a professional with high
competence. It specifies accuracy in depth and quality
of accountancy knowledge, developing life-long learning
experience for members and meeting their needs in a
is the sole authority in setting up Accounting and
Auditing Standards in Sri Lanka and was constituted by
Parliament Act No. 23 in 1959. The Institute enjoys a
student population of over 30,000 and. a membership
which exceeds 3,500 out of which 750 are based overseas,
topping in various business entities.
“Australian Advantage,” ahead of the pack
By Piyumi Buddhakorala
Australian Advantage is more than a slogan, it is a
place where students can realise their potential in ways
that they planned and perhaps in ways that they never
you study in Australia, you discover fresh challenges
and new experiences every day. You enjoy the freedom to
make your own decisions-both academically and personally
and also be recognized and rewarded for your
Education Ltd., is owned by Australian public
universities and SEEK Ltd. (Australia’s leading online
employment and training company). An independent
Australian organization established in 1969, IDP has a
network of offices around the world and in most of
Australia’s major cities.
a globally-renowned organization providing student
counselling and English testing and development services
and offers youth a range of options for achieving
long-term educational success.
will be organizing the Australian Education Fair in
Colombo over two days beginning on Saturday (September
12) and in Kandy on September 16, for all those who wish
to learn more about how and what it takes to acquire an
an annual affair where the Sri Lankan students and
parents are able to speak with representatives of
various institutions in Australia and learn more
information regarding course content, scholarships and
visa requirements. The Colombo event will be held at the
World Trade Centre and the Kandy event at Queens Hotel.
has been organizing such events for the past 14 years.
Australia has today emerged as the most-sought-after
destination for locals seeking higher education overseas
because the country’s passion for excellence has seen
cutting-edge technology and advanced educational
techniques being employed in offering students the
world’s best classroom,” said IDP-Sri Lanka General
Manager Pubudu Alahakoon. “The IDP Education Fair
provides the opportunity for students to find out the
best educational options given by Australia and directly
enrol with the institutions present as well
.”Those attending the fair may enjoy special benefits
such as waive-off of application fees if applying for an
educational programme at the exhibition.
in Australia better prepares a student to work in
today’s global marketplace. This is why several foreign
companies recruit directly from Australian universities
and vocational institutes. Many international
organizations and companies employ overseas students
with Australian qualifications because their exposure to
the outside world gives them greater independence and
maturity. With international trade barriers
disappearing, great opportunities exist for those with
the skills, experience and knowledge to seize
them. Australian degrees are gaining increased
acceptance in the global arena. A peaceful and relaxed
atmosphere, together with the cosmopolitan charisma of
cities like Sydney, Perth and Melbourne could be the
Affordable accounting qualification
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use
to change the world, said Nelson Mandela. With global
recession taking centre stage, the recognition for
Management Accountants rate high all over the world. Its
time for change; the need for qualified Management
Accountants has suddenly become a state priority. In the
face of a global financial crisis scenario, it has
become a valid global trend to become a Management
Accountant in addition to other professional
qualifications one has obtained in order to maintain an
edge over competition.
are interested in accessing Certified Management
Accountants (CMA) with its International recognition
status as their first step in to the professional world.
CMA affords a globally recognized qualification within a
short span of two years at an affordable cost as
against the heavy cost of acquiring a few other
accounting education. To meet this aspiration of
supplying the nation’s need and the international demand
for Management Accountants, The Institute of Certified
Management Accountants of Sri Lanka announced their
4-Level fast track to acquire a Management Accountant
full qualification in just two years, sealing stable
Affordability is key here. Student registration costs
are marginal and 20 scholarships are awarded in the form
of free registration, annual subscription for a three
year period, study packs, lecture fees, exam fees and
assistance in finding placement in firms for practical
training. Study course books are reasonably priced and
are available with the CMA secretariat.
are conducted by the Government Examinations Department,
Sri Lanka, twice a year, in March and September.
Students have the option of sitting one or more subjects
at a time. The exam consists of four stages which
includes 19 subjects that have been adapted to suit
recent developments in the accounting field.
difference is that CMA are strategic financial
management professionals who will gain the knowledge and
skills necessary to provide leadership, innovation and
an integrating perspective to organizational decision
making in the global marketplace. CMA accreditation
process is rigorous, but rewarding. It leads to the
sought after designation in business; CMA.
are generally focused on the future of a business. CMA
Professional Qualification is a course specializing in
Strategic Management Accounting leading to produce
professional Certified Management Accountants. They use
financial, management and ether information to direct
strategic and operational decision making targeted at
helping organizations move forward. Therefore to help
students acquire a head-on entry in to the business
environment and private sector with a CMA qualification,
strengthening their stand as a world class professional,
exemptions are made available for students who have
acquired AAT stage 3, ICASL Intermediate,
Account/Commerce Degree, HNDA, HNDM, CIM, IPM, IBSL,
SLIM or ACCA.
will enjoy many exemption possibilities at local and
foreign universities. Among them the four year Bachelor
of Management Studies (BMS) degree at the Open
University which can be completed in two years and entry
into Deakin University Australia are exceptional
possibilities in determining and chartering one’s
professional career. CMA Students will be granted
exemptions for full or part qualifications from
universities and recognized vocational institutions such
as ICASL, ACCA-UK, AAT, CIM, SLIM, HNDM, IPM, CGA-Canada,
CMA Canada and CPA Australia among many others.
more than just measure value-they create it. As the
leaders in management accounting, CMA actively apply a
unique mix of financial expertise, strategic insight,
innovative thinking and a collaborative approach to help
grow successful businesses.
Working in organizations of all sizes and types, CMA
provide an integrating perspective to business decision
making, applying best management practices in strategic
planning, finance, operations, sales and marketing,
information technology, and human resources to identify
new market opportunities, ensure corporate
accountability and help organizations maintain a
long-term competitive advantage.
have unique competencies in cost management, strategic
performance measurement, process management, risk
management and assurance services and stakeholder
reporting, coupled with the ability to connect strategy
with operations and anticipate customer and supplier
needs. They have a holistic view of business, are able
to identify issues, envision and chart solutions, and
engage appropriate measures and people within the
organization to achieve the desired results. CMA are
considered both leaders and team players, which
translates into a unique and effective style of
are equipped to look to the future to provide real-world
strategic direction, business management and leadership.
the main role of economic development thrust on the
private sector, the number of Management Accountants
required mainly in industry, commerce, finance,
education and the service sectors have greatly
increased. The need for Management Accountants is not
only in Colombo, but also in the provinces with the
government’s thrust to take industry and commerce to the
outstations which will enhance their job opportunities
especially in the private sector.
that the North and East is liberated, offering
prospective educational freedom to its people, CMA,
poses the right perspective of strategic Management
Accountancy and training in crucial decision making
prowess, relevant to today’s global business environment
and ever expanding local business initiatives, offering
time-saving two year full qualification, with ready l
jobs awaiting them on completion.
earn their professional designation through a rigorous
and highly specialized accreditation process. This will
include a Four Stage exam structure and a two year
practical training requirement. To earn the CMA
designation prospective members must complete a
university degree or pass the University Entrance Exam
or its equivalent Advanced Level. Prospective Ordinary
Level qualified students are advised to apply pending A
Level results. They need not waste an additional period
in audit training after completing CMA, a compulsory
requirement with other management accounting
qualifications. But students may find it convenient and
practical to complete a two-year Strategic Leadership
Programme side by side, while gaining practical
experience in a management accounting environment saving
time. There is a Governing Body, Governing Council and
Advisory Council to support the Sri Lankan CMA body
providing opportunities for students to undertake a
professional course in management accountancy at
Flexibility of the course offers convenience; a student
may follow CMA as a full time or part time students
after A/Ls, be they be a student awaiting entry into
universities or graduates and other professionals who
wish to progress in their career both in the private and
public sector, continuing professional development
through a career advancement programme while in
marked feature of the qualification is the flexibility
in the scheme, where the exam could be taken first and
thereafter practical training or both could be combined
together depending on one’s convenience.
Asian countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have
their National Management Accounting bodies which play a
lead role in the Management Accounting Profession both
in the private and public sectors, but Sri Lanka is the
only Founder Member in the South Asian Federation of
Accountants, which comprises the Accounting bodies of
India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal that do not have
their own National Management Accounting body.
fact CMA Sri Lankan body has received technical
assistance from CMA Canada which helped in formulating
educational syllabus, preparation of study material and
examination work with financial assistance from Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA).
Sri Lanka has obtained technical assistance from CMA
Canada, one of the leading international Management
Accounting Bodies. MOUs have been signed with the
Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan
(ICMAP), Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of
Bangladesh (ICMAB), The Institute of Cost and Works
Accountants of India (ICWAI) and CPA Australia.
Kiridena at AAI
Kiridena is the newest member to join Asian Alliance
Insurance PLC’s (AAI’s) team of professionals as General
Manager-Non Life since the beginning of this month.
veteran in the insurance industry with over 20 years of
experience, he said “I am delighted to join Asian
Alliance; a Company which is ‘different’ within the
landscape of the insurance industry; a hallmark from its
inception. It is with pride that I take this opportunity
and see my position as an exciting challenge to work
with the AAI family to achieve new levels of success in
their Non-Life business”.
known figure in the insurance circle in Sri Lanka,
Kiridena is a Chartered Insurer of the Chartered
Institute of Insurance UK (CII) and a Senior Associate
of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance
and Finance. He also holds a Diploma in Business
Management from National Institute of Business
Management (NIBM) and serves as the Honorary Secretary
of the Council of the Sri Lanka Insurance Institute (SLII).
Kiridena began his career in insurance in 1985 and has
acquired a wealth of experience in all the aspects in
the field of Non-Life insurance and has spearheaded many
customer interaction initiatives.
product of Trinity College Kandy, he has excelled in
sports, especially, in boxing and has been awarded the
coveted “Boxing Lion”. Currently, he is the Sri Lanka
Amateur Boxing Association president and a qualified
with pleasure that we welcome Kiridena to the Asian
Alliance family. The uniqueness, professionalism and the
level of commitment of every individual in AAI is our
greatest strength. I am confident that Kiridena’s
knowledge, youth, experience and thirst for success to
this vital and senior position will add to our strength;
the AAI team of professionals,” said AAI director/CEO
has grown from strength to strength to become a
formidable operator in the insurance industry and
attributes its success to touching the hearts of
customers with outstanding levels of professionalism and
success, and to the employees who make it possible by
emulating passion, enthusiasm and a zeal for inimitable
Validated degrees from W.U.
university’s superiority is mainly based on the kind of
student it churns out than the kind it takes in.
student who enters Imperial Institute of Higher
Education (IIHE) is sure to become the best in his field
and reach the realms of success in his career. IIHE
becomes the pathway to success for students, providing
them with a validated internal degree awarded by Wales
University (W.U.), UK.
validated university degree (v.u.d.) paves the way for
better yields in employment, opening new doors of
opportunities. Yet how does one choose a v.u.d.?
v.u.d. can only be offered by an established tertiary
education provider who has demonstrated success and
academic excellence, long standing partnership with a
reputed university and churned out the cream of talent
into the industry both locally and internationally. IIHE
satisfies these characteristics and hence becomes the
pioneering pathway to success for all students. A degree
from IIHE awarded by W.U. UK presents successful
graduates with global opportunities and is an investment
which makes you reap its fruits immediately.
established with the over arching objective of providing
quality educational opportunities to prospective
students offers undergraduate and post graduate
programmes validated by W.U., UK, prided as one of the
leading and esteemed UK universities.
Driven with the mission to excel in academic and
professional development through provision of quality
tertiary higher education, particularly validated
programmes, IIHE has established its name as the
benchmark for tertiary higher education in Sri Lanka,
Holding a record relationship with W.U. and stepping in
to a successful 14 years.
compulsory for degrees awarded locally by foreign
universities to be accredited through the relevant
accreditation bodies. All validated programmes are
subject to rigorous quality assurance to ensure that the
qualifications as required by the Quality Assurance
Agency (QAA) UK are met with. Hence a panel consisting
of representatives of Wales and external Examiners visit
IIHE twice a year to assure equal academic and
infrastructure standards are maintained.
“validated” degree means that it is the identical &
legitimate programme offered by the principal authority.
Programmes are subjected to the same quality assurance
procedures & standards laid down by the principal
IIHE validated degree programme awarded by W.U. enables
its students to become first class choice in the
industry. It capacitates students to build upon their
academic qualification and potential through progressive
development of knowledge, skills and understanding;
study in fields of interest, thus allowing them to
broaden and deepen their educational experience and
benefit from a curriculum designed to enhance skills and
supply them with exposure to tackle the issue of the
real business world.
the structure of teaching, assessing and evaluating of
students and the deliverance of the programme locally is
maintained identical in accordance with W.U. in order to
ensure that students choosing this programme benefit
from it. Thus an IIHE graduate receives the same
certificate as of W.U. and qualifies as an internal
student of W.U., UK.
Triad youngsters tops
Triad’s Young Spikes team broke new ground when they won
the Young Spikes Competition 2009, making them the first
Sri Lankan team to participate in the Young Spikes
Competition at the Spikes Asia Festival, which will be
held in Singapore from September 16-18, 2009.
Asia is Asia’s first ever advertising festival and aims
to “celebrate and inspire Asian creativity in
Triad Team won this accolade for their campaign idea
centred round the introduction of “Radio Networking”, a
concept aimed to develop and retain loyal listener base
for sponsor Yes FM.
jury headed by Grant McCann Erickson Executive Creative
Director Russell Miranda and supported by senior
industry professionals unanimously agreed that this
campaign was the most strategically focused and
creatively memorable, addressing the concerns raised in
the brief to present a revolutionary proposition that
will enhance the brand value while offering them an
out-of-the-box business solution through a
winning team comprising Charith De Silva, Arrvinda
Salwatura, Lanil Peiris and Madhu Hewakapuge will travel
to Singapore to compete against some of the best young
creative teams from all over Asia at the Young Spikes
Grants for S.M.E.s
National Chamber of Commerce (N.C.C.) plans to dole out
grants to 50 identified industries in the small and
medium enterprise (s.m.e.) sector in Jaffna, Lal de
Alwis, its President said.
Alwis told The Sunday Leader that four years ago they
got a Rs. 250 million grant from the Netherlands
Government to be utilized to the s.m.e. sector
islandwide, of which Rs. 150 million has already been
tenure of this grant scheme ends next year.
said that a seamstress in Payagala, who had already
received assistance under this scheme, is now ready to
export her garments.