(E.P.) Chief Minister S. Chandrakanthan said that E.P.
has the capacity to produce 30% of Sri Lanka’s milk
requirement, though currently it produces only 11% of
Speaking at an agro exhibition that opened in Colombo
recently, Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, a former
L.T.T.E. terrorist, admitted that it was terrorism that
prevented the East from reaching-up to its full
however expected the E.P. to double its milk collection
in two years.
Zaheed, a director of the Hayelys Group told this
newspaper that they are looking to source their export
agriculture produce such as gherkins from the Eastern
Province, while looking out for agro openings in the
North as well.
Powdered milk cheaper than fresh milk
Government’s efforts to promote liquid milk consumption
are doomed to fail because of falling milk prices in the
milk cannot compete with powdered milk because the
latter’s prices are low,” Director Administration &
Operations, C.I.C. Agribusinesses Jagath Bopege told The
however has taken over the management of some 4,000
acres belonging to two state owned dairy farms in the
Batticaloa District for the promotion of value added
dairy business other than fresh milk.
per cent of
milk requirements are met by importing powdered milk
with only 20% produced locally.
at the price comparisons in retail shops of fresh milk
vis-à-vis powdered milk, the former is so high?” Bopege
Despite “low” powdered milk prices, he alleged that
powdered milk suppliers still keep a margin of some
30-40%. That industry is however heavily taxed, he
too plans to join in the bandwagon and invest in a
powdered milk manufacturing plant.
company does not vendor fresh milk.
minimum farm gate price of Rs. 32 a litre for liquid
milk is also too low, said director/C.E.O. of C.I.C.
Seeds (Pvt.) Ltd., Waruna Madawanarachchi who said that
the company pays the farmer Rs. 40 for a litre of milk.
which at present manufactures curd, will soon go into
yoghurt and ice cream production initially targeting the
Batticaloa consumer before going islandwide. The company
also plans to add value added flavoured milk into its
“People in Batticaloa have money,” said Bopege. The
Eastern Province is rich in paddy cultivation with a
number of wealthy farmers and millers in its ranks,
while a number of Tamils, who form the bulk of the
population in the East have a relative abroad, mainly in
the West, sending them money.
country which consumes one billion litres of milk
annually will see a million litres produced yearly from
the two C.I.C. managed Government dairy farms in
Batticaloa once those get into full gear, which includes
an outgrower system netting in some 4,000 dairy farmers
in the locality.
however has no plans to go direct into the lucrative
processed beef business at present, but would instead
engage in this commercial operation by selling its cows
and stud bulls which have passed their prime to the
butchers in the Eastern Province, a province which is
said to slaughter the largest amount of cattle for beef
in the island.
also proposes to invest in two government farms in the
Kilinochchi and Mannar districts which have a combined
acreage of 390.
would be run in lines parallel to our farm in Pelwehera,”
said the company’s Managing Director/C.E.O. Keerthi
B.Kotagama. The 700 acre Pelwehera farm has a bent on
fruits and agriculture cultivation and exotic rice such
company also provides over 30% of Sri Lanka’s seed paddy
requirements from its farm in Hingurakgoda and plans to
export its agriculture technology to Bangladesh in a
joint venture with a Bangladeshi company, where C.I.C.’s
investment would be in the region of U.S.$ one million.
company which manufactures and exports red Basmathi in
Pelwehera and also through a farmer outgrower system, is
in the process of perfecting the technology to produce
white Basmathi rice locally.
annually imports 200,000 metric tons of quality rice
such as Basmathi.
addition the company produces Cavendish bananas for
export to the Middle East market.
company has also invested in piggery, poultry, prawn
farming, farm machinery, tea and horticulture exports.
sells its fruit juices and other products from its
outlets in Colombo and in the suburbs as well as in the
outstation, C.I.C. Agribusiness provides employment to
2,000 and indirect employment to a further 1,000.
of its income is derived from local sales.
Pedestrians out, vehicles welcomed
Walking past the Sri Lanka Air Force (S.L.A.F.)
headquarters on either side of Kumaran Ratnam Mawatha,
is out of bounds for pedestrians, though vehicles are
allowed to be driven down that road.
Pedestrians instead have to take the route down Sir
Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha, in a detour, if they
wish to go to a location down Kumaran Ratnam Mawatha
when walking from Fort, much to the chagrin of the
residents in the locality.
threat of suicide bombers is the reason why pedestrians
are not allowed to walk down both sides of Kumaran
Ratnam Mawatha opposite S.L.A.F. Hqrs.,” an airman told
this reporter upon inquiry.“But then why are vehicles
allowed to drive past S.L.A.F. Hqrs, is not a bomb laden
vehicle a greater threat than a suicide bomber, this
he said. “The effects are far greater when a suicide
bomber blasts himself, rather than a bomb laden vehicle
being blasted, because the body of the vehicle in which
the explosives are hidden dampens the effect of a
blast,” the airman replied.
when it comes to a suicide bomber because there are no
external barriers to mitigate the strength when he
blasts himself, he said.
what about the bomb laden lorry that was blasted near
Central Bank that caused so much of damage?” The Sunday
Leader queried. Lorries are not allowed to drive down
Kumaran Ratnam Mawatha, he said. However buses are
allowed to drive past S.L.A.F. Hqrs., on that road.
Ban halts rate decline
Government cap on foreign investments in outstanding
Treasury (T) Bills and Bonds on Thursday hit the
interest rate market, stopping its downward spiral at
least temporarily, market sources told The Sunday
move by the Government/Central Bank of Sri Lanka (C.B.S.L.)
to stop selling Sovereign debt to foreigners despite the
earlier determined limit being 10% investment in such T
Bills and Bonds outstanding is to ensure the success of
the Government’s U.S.$ 500 million Sovereign Bond launch
due in a fortnight,” they said.
Sources believed that foreign investments in outstanding
T Bills and Bonds were in the region of 8%, with another
2% left to go, before this ban was imposed.
According to C.B.S.L., total T Bond outstanding as at
Wednesday was Rs. 1,603,763 million, of which amount Rs.
114,230 million or 7.7% of total T Bond outstanding was
held by foreigners.
T Bill outstanding as at that date was Rs. 450,938
million, however C.B.S.L. has not given which percentage
of that issue is being held by foreigners.
Meanwhile the U.S.$ 500 million Sovereign Bond to be
sold to the market is at six months L.I.B.O.R. plus a
premium. Six months L.I.B.O.R. at present is 0.66%.
should the Government sell its T Bonds and T Bills at a
yield of 11% (the general yields fetched by T Bills and
Bonds currently) when there is a possibility of selling
its Sovereign Bond at a lower rate? And in the other way
round, why should foreigners invest in the Sovereign
Bond issue at a lower rate when they could get a much
higher rate when investing in T Bills and Bonds? That
may be the reason why C.B.S.L. imposed a ban on selling
any further T Bills and Bonds to foreigners on
Thursday,” the sources said.
C.B.S.L. cut its policy lending rates to banks by 50
basis points (b.p.s.) on September 11, secondary market
rates of the popular T Bond maturing on 2013 fell by100
b.p.s. to 11.50% by September 18, a 1% fall in a week.
fell by a further 50 b.p.s. by Wednesday, but its
further fall was negated, when C.B.S.L. halted further
foreign investments in outstanding T Bills and Bonds.
Bourse in negative terrain
bourse ended on negative territory last week, made short
by Monday’s Ramazan holidays, with average daily
turnover declining week on week (w.o.w.) by 43.1% to Rs.
682.6 million; the benchmark A.S.P.I. declining by 1.6%
to close the week at 2,892.05 points; the more sensitive
M.P.I. by 0.8% to 3,267.33 points; market capitalization
by 1.6% to Rs. 926.1 billion and net foreign inflows
down by 45.2% w.o.w. to Rs. 212 million.
sources attributed this negative trend to profit taking,
but opined that the bourse would bounce back this week
due to investor interest. They however said that the
market is yet to see the type of foreign interest that
was visible in the 2002/03 ceasefire period, but
presumed that that sort of investments may take off in
the near future.
Cesses are taxes
and East should be replanted with coconut, a planter
Outgoing Ceylon Planters Society (C.P.S.) Chairman Dilip
Benedict speaking at its A.G.M. last Saturday, said
though cesses were levied on various plantation crop
ostensibly for research, replanting and promotional
work, hardly any of these take place.
reality those cesses act as taxes, he said.
Benedict further claimed that there was a drastic
reduction in tea production in regional plantation
companies (r.p.c.s) when compared with the 1980s.
R.p.c.s were nationalized in the 1970s and re-privatised
in the 1990s.
said that these decreases were due to high fertilizer
and energy costs and rising wages. Two thirds of the tea
crop came from smallholders.
Another problem was the difficulty in getting plantation
labour, as that job carried a social stigma, Benedict
Int’l network intact
L.T.T.E. cadre with suicide jackets was arrested by a
team from army intelligence in Vavuniya at a location in
Slave Island a few days ago, an airman told The Sunday
Leader last Saturday.
“Though the L.T.T.E. command centre in Sri Lanka has
been destroyed, this suspect has been getting
instructions from L.T.T.E. operatives in the West,” he
operative had been living in Slave Island for a few
years, with the local police unaware of his background,
the airman alleged. Earlier, a diplomat attached to a
Western European embassy here told this reporter that
the L.T.T.E.’s international network is still intact.
Developing human resources
Administration Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama speaking at
a function last Saturday said that of the 250,000
students who annually sit for the local G.C.E. Advanced
Level exam; 130,000 qualify to enter varsity, but due to
capacity constraints only 17,000 gain entry into the
government university system.
said that private tertiary institutions, such as the one
which convocation he attended last Saturday, helped to
bridge that gap.
Amunugama also said that there were a dearth of good
managers in both the public and private sectors and
stressed the importance of having such, to steer the
country, which has just come out after a 30 year war.
a mere handful who pass the local A’ Levels may gain
entry into local universities, there however is a
drawback in the local university system, especially in
the arts and humanities streams, of producing graduates
which the market does not want.
creates frustration among the youth of this country and
may be the direct cause of terrorism in the island,
whether it be Sinhala terrorism of 1971 and 1987, or
Tamil terrorism of 1983.
inherent problem here appears to be the lack of
knowledge of English among such graduates, thereby
depriving them of job opportunities, other than in the
state sector, which, more often than not are given due
to political expediency and not due to market wants, a
problem which the World Bank is trying to address.
Amunugama himself is a proponent that the state is there
to give jobs to unemployed graduates. Soon after the
U.P.F.A. Government was elected to power in April 2004,
Amunugama played a key role in providing tens of
thousands of such unemployed graduates jobs in the
public sector, not due to the needs of the market, but
for political expediency.
Meanwhile, other lacunas in the current education system
which deprives the country from going forward is the ban
in setting-up of new private schools other than those
catering to international exams and the prohibition of
setting-up of private universities unless they cater to
and restrictions on education for political reasons as
is the case in Sri Lanka is neither good for the country
nor for its economy.
Speaking at another function held earlier during the
day, Amunugama said that former Singaporean premier Lee
Kuan Yew who was invited by Sri Lanka’s then president
J.R. Jayewardene had said that the reason why he
concentrated on developing Singapore’s human resources (h.r.)
and thereby its services sector was because unlike Sri
Lanka which had plantations and other resources in hand,
Singapore however had only its h.r. to offer due to the
lack of a land mass.
neigbours in South Asia are rapidly moving forward
because they have no archaic laws to prevent the
setting-up of private schools and universities, nor
barriers to give English its due place, thereby building
a good h.r. base.
fact some of our youth are following their higher
education in universities in those countries.
Lanka is starved of foreign exchange (forex), a fact
admitted to by Amunugama when, addressing the Ceylon
Planters’ Society (C.P.S.) A.G.M. last Saturday, where
he turned down a request by its outgoing Chairman for
duty free vehicle permits for planters, because of the
just imagine the loss of forex due to our students
attending universities abroad because of archaic
legislation that prohibits the setting up of private
for that matter the outflow of forex due to students
sitting the London O’ Levels or A’ Level exams,
sometimes due to the lack of private schools in the
country as laws prohibit the setting-up of new private
schools catering to the local O’ Level and A’ Level
done a bit of travel and having had listened to public
servants in the region thanks to my job, one gets the
impression that one of the drawbacks affecting our
public sector and to an extent our private sector is the
lack of a knowledge of English.
globalised environment that the world’s economies now
operate, the importance of English cannot but be
stressed. Otherwise Sri Lanka stands the chance of
losing out to its peers in the region and continue to
exist at subsistence level, while its neighbours move
has happened once, the case of Asia’s tiger
economies-Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea
and more recently Thailand and Malaysia being such
past they looked at Sri Lanka’s public servants and its
institutions as role models, with South Korea, in the
1950s emulating its research institutions to be in the
likes of the Ceylon Institute of Scientific and
Industrial Research, the predecessor of the present day
Industrial and Technology Institute.
where are we now compared to those countries whether it
be in research or development, or otherwise?
Amunugama speaking at the C.P.S. A.G.M. said that Budget
2010 to be presented in parliament in November would lay
emphasis on research and development.
hope that such statements will not be confined to mere
good to mouth slogans, like President Mahinda Rajapaksa
declaring this year as the year of I.C.T. and English,
but with nearly ¾ths of the year gone, the Government
needs to do an audit to see what progress has been made
in this regard upto now.
issue of English, is the Government taking steps to
teach this language from the primary level and upwards?
Is it taking steps to have trained English teachers to
take this language forward? With resources and funding
being a major constraint, is it trying to tap donor
funding for this project? Or to ease the burden on the
Treasury which has the perennial problem of trying to
bridge the budget deficit with Government expenditure
being more than Government revenue, is it therfore
paving the way to solve this problem by having the
necessary legislation on board for private schools to be
set-up as an alternative to the more expensive
international schools which generally cater to the
are the issues that the Government must be prepared to
face and tackle head on.
Lanka has been hiding behind slogans since 1956, the
results of which are only too well known, the birth of
terrorism from a party belonging to the majoritarian
Sinhala community in 1971 and 1987 and minority Tamil
terrorism in 1983.
Sri Lanka is in a new era with the end of terrorism in
May of this year with the future looking bright as a
result. Let us not fritter away our opportunities like
what we did after obtaining independence in 1948.
leaders of this country today need to rectify the
mistakes of the past and see that those are not
repeated, not least in regard to the country’s education
system, to take Sri Lanka to an era of prosperity in the
Cheapest int’l degree
Getting a U.K. degree for Rs. 850,000 is Rs. 450,000
cheaper than that which is offered by its closest
competitor, an Australian degree provider, a promoter
Varnika Soysa, Senior Marketing Manager Imperial
Institute of Higher Education (I.I.H.E.) told The Sunday
Leader that students may follow degree courses, mainly
pertaining to I.C.T. and Management for that fee in
courses are validated by the University of Wales (U.o.W.),
with the passed out graduate carrying a U.o.W. degree,
though having had followed his course in Colombo.
Lectures, course papers and question papers; with the
latter two validated by U.o.W., are all conducted in
Additionally, students may follow an M.B.A. course,
which targets senior managers, for Rs. 700,000.
Following those courses in U.K. are much more expensive,
and, additionally, living expenses also have to be taken
into account, U.o.W.’s Pro Vice Chancellor (Quality)
Professor Nigel Palastanga said.
said that U.o.W.’s programmes are passed by Q.A.A. U.K.,
a quality assurance body in the U.K., funded by the
Government, but consisting of those from the private
which is a federal university headquartered in Cardiff,
has 55,000 inhouse students and another 22,000 in
validated centres in 40 countries, including in Sri
Saturday, 22 U.o.W. graduates and 38 M.B.A.s who
followed their degree programmes at I.I.H.E. passed out,
in a convocation ceremony held at Cinnamon Lakeside, in
the presence of Palastanga, validation officers from the
U.K. and others.
Foreign fund targets US$ 75 mn. investments
Singapore based Calamander Group which recently started
its first private equity fund focused on Sri Lanka said
the fund has received satisfactory responses from
have received commitments around US$ 20 million up to
now and we expect to raise US$ 75 million in first
Close,” Calamander Group Managing Director Roman Scott
told the Bloomberg news agency in a TV Interview
also said that they are aiming at a return of 35% for
the fund’s first year of investing in Sri Lanka.
been doing a lot of work for a long time in Sri Lanka
and we are convinced that the minimum return would be
around 35%. That’s not our maximum. I won’t give you the
performance figures because they look crazy, they are in
the hundreds of percents for current investments we have
in the island.”
must also remember that this is a country starved of
capital and has had such little FDI.. it’s easy for us
to buy family run companies at low valuations and book
value and turn them around, add a bit of value and
double or triple earnings,” Scott said.
Responding to a question by Bloomberg’s Susan Li, Scott
confidently remarked that Sri Lanka has concluded its 30
year war with separatist Tamil Tigers and country is
poised to grow.
largely the diaspora spread throughout the world who
conflict now. We have been investing in the country for
a dozen years. So we know the country well. From our
research what we are finding is that the average Tamil
citizens in Sri Lanka do not want bombs and war anymore.
What they want is a nice flat screen TV and a motor bike
like everybody else. People want to work hard, get rich
and send their children to nice schools,” Scott said.
time of the start of the fund, Calamander Group said
that the main focus areas would be agri business,
ceramics, fisheries and banking.
However, during the interview Calamander MD said that
they are not interested in acquiring tea or rubber
plantations given their complexities in the labour
structures, but the down stream operations like tea
factories and branding.
asked about the banks the fund would make investments
in, he declined to give names but said they are
interested in all the big blue chip banks listed in the
decline to give names of the banks we are investing in.
But most of the big blue chip banks we like a lot, some
of the major banks that are respected, names like
Commercial Bank, that’s one name I would give you,” he
told the Bloomberg interviewee.
MIGA & hedging
September 14 I made a presentation to BOI officials on
the World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee
provides political risk insurance against specified
political risks for foreign investors in developing
Particularly in the context of Sri Lanka being
considered a post-conflict country, the Agency is
interested in promoting foreign investments into the
country for those investors concerned about political
your reporters was at the event and his report entitled
“M.I.G.A. has cover for hedging” was published in the
Sunday Leader of September 20. I like to provide the
With reference to your reporter’s question during the
session whether MIGA can cover hedging; having been
aware only of the fundamental issues involved in the CPC
matters with banks, I said that MIGA covers long term
investments of both equity and loans and that in the
past MIGA had on rare occasions covered interest
swaps/hedging on loans associated with equity and debt
covered by MIGA in investment projects.
was no reference to the CPC, the amounts involved in the
cases or to > arbitration or whether MIGA would have, in
fact, covered Banks for petroleum hedges.
fact, I said that under MIGA’s regulations, the Agency
cannot cover third party debt without covering some
portion of the equity involved in the investment project
concerned. The reference to me that if MIGA had covered
this type of hedging it would have resulted in MIGA
enabling the Banks from avoiding arbitration is
future consideration by MIGA of such cover would depend
on a host of eligibility criteria, principally, whether
the hedging by itself is a form of investment eligible
for cover under MIGA’s regulations and other risk
subject is technical and I am sorry your reporter may
have misunderstood my statements. I had precisely for
these reasons asked him not to quote me.
comments were not at all specific to the facts of the
CPC transactions, but a general comment associated with
my statement that MIGA can cover a variety and a range
With reference to LIOC matter I merely said that Indian
Oil was at
time interested in MIGA cover but did not in the end
procure political risk insurance from MIGA and I then
commented that I understood that LOIC had run into some
not say that LIOC could have avoided losses had it
procured MIGA coverage. That is impossible for me to
state since I did not even know the exact nature of the
problems. My comments were associated here once again
with a general comment regarding MIGA’s claims avoidance
focus of early resolution of issues related to the
importance of sustaining long term investments
beneficial to a member state.
general my presentation to the BOI was about MIGA’s
basic coverages and not specific to the incidents which
were reported in the Leader.
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (A World Bank
Business Editor’s Note: We stand by our story.
then did Perera in his presentation, when asked by
uswhether there was a possibility of getting hedge cover
from MIGA in relation to the recent CPC oil imbroglio,
reply by saying that it may have had been possible to
have had such a cover. In reference to the LIOC matter,
Perera did say that LIOC was negotiating for MIGA cover,
but then dropped off from further discussions. Perera
never told us not to report any matter discussed in that
Local govts., affect tourism
view is that the Government’s focus has to be to ensure
that any of the obstacles that could be there from local
governments and so on are cleared, and cleared fast.
Land allocation in areas in which the Government
believes tourism should be developed should be done in a
systematic and organised manner,” a hotelier said.
Keells Holdings Deputy Chairman Ajit Gunewardene told
Benchmark last Sunday that “thereafter, focus on basic
infrastructure development in the tourism
areas-essentially roads, and things like that is
important because it’s around this that you will find
the industry developing.”
seen occupancies increasing, especially business traffic
and a positive impact on tourism, especially Indian
traffic and so on. That’s the good side. The ugly side
is that the rates haven’t yet moved up adequately. There
has been some increase, especially in hotels that have
executive floors and so on.
the mid-level rates haven’t improved adequately. ‘So
still there is a bit of an over-supply.’ Our view is
that the demand-supply situation will sort itself out
over the next six to 12 months,” Gunewardene commenting
on the current state of city hotels added.
on to discuss whether city hotels are ready for the
expected tourist influx, he said: “Yes, I would say they
are ready; in fact they are hungry for it. We’ve been
going through such a volatile environment over so many
years. We’ve had the occasional good years, but by and
large, most of the years over the last 20 have been
have taken a view that post-war Sri Lanka is going to
see a significant upturn in terms of the leisure segment
and city hotels in terms of business-and obviously then
the resort hotels because of the upturn in tourism. We
believe that in the course of the next 24 months we may
get into a situation where there will be a shortage of
rooms,” he added.
Commenting on what more the Government can do to foster
investment, especially in the area of FDIs, he told the
show’s Special correspondent Ms. Savithri Rodrigo that
the general investment environment has already been
established through the BOI and so on, and that there
were no major obstacles.
widely-watched business TV programme is presented by LMD
and produced by the wrap factory.
Rs. 800 mn., in deposits
Sampath Bank, the banker at the ongoing book fair at the
B.M.I.C.H., has already reached the Rs. 800 mn., mark
for deposits and completed almost 1,000 A.T.M.
transactions at the premises within the last four days,
the Bank in a release sent on Friday said.
Sampath Bank partnered the Colombo International Book
Fair for the sixth successive time as the official bank
for the event this year as well. The nearly 10 day long
festival concludes at the B.M.I.C.H. tommorow.
Rs. 2.3 bn. subscription
Power’s recent Initial Public Offering (I.P.O.) to issue
31.3 million ordinary shares was over subscribed by 3.7
times on the first day at the maximum book-build price
of Rs. 20, the company said.
number of applications received was 8,552 amounting to
Rs. 2.3 billion. Among the investor categories were
local and foreign funds and local and foreign retail
Treasury (T) Bill yields at Wednesday’s primary auction
fell by 34, 24 and 33 basis points (b.p.s) to 9.70%,
10.72% and 11.17% for maturities of 91, 182 and 364 days
Meanwhile the T Bond primary auction held the previous
day saw weighted average yields of 11.35%, 11.44% and
11.35% fetched for maturities of July 15, 2013; July 15,
2014 and August 1, 2015 respectively, offered at this
Water for Vakarai
National Bank Plc (H.N.B.) expanded its community
development initiatives in the East by extending the H.
N. B. safe drinking water programme to Kokuvil in
addition to setting up another two school libraries in
the Batticaloa district recently.
people of Kokuvil affected by Tsunami and the internal
conflict had resettled in their village two years ago.
However their sufferings continued due to the lack of
fresh water. The only sources of water to this village
which houses about 500 people from 65 families, was from
an old and dilapidated well situated a few kilometres in
a jungle or from a small water hole outside the village.
This water too was contaminated and unsafe for drinking.
plight of these villagers was brought to the notice of
the Bank by the H.N.B. Batticaloa Team and the project
was undertaken by H.N.B. as part of its safe drinking
water programme. The existing water hole was dredged and
deepened to a proper well. A new water tank was built
with pumping facilities, pipes and taps.
project was the 6th in a series of initiatives by the
Bank following the U.N. Millennium Development Goals of
providing safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.
The first five projects under this scheme are in Mannar,
Jaffna, Anuradhapura, Puttlam and Kataragama.
Education is a prime consideration in community
development for H.N.B. and another two libraries were
added to the Bank’s school library programme. These
libraries were established at Kathiraveli Maha
Vidyalayam and Palchenai Maha Vidyalayam in Batticaloa.
Both schools affected by Tsunami and war lacked even the
basic facilities. The necessary furniture, books and
computers were donated by H.N.B.
Over 300 C.I.A.s pass out
Assurance held its third adviser certification seminar
recently at Colombo where they recognized 322 advisers
in awarding the Certified Insurance Adviser (C.I.A.)
Assurance has introduced a professional development path
to enhance the professionalism of its life advisers.
Upon meeting the criteria and reaching the standards
required, an adviser would first be recognized as a C.IA
and then become a Certified Professional Adviser
has to achieve and maintain business standards in both
volume and quality, get through a technical competency
exam and follow all trainings recommended to qualify for
this internal designation.
“Certified” status is valid for a period of one year and
is renewable subject to maintaining business standards.
event paved a platform to some “super” achievers to
share their success with their colleagues.
At N. H. S. L.
Nations Trust Bank (N.T.B.) recently partnered with the
National Hospital of Sri Lanka (N.H.S.L.) to extend
their services to the hospital’s doctors, staff and
visitors with the opening of an A.T.M.
N.H.S.L., a 3,000-bed hospital located on a 30-acre
block of land employs nearly 5,000 including 80
Consultants and over 1,000 doctors. Along with the De
Soysa Maternity Hospital, Castle Street Hospital for
Women, Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Institute of
Cardiology and the Eye Hospital, N.H.S.L. functions as
the main teaching facility for the Colombo Medical
A.T.M., located at the Doctor’s quarters entrance
opposite Bandaranaike Building, will offer cash
withdrawals, utility bills payments, “transfer of funds
within the account” and so on.
American Express Card members also have the facility to
obtain cash advances at the A.T.M. It will also
facilitate services for cards connected to the cirrus
and maestro network.
by N.T.B. Chairman Ajit Gunawardene together with
National Hospital Director Dr. Hector Weerasingha,
Gunawardene in his speech said, “We are pleased to
partner N.H.S.L. in providing this much needed A.T.M.
machine. Through our partnership, we are glad to extend
our services through the special tailor-made financial
solutions packages specifically for doctors andHospital
support staff. ”
Bank further assisted N.H.S.L. in upgrading the
facilities at the doctors’ lounge as well as the crèche
used by the children of the staff. Weerasingha said,
“This is a significant moment as the first private Bank
steps in to be of assurance to the medical community. We
are delighted to partner N.T.B. and look forward to a
G.M.O.A. Assistant Secretary Dr Upul Gunasekara added,
“As the first private bank to open an A.T.M. within the
country’s largest and premier institution for medical
care, with 12,000 doctors registered with the GMOA and
more than 1,000 working at the NHSL, this partnership is
bound to be of benefit.”
$ 500 mn. Bond
Government of Sri Lanka has selected Hongkong and
Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd., J.P. Morgan and the
Royal Bank of Scotland as Joint Lead Managers (J.L.M.)/Bookrunners/Underwriters
for the U.S.$ 500 million bond issue due to be sold in
international markets next month.
of Ceylon has been appointed as a Co-manager to work
with the three J.L.M. to execute the bond issue.
$ 30 mn. transaction
Stock Exchange Group plc (the Group) recently agreed to
acquire 100% of MillenniumIT, a Sri Lankan-based
technology services company serving the capital markets
industry, for U.S.$ 30 million.
transaction is expected to complete by the middle of
Group will begin migrating clients to MillenniumIT’s
trading system from the end of 2010, replacing TradElect,
Infolect, and other interfaces.
MillenniumIT will continue serving its existing clients,
with its CEO Tony Weeresinghe, reporting to Xavier Rolet,
the Group Chief Executive.
Sumitomo Insurance, Japan’s and one of the world’s
leading insurance companies recently renewed its
cooperation agreement with Ceylinco Insurance, thus
affirming the confidence the global insurance giant has
in Ceylinco Insurance.
been involved in a corporation agreement with Mitsui
Sumitomo for the past eleven years, Ceylinco Insurance
sources confirm that the relationship has enabled the
company to gain a wealth of expertise and experience
from Mitsui Sumitomo’s global know-how.
Ceylinco Insurance Technical Director Jagath Alwis says
that the company is pleased to be associated with Mitsui
Sumitomo, widely recognized and respected for its
standing as an insurance giant globally. “Our strong
relationship with Mitsui Sumitomo has given us an edge
over others on many occasions,” he adds.
renewal comes at a time when the Sri Lankan economy is
looking to expand on investment and a renewal of
activity. Ceylinco Insurance’s partnership with Mitsui
Sumitomo has given Japanese businessmen, entrepreneurs
and contractors working in Sri Lanka a platform to work
with a company that understands their requirements and
of the MSIG of Japan which consists of 645 domestic
offices and 318 overseas offices in 42 countries and
territories, Mitsui Sumitomo maintains one of the
largest networks in the world that continues to grow.
Sumitomo has the distinction of being recognized as the
largest non- life insurer in Asia.
its laurels are AA rating by Standard and Poor's and Aa3
rating by Moody's Investors Service in global rankings
and an ordinary income of US $ 21 billion during 2008.
Among its portfolio of services, it offers a lineup of
products and services that focus on specified needs of
varied target segments; the company has been
consistently developing specialized products for niche
markets and strategic targets in Japan and world over.
agreement will also provide opportunities to acquire
technical expertise-it facilitates an information
exchange programme between the two companies relating to
global issues and “new developments catastrophic risks.”
is an important area where Ceylinco Insurance employees
will benefit from exposure to highly developed markets
and acquire hands-on knowledge in best practices in the
industry,” adds Alwis who says that the company and Sri
Lanka on the whole will benefit from such endeavours.
Another product from U.A.
Keeping inline with its reputation of introducing many
firsts to the insurance industry in Sri Lanka, Union
Assurance PLC has once again launched a novel insurance
plan under the name Union Health Deposit Plan for the
first time in Sri Lanka.
Health Deposit is the only health insurance policy in
the market that pays interest on premiums paid, while
providing coverage for surgical and hospitalization
expenses. Therefore it is best termed as a blend of life
and health insurance as well as fund accumulation. This
policy covers you for a 10 year period and you can
choose from three options according to your individual
Assurance General Manager Pushpakumar Gunasekera
speaking about the new policy said: “While a normal
health insurance policy only allows you to make the
necessary claims, the Union Health Deposit Plan is
similar to a savings account plus a health insurance
policy, where in which the policyholder’s fund gets
accumulated during a period of time.
addition the policyholder is also entitled to normal
hospitalization benefits, surgery benefits, disability
benefits and death cover. Policyholder’s fund which is
referred to as the Medical Assistance Account will be
credited by monthly dividends at the end of each month,
ensuring higher returns at maturity.
advantage of this deposit plan is the fact that
policyholders have the ability to withdraw money from
the fund for other medical commitments on the percentage
of the sum insured. This will be useful in the case
where policyholders’ have the ability to gain funds for
certain surgeries which are excluded from their
policies. If not withdrawn, the benefit will get
accumulated automatically creating a fund for one’s
future medical requirements. Therefore this product is
the perfect combination of a life, health and a fund
accumulation”, says Gunasekera.
normal health insurance policies offer a year’s cover,
the Union Health Deposit Plan is a 10 year policy. Also
in a normal health insurance policy if the policyholder
goes through a surgery, chances are more that your
health policy will not be renewed the following year or
your premium amount will be increased. However in the
case of the Union Health Deposit Plan your premium will
remain unchanged for the entire term of the policy
irrespective of individuals claim experience.
Union Health Deposit Plan provides you with a cover for
surgeries, payment of a daily benefit in the case of
hospitalization, a fund to meet additional medical
commitments, financial safety in case of total and
permanent disability or death as well as a lump sum at
maturity. Premium calculations for the policies
offerthree options according to suit the lifestyle needs
and financial capability.
the Union Health Deposit Plan is ideal to build a buffer
of additional funding for future medical needs, the list
of available benefits make it an even more attractive
and imperative in an individual’s insurance portfolio.
This deposit plan entitles its policyholders to a daily
benefit for hospitalization from the first day onwards
up to a maximum of 180 days per annum if the
policyholder is hospitalized for over three days and
surgery benefit covering major surgical procedures
including critical illness related surgeries. Also
policyholders are entitled to claim for multiple
surgeries up to three times the sum assured and in
addition to this, the plan also offers permanent total
disability cover either through accident or illness and
a waiver of the premium due to disability in addition to
a death benefit.”
conclusion Gunasekera said, “This plan epitomizes the
adage, “Health is Wealth”, as it provides the
policyholder with a fund growing with returns whilst
also ensuring that his or her wellbeing is given top
priority in the case of an unexpected event.”
Frauds in Int’l Trade
National Bank PLC (H.N.B.) organized a seminar on
‘Frauds in International Trade’ for International
Trade customers which was held at the HNB Towers
Guest Speaker was P Mukundan, a world renowned speaker
and specialist on Maritime fraud who is resident in the
Mukundan in his presentation gave an insight into frauds
taking place in sale and transport of goods, charter
party failures, cargo/container frauds, phantom ships
and piracy. He emphasized that while there is a rapid
enhancement in technology facilitated by speedier
transacting of International Trade, it has also created
a conducive environment for fraudsters in targeting
Senior Deputy General Manager Jayantha Perera in his
welcome address mentioned that H.N.B. always took the
initiative to ensure that their customers are kept
abreast of the changes and trends in International
Trade, by organizing seminars, workshops and customer
specific training programmes conducted by eminent
Nilam Jumat assured that H.N.B. would continue to keep
their customers informed of developments and changes in
International Trade on a continuous basis through
Five branches in N.E.
Bank (NDB) will soon begin operations in Jaffna,
Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, and Ampara districts.
Bank plans to offer communities in the northern and
eastern provinces a wide-ranging portfolio of financial
solutions, maintaining the “highest” standards of
service and quality.
the cessation of a two decade military conflict, the
nation now looks upon rebuilding a robust and
sustainable economy. Communities across the North and
East now have a rare opportunity to rebuild their lives,
reconstruct their homes, sustain a livelihood, pursue
their education and build a better future. NDB is proud
to be a part of the reawakening of the nation’s Northern
and Eastern provinces; offering them the Bank’s range of
believes an entrepreneurial culture is essential for the
nation’s sustainable development. The bank aims to build
a country that will create opportunities not just for
themselves but for others whilst developing the ‘doing
business’ environment of Sri Lanka.
“pioneered” project lending to the SME sector. It has
supported over 35,000 ventures and created more than
500,000 employment opportunities. NDB offers medium to
long-term project financing facilities, cash-flow-based
structured financing products, commercial banking and
trade finance products at “competitive” rates and terms,
with the additional value of “expertise” from the NDB
extends its product range to facilitate motor vehicle
acquisitions by offering motor vehicle loans and finance
leases for registered or unregistered vehicles, together
with “competitive” rates and “flexible” repayment plans.
Bank offers a range of “flexible and customized”
services to maximise savings. Safe deposit locker
facilities will be available to customers who wish to
preserve valuable documents and items.
and NRFC account holders can enjoy several benefits
through their accounts with NDB. Funds can also be
maintained in any currency approved by the Central Bank
of Sri Lanka.
offers the Western Union Money Transfer service,
enabling the transfer of money across the globe through
a speedy and reliable channel to Sri Lanka.
Educational loans can be taken by parents or potential
students themselves. These loans are taken to send a
child to complete a degree or professional qualification
at a local institute or even a foreign college. NDB
offers special Mortgaged Back Educational Loans that are
designed to obtain funding for both local and foreign
the NDB Group has regional operations in Maldives and
2nd at ad. fest
Triad’s Young Spikes team broke new ground in the
industry when they were placed second at the Young
Spikes Asia Competition 2009 whilst competing against 10
other Asian teams. Spikes Asia Festival which concluded
in Singapore recently was Asia’s first ever advertising
runner-up team comprised Charith De Silva, Arrvinda
Salwatura, Lanil Peiris and Madhu Hewakapuge.
is the winner of Chillies 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009
Grand Prix Agency. They also won the first metal ad
AdFest in 2008 and this year produced a finalist at
Cannes Lions Advertising Festival.
Lanka Australia New Zealand Association (S.L.A.N.Z.A.)
recently made a donation of materials to the Psychiatric
Hospital, Mulleriyawa at their A.G.M.
Associated at this event were Australia’s High
Commissioner in Sri Lanka Mrs. Kathy Klugman, the
Hospital’s Director Dr. Jayan Mendis and S.L.A.N.Z.A.
President Nelu Fernando.
Computers Pakistan Managing Director Asif Shahzad with
the first purchase order. Also in the picture are EZY
Infotech Asia Pacific Vice President Ramesh Umashankar
and EZY Infotech Sri Lanka CEO Shafraz Hamzadeen.
new generation of desktop computers which were unveiled
recently to Sri Lanka and the world by Dubai based EZY
Infotech which set up operations through the BOI in
February 2009, exported their first consignment of 600
Slim Tops to Pakistan on September 9.
Holdings CEO Shafraz Hamzadeen said, “We intend bringing
a new identity to Sri Lanka over and above exports done
in tea, spices, rubber and garments; it is our intention
to put the ‘made in Sri Lanka’ computer in the same
February this year we set up Sri Lanka’s first ever
state of the art automated computer manufacturing
facility with a promise to provide quality computers at
an affordable price. Today we are proud to announce that
our first export order left the shores of Sri Lanka for
Pakistan,” he said.
Infotech has appointed two distributors in Pakistan for
their entire range of computers, Decent Computers in
Lahore which has placed an initial order for 600 PCs and
Optimum Technologies in Karachi which placed an order
for 500 PCs.
Hamzadeen said that they hoped to export around 4,000
computers a month to Pakistan.
have a very aggressive marketing strategy with regard to
our exports and in fact are currently in the process of
appointing a distributor for Bangladesh. We also have
plans to enter Maldives, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, New
Zealand and Australia”.
Hamzadeen said that the biggest competition they faced
was from China as they too manufactured low cost
computers. “However China has one great drawback with
respect to their internal transportation, where
sometimes it takes as much as three weeks for goods to
reach the nearest port from the manufacturing plant”.
Lanka, an EZY computer bearing the ‘made in Sri Lanka’
tag could be sent to the country of export within 10
days of manufacture. “In other words an EZY computer
exported from Sri Lanka could be sold within that
particular country even before a Chinese computer leaves
the Chinese port”.
It’s pizza time
Hut Pizzuwa is gathering momentum with people rushing to
eat pizza and pasta and all great things on offer. I
thought it was worth a visit to check out the action and
find out what the excitement was all about, and I was
Firstly, why is it called Pizzuwa? That was easy to find
out. The deals are “fabulously” reasonable that anyone
would go ‘pizzu’ trying to decide which one to go for.
Food on offer includes the Stuffed Crust and Sausage
Crust pizzas, all pastas, Pan pizzas and the works! With
some deals, you buy something and get discounts on the
second while for others you walk away with free pizzas
Pizzuwa is attracting the young, the old and all those
who fit in between. And the people I saw tucking away
into their favourites at the Bambalapitya and Union
Place branches certainly came in all shapes and sizes.
I’m told that these mad deals are good for takeaway and
delivery as well.
hang on, there’s more. Each outlet has a ‘Pizzu’ Doctor
on call to help people decide on what deals suit them
best. Of course, being a doctor and all, he chooses to
call them prescriptions for their food cravings.
fortunate enough to snatch a few moments of this super
busy, super popular doctor’s time. He walks around
talking to diners and passing out badges declaring the
extent of their ‘pizzu’ness. He explained that these
people are ‘pizzu’, not to be confused with ‘pissu’. So
what exactly is ‘pizzu’? It’s a madness they share for
the yummy treats at Pizza Hut, said the good doctor. He
went on to explain that there are different kinds of
‘pizzu’ people. There are those who are Bageta Pizzu,
Hondatama Pizzu, Pizzuma Pizzu and Pizzu Double. Of
course, he assured me that he has deals or
‘prescriptions’ for all these kinds of cravings.
spoke to a couple of people who were obviously mad about
Pizzuwa. Ten year old Ruvi, who spoke to me between
large mouthfuls of Stuffed Crust pizza, said “I like
‘Pizzu’ Doctor. I watch him every day on TV.” Shenu and
her gang of schoolfriends were tucking into Sausage
Crust pizza. “I’m crazy about pizza, specially Sausage
Crust pizza,” Shenu admitted. “The Pizza Hut ‘Pizzuwa’
is the thing for us.”
myself as unobtrusive as I could, I observed ‘Pizzu’
Doctor in action. He certainly has a way with people. He
never fails to make little kids giggle, young people
laugh and older people smile. He helps people relax and
relish the good food. A nice job, I thought, as I made
my way out of Pizza Hut. The ability to make people
happy while enjoying their favourite food must be
Samsung Asia Pvt Ltd., joining hands with Sala
Enterprises recently, unveiled two mobile phones. The
company also set up its first flagship store at State
Trading Corporation, Nawam Mawatha, which was
inaugurated by Trade and Commerce Minister Bandula
Jet – smarter demonstrates the dominant performance that
a full touch phone user expects centring on multimedia
experiences. Due to the speedy processor and the ultra
brilliant display it maximizes user experience.
II on the other hand is claiming to be the “all in one
redefined” upgrading of Omnia. Omnia II is “bigger,
better and bolder,” breaking new grounds in smart phone
Enterprises Managing Director Chinthaka Wijewikrama
said, “We consider it an honour to represent a global
giant in this market and we are confident that our
capabilities will complement the brand’s business
objectives, resulting in a win-win relationship.
Although a truly local entrepreneurial business, we have
always been in the forefront, introducing technological
innovations to discerning local customers. We will be
now in a position to bring the latest innovations of
Samsung to our customers fast.”.