treatment for loss-making corporations
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
With the UPFA government's decision not
to privatise loss making government institutions, the Public
Enterprise Reform Commission (PERC) is trying to figure out
how best the government could fund already defunct
corporations in its possession.
The government's firm 'no' to any form
of privatisation has left PERC with one option and that is to
look at restructuring methods that would convert loss making
corporations into profit making ones.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Director
General, PERC, L. Wickremarachchi explained that PERC has no
authority to privatise any government institution without
cabinet approval, along with the approval of the relevant
When asked about PERC's position with
regard to the non-privatisation of government institutions,
especially the loss making ones, Wickremarachchi maintained
that in keeping with the government's policy no institution
though earlier earmarked would be privatised. (See box for
However, he observed that among the
institutions in the hands of PERC, awaiting drastic
transformation, were corporations which were defunct and heavy
burdens to the country's coffers.
Citing examples, Wickrem-arachchi noted
that corporations such as the National Paper Corporation and
the Ceramics Corporation, which are defunct are still funded
by the Treasury at a large expense.
"It is a heavy burden on the
Treasury and the tax payers," he said.
When The Sunday Leader contacted the
Treasury, officials maintained they could not give the exact
amount spent on defunct corporations off-hand, adding that
none of them are to be privatised.
An official said all government
institutions would be made viable institutions through
However, Wickremarachchi noted that
corporations such as those mentioned above are now being
looked into by PERC to find alternative methods of
restructuring, which does not include privatisation.
PERC is the statutory body responsible
for formulating and implementing the privatisation and public
enterprise reform programme of the government of Sri Lanka and
was established by the Public Enterprise Reforms Commission of
Sri LankaAct No. 1 of 1996 to formulate and implement the
government's privatisation andpublic enterprise reform
As outlined in this act, PERC's
objectives are to promote economic development, improve
efficiency and competitiveness of the economy, encourage
acquisition of new technology and expertise, develop capital
markets and mobilise long-term private savings, motivate the
private sector and increase government revenue.
The establishment of PERC was primarily
to foster a healthy public-private partnership and also to
privatise government institutions that have incurred losses
over a period of time.
PERC is expected to play its role
despite the recent setting up of the Strategic Enterprise
Management Agency which is to play the lead role in this
BCC Lanka Ltd.
Building Material Corporation Ltd.
Ceylon Hotels Corporation.
Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd.
Chilaw Plantations Ltd.
Ceylon Ceramics Corporation
Colombo Commercial Fertiliser Co. Ltd.
Elkaduwa Plantations Limited
Hingurana Sugar Industries Ltd.
Hotel Developers Ltd.
Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka Ltd.
Kantale Sugar Industries Ltd.
Lanka Fabrics Ltd.
Lanka Salt Ltd.
Lanka Export Credit Insurance
Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd.
Mahaweli Engineering Services (Pvt)
Mahaweli Venture Capital Co. (Pvt) Ltd.
National Equipment & Machinery
National Paper Company Ltd.
Natural Resource Management Services (Pvt)
Paddy Marketing Board
Road Construction and Development Co.
Rest houses under the control of the
Shell Gas Lanka Ltd.
State Development & Construction
Sri lanka Cement Corporation
Textile Training & Centre and
Clothing Industry Training Institute
new face of online gaming in Sri Lanka
By Jamila Najmuddin
A modern online gaming network in
collaboration with the National Lotteries Board (NLB) and the
Norwegian National Lotteries Board (NNLB) is to commence in a
According to Chairman, Online Lotteries
Board, Mohan Wijesinghe, although the programme was expected
to be launched on March 15, the NLB had failed to decided on a
specific date for the launch as the company was facing
"As soon as we clear the minor
problems, the NLB will set up the terminals in all the
accessible places in the island such as supermarkets and
departmental stores. We hope to commence operations in a few
weeks time," Wijesinghe said.
Consultants from the Norwegian National
Lotteries Board have been working for over a year in Colombo
with the NLB, helping in the developing process of a modern
online gaming network. President, World Lottery Association
and President / CEO, NNLB, Reidar Norbdy Jr. arrived in Sri
Lanka on August 19 to inspect the work that has been done so
far and to find out when operations can commence.
The NNLB has invested a sum of Rs. 3
million in the project with the NLB investing a sum of Rs. 8
million. However, according to Wijesinghe, the NNLB will not
be given any shares and will only remain as the 'management
company' of the newly formed Online Lotteries Board.
"The Online Lotteries Board will
remain 100% owned by the NLB and the board of directors of
this company will only include local members," Wijesinghe
said. He added that the Norwegians refused equity as they had
decided to commence this programme in a bid to develop the
lottery system in Sri Lanka.
"Through a recent research study
that was conducted, only 10% of the local population showed an
interest in the local lottery system. However, we have
identified that there is a larger segment who are interested
in the lottery system but do not have access to play these
games," Wijesinghe said.
He added that tickets for this modern
programme would be priced at Rs. 30 so that all segments of
the community could afford to take part.
offers British Degree and MBA courses
The Imperial Institute of Higher
Education (IIHE) is the only validated centre in Sri Lanka of
the University of Wales to offer BSc. (Hons) in Management and
Since 1996 IIHE has offered Sri Lankan
students the chance of obtaining a University of Wales BSc (Hons)
Speaking to The Sunday Leader, CEO,
IIHE, Rohan Wijeratne said in 2001 their institute introduced
the MBA degree to the Sri Lankan market with the intention of
giving local students the chance of following a degree course
recognised in UK.
According to Wijeratne, officials from
the University of Wales are working closely with the IIHE to
monitor and maintain strict quality standards. This degree
will have a strong local relevance to students who complete
"We have to be practical when
organising foreign based degree courses in the country, as
some students may opt to stay in the country and find
employment. But those who wish to find employment abroad could
do so as this degree is recognised in the UK and other
countries," Wijeratne said.
Wijeratne added that students are given
the option of transferring to the UK for their final year, as
the standard of this degree is the same in Sri Lanka as in the
IIHE students are also given the option
of following the course on a part time or full time basis.
problem: country risk
Sri Lanka's problem is its
country risk - from policy inconsistencies and erratic
investor treatment, sometimes aggravated by rather unusual
actions by officials acting solely on political whims and
interests," said Country Chairman, Shell Companies in Sri
Lanka, Roberto M. Moran in an interview with Dinesh Weerakkody.
"Because Sri Lanka's relatively small market size
does not have that upside potential, it needs to reduce its
country risk and make a conscious effort throughout its
bureaucracy and political institutions to attract foreign
investment and treat foreign investors decently," he
Following are excerpts:
Q: What is Shell's investment
strategy for Sri Lanka and South Asia?
A: We view South Asia as a
growth area, but to be honest, primarily because of India and
its large market potential and its economic growth
performance. In Sri Lanka, we decided to opt out of the
petroleum third player tender because our shareholders, at the
time, felt that the country risk was too high relative to the
potential of the market.
Q: Shell has often been criticised
for its poor customer interface. What have you done to change
A: Our team here has
significantly improved almost all aspects of our customer
offering. We conducted surveys to find out what our customers
thought of us as a company, our service, our dealers and our
products. We conducted them annually to measure the success of
our efforts to improve. Our customer service centre was always
pretty good, but its availability and coverage was limited.
We've expanded this to 24-7, home
delivery and emergency response. We've likewise spent a lot of
focused time and effort with our dealers and distributors, on
customer service, and on safety training. Our surveys showed
that we did get better, although we still have a long way to
Q: Pricing has been a thorny issue
for Shell and the government in general. How effectively have
you managed this?
A: Because cooking gas is used
by a large number of users, from middle to upper income, gas
prices get a lot of attention when they go up. Politicians
love to jump on the issue, and we have seen too many rather
unfair and exaggerated public attacks. However, we did not
handle the situation as well as we could have in the earlier
What we did change over the past few
years was in our communication of the underlying reasons
behind gas prices to key stakeholders in the country, such as
media, consumer groups, NGOs, academy, business groups and
even politicians. We became more transparent, even
volunteering to put ourselves under a controlled, automatic
pricing regime under the previous government. When the
Consumer Affairs Authority was created and placed domestic gas
pricing under its control, we voluntarily opened up our books
to demonstrate this transparency.
Q: The newspapers have been quite
critical of your attitude towards the public. What have you
done to change this perception and improve relations with the
A: As I mentioned earlier, we
began to communicate much more frequently and transparently
with media on many issues about Shell, often centering around
the controversial issues like pricing, competition, trademark
infringement and consumer affairs. But we also talked about
many of the other lesser known activities of Shell in Sri
Lanka, such as our LiveWIRE programme, our rural solar
business and our UK university scholarships.
Q: Has the recent price hike in
crude oil affected your operation adversely?
A: This has been a really tough
year already because of the record highs in crude oil prices,
which have affected LPG international prices. Global LPG
prices have come close to record highs in the middle of summer
when prices should be at their seasonal lows.
What has happened since early this year
was the government stepped in to subsidise consumers by asking
us to keep our prices constant and reimbursing us the
difference between our prices and market levels as determined
by the Consumer Affairs Authority.
Whilst this has kept prices steady
until recently, it has cost the government a fair amount of
public funds. They eventually decided to remove the subsidies,
thus our prices were adjusted to market. Unfortunately, crude
prices continue to go up as do gas prices and so we have not
seen the end to price increases yet.
Q: What is your CSR policy and what
have you done for the community around your facilities?
A: Shell has for a long time
been a true believer and advocate of sustainable development,
before 'CSR' became fashionable. We are committed to the
triple bottom line. So whilst we are determined to get a fair
return on our investments in order to sustain our business in
the long run, we make sure that we do so without damaging the
environment and we dedicate resources to working with and
improving the communities in which we operate.
In Sri Lanka, we have a number of very
relevant activities related to this. Our main social
investment is our Shell LiveWIRE programme, where we encourage
youth to consider enterprise as an alternative to traditional
We conduct workshops throughout the
country and through the year that focus on ideas for business
start-ups, fundamentals on putting together business plans to
help increase chances of success. We hold regional and
national awards to recognise successful business start-ups and
give the finalists national exposure.
Several programmes have been launched
in the Kerawalapitiya area where our LPG import terminal is
located. These include assistance to the Kerawalapitiya school
(providing water supply and computers), Hendala temple and
Wattala church. Among the other community programmes, we are
in the process of organising regular English classes for youth
from poor families in the area.
We recently launched a road safety
education park at the Viharamahadevi Park here in Colombo,
aimed at educating school children on proper safety rules and
practices for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists through hands
on learning. Through this, we want to help build a safety
culture in the country, which can become the foundation from
which any road safety improvements can be realised.
Q: Shell is very progressive when it
comes to sourcing talent for its global operations. How do you
rate Sri Lankan talent?
A: In the four years I've spent
in the country, I have had the pleasure of working with very
talented, intelligent and decent, good-hearted people, both in
and outside the company. These people are world-class, capable
of holding their own anywhere in the world.
In Shell, we have been fortunate to
recruit so many talented Sri Lankans that we have 'exported'
many of them to other Shell businesses outside. The country is
really fortunate, too, to have professional and sincere
leaders in the business chambers who, whilst promoting the
private sector, do so with the interests of the country as
Q: You will be moving on soon to
another assignment. During your tenure you accomplished a lot.
What has been your most significant achievement?
A: When I look back over my four
year stint here, I can think of a number of achievements that
I am particularly proud of. But the one thing that has
probably made the biggest impact is in the improvement of
Shell's reputation in the country.
We really had a very rough time during
the early years and many of the actions we had to take led to
a lot of bad publicity. But through our efforts at
communication and stakeholder engagement and involvement with
the local communities, we have changed perceptions about the
There are still a number of
stakeholders who still look at us unfavourably and there will
always be some anti-Shell people around. Fortunately, there
are more people who understand our position and appreciate our
transparency, our achievements and our social contributions.
Q: As a final question, what do we
need to do aggressively to attract the volume of capital we
need for our infrastructure development?
A: Sri Lanka's problem is its
country risk, from policy inconsistencies and erratic investor
treatment, sometimes aggravated by rather unusual actions by
officials acting solely on political whims and interests. We
experienced some of this in our LPG business despite investing
over US$ 145 million. This country risk issue was the main
reason why we pulled out of the petroleum race.
The reality is that there is a lot of
capital looking around the world for projects and countries
for good investment opportunities, but this capital is limited
and competition for it is high. In Asia alone, Sri Lanka has
to compete with the likes of China, India, Indonesia, the
Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan, etc., countries with similarly
high country risk but large markets that provide huge upside
potential to foreign investments.
Because Sri Lanka's relatively small
market size does not have that upside potential, it needs to
reduce its country risk and make a conscious effort throughout
its bureaucracy and political institutions to attract foreign
investment and treat foreign investors decently.
One can look at the examples of Dubai
and Singapore to see how countries with limited markets and
resources can grow dramatically from foreign investments. Or
one can look at a thriving democracy like Thailand that has
spent the past two decades with a consistent policy towards
foreign investments despite changes of government. Of course,
this is much easier said than done. But if the investment
climate improved, foreign investments could contribute as much
or more to economic growth than the resolution of the ethnic
I do wish this country all the best
success. Its people certainly deserve it.
Super re-launches with focus on 'gold standard' service
Keells Super opened its first outlet in
Nugegoda as part of its re-launching programme. The Nugegoda
outlet was well received as over 1,000 customers visited on
the opening day itself.
John Keells Holdings (JKH) took the
re-launching programme forward as part of introducing the
local customers to a very pleasant shopping experience.
According to Director, Jaykay Marketing
Services (Pvt) Ltd., Roshanie Jayasundera-Moraes, the
supermarkets will be manned by experienced and well trained
managers and customer service personnel. She further said the
product line-up at the supermarket would be constantly
reviewed in keeping with customer needs.
Speaking of the history of the
supermarket, Director, JKH, Sumithra Gunasekera said that
identifying the retailing sector as a key growth area in the
food and beverage sector, the group has placed special
emphasis on the supermarket chain.
"Supermarketing as a modern trend
has shown a double digit growth," he said.
Gunasekera observed that JKH through
Keells Super outlets plan to provide customers with high
quality products while giving true value to them as well.
"We offer Keells Super customers
the 'Keells gold standard' service, which is the hallmark of
success," he said.
He further noted that apart from equity
and infrastructure, the company has invested time, energy,
resources and money on training and developing its staff.
According to Gunasekera, the key thrust
would be to achieve gold standards through development
techniques by the in-house team of experts.
He went on to say that Keells believes
in providing its customers with an unparalleled service while
"being the market leader in the retail business."
Keells Super, which has 11 outlets at
present, plans to add on another 50 within the next three
Gunasekera said that they were now
looking at backward integration and plans to look into the
needs of the farmers who would only produce for Keells Super.
Keells Super plans to provide its customers with a wide range
of fruits and vegetables.
Gunasekera also pointed out that Keells
Super outlets believe in being the icon in the locality. He
went on to say that they want to be involved in their
customers lives in many ways, apart from business. This, he
says, will be part of the company's corporate social
records substantial growth
By Shezna Shums
Hatton National Bank (HNB) recorded a
16% increase in net interest income largely due to a
significant decrease in its interest expenses. The bank also
posted substantial increases in both foreign exchange income
and commission income.
Income from the core operations such as
net interest, foreign exchange and commission income for the
first half of 2004 reflected a 20% growth over the
corresponding period of the previous year.
The bank also stated their income from
treasury operations showed a marked decline when compared with
the previous year, thereby showing only a marginal increase
for the net income when compared with the previous year.
The comparative drop in treasury income
was on account of the previous year being a exceptional year
where considerable income was generated through bond and
equity trading activities due to the prevalence of favorable
economic and market conditions. As a result of operational
expenses a before tax profit of Rs. 554 million and an after
tax profit of Rs. 514 million was recorded for the period
ended as of June 30 this year.
This figure is in comparison with the
Rs. 630 million profit before tax and Rs. 576 million after
tax made during the corresponding period of 2003.
However the management of HNB believes
that the bank is on track for achieving a year-end profit
level surpassing that of the previous year.
In the bank's balance sheet, the
advances portfolio increased by approximately Rs. 3.5 billion
from end of 2003 and the deposit base also grew marginally
compared to the position as at year end last year. The bank's
capital adequacy as at June 2004 stood at 11.27%, marginally
down from the 11.47% as at year-end 2003.
The asset quality of the bank continued
to improve with the NPA ratio further reducing to 13.7% in
June, from 13.9% as at year-end 2003. The bank's NPL cover
(loan loss reserve as a percentage of total NPA) also
reflected an improvement over year-end 2003.
In the group account, HNB group showed
a profit before tax of Rs. 575 million and a net profit of Rs.
488 million. This reflected a 34% drop in profit before tax
and a 38% decline in net profits. The prevailing market
conditions were not conducive for the operations of HNB
Securities Ltd., which posted a modest profit of Rs. 19.6
million down from Rs. 200 million net profit during the
corresponding period in 2003.
The bank's insurance subsidiary also
posted a healthy profit of Rs. 48 million, the bank's stock
brokering subsidiary posted a Rs. 10.4 million profit,
compared to the Rs. 14 million profit made during the
corresponding period of the previous year.
As in the future projections of HNB,
the bank will continue on its decentralisation management
structure by empowering its zonal management and progressively
reducing the size of the center. The zonal administrator
continues to be a key driver in the bank's growth and
development, and the following years will see greater autonomy
and discretion passed down these zones to effectively carry
out baking functions.
Other projections include placing more
importance on its technology. Here HNB will continue to
consolidate its different technology platforms into a signal
platform thereby paving the way to a more streamlined and
efficient service to customers. The bank is considerably
combining its IT strategy with the business strategy and would
also considerably use IT in its future expansion activities.
Risk Management (RM) is another avenue
the bank will pay considerable attention to. The RM functions
have been decentralised with senior officers assigned as the
head of RM in each zone.
The bank will continue to promote
consumer-banking activities in light of the high yields, and
consequently high margins derived from such activities.
However the bank would also lay emphasis on the RM associated
in these schemes and would be strengthening existing processes
put in place in this regard.
The bank's cost-to-income ratio is
presently around 72% is expected to reduce to 67% by 2007. The
bank also expects an increase in ROA from 0.75 as at present
to around 1.65% by 2006. The bank states they will carefully
monitor and manage its balance sheet growth keeping in line
with its anticipated profit growth whilst also ensuring that
capital adequacy and other regulatory requirements are also
The continued emphasis placed by the
bank on RM is expected to result in better asset quality by
2006. The NPL ratio, presently around 13.7%, is expected to be
below 10% by 2006. Further, with the fall in NPL, the bank
also anticipates a progressive improvement in the NPL coverage
ratio from present level of 37% to 45% by 2006.
aviation industry woes
By Marianne David
A new civil aviation policy is
presently being drafted in order to replace the act of 1950.
According to Director General and Chief Executive Officer,
Civil Aviation Department, H.M.C. Nimalsiri, the present act
needs to be updated for safety, security and commercial
"The civil aviation industry is
about 100 years old and it is being regulated with an act
which is 50 years old. This act does not reflect present day
requirements," he told The Sunday Leader.
Industry analysts however believe the
new act will not address problems faced by the aviation
industry as a whole - such as the inability to fly at night or
operate within Colombo and being allowed to operate only from
6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
According to Nimalsiri, in the
preparation of the new civil aviation policy, these issues
have not been taken into consideration since they are
regulations imposed by the National Security Council, and do
not come under the purview of the Civil Aviation Department.
However, going by present day
requirements, it is essential that civil aviation operators
should be allowed to operate in Colombo, industry sources
"As a developing country, it is
best that Sri Lanka creates avenues for commercial aviation
companies to operate freely," said Commander (A330 and
A340), SriLankan Airlines, Captain Anil Jayasinghe. The little
infrastructure that Sri Lanka has as far as aviation is
concerned is also under-utilised, Captain Jayasinghe said.
"We have 15 airfields around the
country. All have been given to the air force and civil
traffic has been stopped. It is a labourious process to gain
access to one of these military airfields. The airfields are
there for the public and should be easily accessible," he
Acknowledging that being allowed to
operate helicopters is one step in the right direction where
the civil aviation industry is concerned, Captain Jayasinghe
said it is important for helicopters to be allowed to operate
"From a business point of view,
travelling for over an hour to get to an airport and then
taking one third of that time to fly to places such as
Polonnaruwa does not make sense. There are facilities to
operate in Colombo which were not utilised due to the ban and
the hotels in Colombo have helipads," he said.
He said the SriLankan Airlines
amphibian operation was stopped due to a security threat and
if such decisions are made at the drop of a hat, it is not
commercially viable. "When the government imposed the
total ban on aviation due to security threats, the entire
civil aviation industry collapsed and all the flying schools
Captain Jayasinghe further said while
farmers in Dambulla were rebelling against seaplanes landing
on the Dambulugala Lake charging it was harmful to the
environment, seaplanes operate around in the world in
environmentally sensitive places such as Alaska.
Meanwhile, a senior air force officer
speaking to The Sunday Leader on conditions of anonymity said
the air defence of the country is at a very low ebb and while
successive governments have contemplated improving the
aviation defence, it has not been done due to the enormous
expenses that would be incurred.
"Helicopters could be commandeered
by terrorists and used as a bomb or to launch an attack. In
the event this occurs, we don't have the ability to stop the
attack. Further, once an airplane is airborne in the night, we
do not know where it is heading since we do not have radar
cover around the country," he said.
To minimise the security threat with
regard to civil aviation, he said the screening of passengers
is possible. "Facilities have to be provided for civil
operators to base their aircraft in airport bases. Air force
authorities can screen the passengers and once this is done,
the craft can fly anywhere. It is being done in America. With
screening, in case of an emergency, we know who is on the
plane and items classified as dangerous goods can be removed
according to the civil aviation policy before the craft leaves
In order to overcome concerns about the
operators' bona fides, there should be intelligence coverage
and the credentials of the operators should be checked and the
operators issued certificates accordingly, he said, further
adding that improving the civil aviation industry would have a
positive response on the tourist industry and the number of
businessmen coming into the country since having to travel on
roads that are in a bad condition, which also takes a lot of
time, keeps them away.
Meanwhile, Deccan Aviation launched
operations in Sri Lanka last week. Managing Director, Deccan
Aviation (Lanka) Pvt. Ltd., Suren Mirchandani speaking to The
Sunday Leader said the company is primarily aiming at the
tourist market and the bulk of operations are directly from
Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake and hence,
not being able to operate in Colombo did not have a direct
impact on the company's operations.
Deccan Aviation (Lanka) is a subsidiary
of Deccan Aviation India, the largest helicopter operator in
"In most cities due to noise and
security concerns, all city helipads are closed. In the
long-term we would definitely be happy if the facility of
being able to operate in Colombo is granted but we understand
that is not possible right now," Mirchandani said.
IPO a huge success
By Jamila Najmuddin
The Nawaloka Hospital IPO recorded a
resounding response from the public with the 300 million issue
being oversubscribed by nearly 300%. The issues, which were
oversubscribed within a timeframe of two hours after the
subscription, was open to the public on August 19 and had an
overwhelming response from individual investors.
Speaking at a media briefing on
Wednesday, Deputy Chairman/CEO, Nawaloka Hospital, Jayantha
Dharmadasa said the overwhelming response from the public
highlighted the confidence the public has in Nawaloka.
"We are very happy to invite the public to share in our
success as we opened our initial offer to the general public
on August 19. We received a total of 5,000 applications within
two hours out of which 4,863 applications have been
approved," Dharmadasa said.
Among the larger corporate institutions
which have applied for the issue are most of the commercial
banks, the Al Naqib brothers, Kuwait and the AMW Group.
Dharmadasa said those who have applied
for upto 10,000 shares will get 70% of the shares subject to a
minimum of 1,000 shares. Applicants who have subscribed for
between 10,000 and 50,000 shares will get 50% of the shares
subject to 7,000 shares and those who have subscribed for
between 50,000 and 500,000 shares will have 38% of the shares
applied for subject to a minimum of 25,000 shares.
He said a total of 15 million shares
were issued at Rs. 20 and several exclusive benefits were
awarded to shareholders, which made this more than just a
monetary investment. "For shareholders who own more than
1,000 shares, the hospital offers them an exclusive discount
scheme as they will be awarded a 10% discount on OPD, 10% on
lab services, 10% on X Rays, 10% on ECG and EEG, 10% on rooms
charges, 5% on CT Scan, 5% on MRI Scan, 5% on eye surgeries
and 5% on bypass surgeries," Dharmadasa said.
According to Dharmadasa, the IPO will
fund a modern five storey hospital complex, estimated at
around Rs. 100 million and the balance Rs. 200 million will be
utilised to partly retire debts, thereby increasing the
financial stability of the company as well as adding to its