sector props up bourse
a gloomy economy, the one exception that has created positive
sentiment has been the stock market.
to The Sunday Leader, Stock Market Analyst, Bartleet Mallory Stock
Brokers (Pvt) Ltd, Angelo Ranasingha pointed out that the tourism
and leisure stocks boosted by the ceasefire agreement were
essentially the key drivers of the stock market upsurge.
a growth of 120% recorded from January this year to December 7 in
the hotels and travels sector, Ranasingha pointed out that the
stock market would continue to be driven by this sector due to
high tourist arrivals expected in the country within the next few
long as the government and LTTE continue with the ceasefire
agreement, investor confidence is going to expand. Although there
have been a few setbacks within the past two weeks in the peace
process, there has been no threat by both parties indicating that
the country would head for another war," Ranasingha said.
added that with a total of 242 non-government companies listed in
the stock market, large companies such as Aitken Spence and John
Keells recorded very high growth this year as these companies were
exposed to the tourism sector. "Many diversified companies
linked with the tourism sector have done well this year as tourist
arrivals have been higher than last year," he said adding
that if the company earnings were high, it made a significant
impact on the shares.
added that investor confidence had also increased due to the
initial public offer of LIOC which
had been oversubscribed 11 times.
to Ranasingha other sectors such as the manufacturing sector,
food, beverage and tobacco sectors had also recorded high growths
this year, which were all responsible for the stock market to
Research, HNB Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd, Hasitha Premaratne is also
of the view that due to the high tourist arrivals in the country,
the hotels and travels sector had recorded a high growth which was
the main reason for the market to build upwards.
said that with the investors' belief that the long term prospects
of the peace process is positive, the country had to maintain such
a climate in order to develop the economy. "It is time that
the government and the LTTE take the peace process a step
higher," he said.
said that the stock market moved speedily during the month of
September and October due to the hotel sector recording high
profits. "Last year the results were the same during these
two months," he said.
Principal Researcher, Point Pedro Institute of Development, Dr.
Muttukrishna Saravanathan told The Sunday Leader that the robust
stock market performance was not an appropriate indicator of the
well being of the economy of Sri Lanka, like in many other
Sarvanathan pointed out that since less than 1% of the registered
companies are listed in the stock market, the total registered
companies in Sri Lanka are around 45,000 and the listed companies
are less than 400, and therefore its performance did not
adequately reveal the state of the economy.
is true that despite worsening macroeconomic indicators in the
past seven months the stock market was quite upbeat. This is
mainly because the government has been influencing the
primary/secondary dealers in treasury bills/bonds, through the
Central Bank to keep their bidding rates low. Thus, artificially
interest rates were suppressed, and hence it was beneficial for
prospective investors to invest in the stock market rather than in
treasury bills/bonds," Dr. Sarvanathan said.
added that the main contributors to the good stock market
performance were retail players especially from Kandy and Matara
during July and October. "Besides, the IPO of LIOC
oversubscribed several fold, has contributed to the positive stock
market performance in very recent times," he said.
Dr. Sarvanathan added that the overall economy was still in a
precarious state which was nothing to "gloat" about.
establishes monitoring and evaluation unit
Public Enterprises Reform Commission (PERC) is in the process of
re-orienting itself in keeping with its functions and powers in
terms of the Public Enterprises Reform Commission of Sri Lanka Act
No.1 of 1996 and work towards assisting the government to achieve
the social and national economic goals.
functions and powers of the commission, as per the act, are be to
assist the government on the reform of public enterprises.
part of the re-orientation process, PERC has established a
'Monitoring and Evaluation Unit' to carry out reviews and surveys
of divestitures, to examine, evaluate and assess the impact of
divestitures and also successes and failures and causes therefore.
Such review and survey will also assist to establish a fund to
finance any post divestiture requirements.
various aspects of assessment include growth development and
diversification, growth in employment generation, market position
of products and services, financial stability, viability and
profitability and divestiture proceeds and contribution to
government by way of taxation and in addition the impact of the
share market and market capitalisation, the impact on the consumer
public and problems faced during the process of divestiture and
talks on the rise
the past few years, Asian countries have engaged in a spree to
create bilateral and regional free trade agreements. Trade envoys
are busy working on piles of documents to establish trade
liberalisation and investment facilitation arrangements, which
they hope, will promote the free flow of goods, services and
investment across borders. Singapore and Thailand have emerged as
the two Asian countries with the biggest number of completed free
trade agreements (FTA), according to the Asia News Network survey.
of the largest Asian economies, Japan, China and India follow the
top two closely, with an increasing number of FTAs signed or under
present, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand are the
countries which are conducting negotiations with most countries.
The proliferation of FTAs comes after some government's grew
impatient with snail-paced World Trade Organisation's (WTO)
Doha-round negotiations. They wanted to create bilateral trade
deals to open up a few markets that have a real impact on their
economies such as the United States and Japan, rather than waiting
for consensus from the 148 WTO members.
Lanka is currently seeking the balance between the intention of
boosting its exports that have comparative advantage and
protection of domestic agriculture. High import taxes are levied
to protect Sri Lanka's majority rural population from surging
international trade in farm products.
Lanka wants its FTA partners not to require too much opening up of
its agricultural market.
Lanka is also hoping to open doors for other countries for its
comparatively competitive textile products by FTA initiatives. At
present, Sri Lanka has an FTA with neighbouring India and
exchanges traditional items such as rice, tea, handicrafts,
garments, industrial products and computer technology services.
balance of trade is in favour of India, which has a much bigger
economy. Sri Lanka is continuing FTA discussions with the United
States, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Nepal, Italy and France. An
FTA with the United States would be significant to the nation,
considering the substantial volumes of Sri Lankan garments being
exported to the world's largest economy and the global textile
quota regime coming to an end in January 2005.
brand valuation exercise
world's leading independent brand-valuation company together with
the business magazine, LMD, and the Sri Lanka-based STING
ranked Sri Lanka's most valuable brands for the first time.
Lanka's Most Valuable Brands,' the nation's first annual brand
league, is published in a special stand-alone edition of THE LMD
50, Sri Lanka's premier rankings of leading listed companies.
Brand League 2003/04 sets out to value Sri Lanka's leading branded
businesses, the primary requisite being that the brands belong to
entities listed on the Colombo Stock exchange.
first step was to identify 50 listed companies with the highest
market capitalisation on 31 March 2004, the end of the 2003/04
excluded holding companies that own multiple businesses and
brands, since branded revenue streams cannot be readily identified
by scrutinising annual reports. Our valuation revolves round a
master-branded entity that, in most cases, is a mono-branded
business. Several companies that have multiple brands and holding
groups of companies that own several branded businesses have,
therefore, been excluded," a spokesperson elaborated.
Finance's brand-valuation methodology - using the intuitive
'relief from royalty' approach - was then applied to a shortlist
of 17 brands, on the basis of financial and market information
that is made available to the public. It is from this shortlist
that Sri Lanka's 10 'most valuable brands' have emerged.
inaugural edition of Sri Lanka's most valuable brands is published
by LMD in a special stand-alone issue.
management staff in move to buy remaining RPC stake
Products Limited (DPL), the Hayleys Group's rubber glove
manufacturing venture, last week informed the Colombo Stock
Exchange that a group of management staff plans to acquire the
remaining DPL shares held by Richard Pieris and Company Limited.
This follows the divestiture by Richard Pieris of a tranche of
5.88 million DPL shares, representing 19.6%
of the capital of the company. These shares were purchased
by Hayleys and its associates. In a letter to the CSE, Dipped
Products announced that over 110 of the company's management staff
are in the course of finalising an agreement between themselves
and Aureos South Asia Fund 1 LLC to establish a 'special purpose
vehicle' named DMH Capital Limited, to purchase 2,993,400 shares
in the Company now owned by Richard Pieris & Company Limited,
at a price of Rs 117/50 per share.
C.O.O. at Masters DDB
de Silva, theatre personality, ad man and bonvivant, has joined
Masters DDB as Chief Operations Officer. Managing Director, Mike
Masilamani said, "Jerome worked at Masters Advertising almost
15 years ago as client servicing director and we are happy to have
him back in overall charge of operations." Jerome began his
advertising career at Grants BJK&E (now McCann Erickson)
mainly handling the Air Lanka account on secondment to Bateys of
Singapore. His last
stint was director operations and creative group head for Phoenix
O & M. Prior to that he served as general manager/creative
director at Minds FCB for over eight years. Stated Jerome,
"It's great to be back having gathered a great deal of
experience at top management level and creative and more than a
bag full of styles and disciplines of international
agencies." Masters Advertising is affiliated to DDB Needham
of USA. DDB is USA's largest and the world's third largest
advertising network. DDB was recently voted Global Agency Network
of the Year by Advertising Age magazine and Global Agency of the
Year by Adweek magazine.
fears push crude back above $43 a barrel
oil future prices climbed back above $43 a barrel on Friday on
fears that OPEC may cut production to stem a recent price drop.
The rise in prices was also fueled by reports of attacks on the
U.S. consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah, ongoing production
problems at Statoil's Snorre oilfield in the North Sea and a
protest that shut down production on two oil platforms run by the
Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Co's and ChevronTexaco Corp. in
Nigeria's southern oil region. After rising as high as $43.60 a
barrel, light crude for January delivery was up 36 cents to $42.90
in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices
plunged 14% last week
as data showed increasing U.S. supplies of crude and heating oil.
Analysts said the markets are bracing for a possible production
cut when OPEC, the production cartel that has been pumping out
crude at a record 30 million barrels daily since September, met in
Cairo on Friday.
Trading among first to obtain HACCP Certification
the story published in last week's Business Section of The Sunday
Leader, titled 'EU stipulates quality standards for Sri Lankan
tea,' Standard Trading has informed us that the company was among
the first to obtain the HACCP Certification back in October 2002.
Standard Trading obtained the certification on October 24, 2002.
on'Effective Selling Skills'
Perera, one of Sri Lanka's frontline trainers in sales will
conduct another public workshop on Effective Selling Skills on
December 15 2004, at the Tran Asia Hotel, Colombo. The workshop is
facilitated by Future Wave Corporate Solutions (FWCS) and is
targeted at sales executives, sales officers and all others
engaged in the selling function.
This will be repeat program to the previous program that
was held on November 05, 2004. Prasanna has conducted over 50
workshops in sales and marketing related areas, which includes
both public seminars and seminars for private institutions.
favourite sports a new look
Cold Stores, the manufacture of Elephant House Ice Cream, a
favourite amongst generations of ice cream fans, unveiled their
new logo, launched three new ice cream flavours and exhibited
their new packaging at a media briefing held recently at the
increasing forays into the industry by both local competition as
well as imported ice creams. Elephant House has an enviable market
share of 65%.
House ice cream was first manufactured in 1935 and since then we
have never looked back," said Head, F & B Sector
Manufacturing, John Keells Group, Jit Guneratne. "We have
stood the test of time because we have been proactive, giving the
customer value for money as well as new taste experience."
fact in Male too despite multinational brands being available,
Elephant House ice cream has remained the market leader.
went on to say that in order to maintain and increase their
product's market share, the single most important factor was to
forecast where customer preferences lay and to be ahead of them.
"The change of our logo is based on this feedback" said
Guneratne, who added that the logo change was merely a part of
their brand building exercise, conveying the dynamism and engaging
qualities of the brand.
recently launched Karuthakolmban and Mix Fruit Max ice cream have
been an unprecedented success, far exceeding the company's sales
three new flavours, which have been developed after considerable
research which was made in consultation with some of the world's
largest flavour manufacturers, combined with in house expertise,
are Coffee Grande, Cookie Cream and Toffee Caramel. "We are
convinced that these new flavours too would fast become household
favourites, increasing our total range to 13 flavours, as well as
the Jumbo Jolly sticks, the Wonder Bar and the Pani Cadju
cups" said Director Marketing CCS, Billy Walpola.
said these new flavours were aimed at a premium market and will be
available in litre packs, priced at Rs. 200 each.
new Elephant House Ice Cream will be available in brand new packs,
which have been designed according to international standards.
Known as 'In Mould', it is new European technology, and a first
for not just Sri Lanka but South East Asian as well.
'In Mould' has not been manufactured in the region. "The new
containers are rectangular in shape which make storage far more
convenient for the consumer whilst giving more visibility to the
product. The added advantage is that 'In Mould' labeling means
that the label is embedded into the mould at the time of
manufacture, thus preventing if from coming off due to dampness,
etc," said Walpola.
plastic manufacture Phoenix Ventures is the manufacturer of the
new packs for Elephant House ice creams.
appointed as tier one distributor for Donaldson filters
Tractor and Equipment Ltd., has been appointed the first tier
distributor in Sri Lanka for Donaldson Engine aftermarket
filtration products of USA.
Company Inc., headquartered in Minnesota USA, is the leading
worldwide provider of filtration solutions to original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs). They also provide replacement filtration
products and exhaust systems for a wide range of equipment used
for power generation, construction, earth moving, transportation
in 1915, Donaldson Company Inc., is technology driven and
committed to satisfying customer needs for filtration solutions
through innovative research and development.
innovative technology, Donaldson products maximise engine
performance and reduce maintenance costs for customers all over
also serves the industrial markets by providing dust, fume and
mist filtration solutions, air intake filtration systems for gas
turbines, compressor filtration, and special filtration for the
electronic and aircraft industry.
Company Inc., is a global company with annual sales of over 1.4
billion USD. The company has over 30 manufacturing facilities in
15 countries and over 10,000 employees working in its global
manufacturing and sales offices. The company's global resources,
diverse product mix, technological capabilities
and its customer care and support are able to consistently
provide quality to its diverse customers.
products manufactured by Donaldson and sold through their
authorised distribution channels carry a comprehensive warranty,
which is governed by their engine aftermarket warranty programme.
in 1947, UTE has over 57 years experience in the importing and
servicing of heavy machinery in Sri Lanka. Its association with
Donaldson will therefore benefit customers as the two companies
have generations of expertise and experience to offer. In addition
to the Caterpillar franchise, UTE has over 50 other agencies with
global partners who look for quality and dependability in the
power, construction, environmental engineering and rental
appointment of UTE as the tier one distributor for Donaldson in
Sri Lanka, provides a tremendous benefit to users in terms of
product quality and value added product support services.
Secretary concerned over food safety
Ministry of Tourism, Dr.Ramanujam
voiced his concern over Sri Lanka's standards on 'Food
Safety and Hygiene' when he addressed top hoteliers at a workshop
on 'Food safety through HACCP methodology' at the BMICH recently.
The programme was put together by the world's leader for 'out of
home' detergents, JohnsonDiversey in collaboration with the Sri
Lanka Standards Institute.
went on to say "We have to deliver the promise we have made
at the World Travel Mart to the tour operators. When we say we are
an attractive country it has to be hygienically safe so that they
in turn will bring in the high spending tourists. The trend for
the year has been very positive with a 21% growth in tourism and
October demonstrating a +38% growth."
He went on to say " I am glad organisations like
DIVERSEY are driving the country with SLSI expertise on quality
because that's the need of hour for Sri Lanka."
Country Head for Sri Lanka and Maldives, JohnsonDiversey said
"In India we are working with the World Bank on a similar
project and in Sri Lanka this is our social responsibility
project." He quipped that a tourist who spends over US$200 a
day is way different in lifestyle to a current tourist who spends
US$68. That is the starting point in our learning.
we understand this we must know that their immune system is also
different. Hence if proper hygiene and sanitation procedures are
not followed one single outbreak of food poisoning can destroy the
confidence levels that the tour operators have that can in turn
lead to Sri Lanka losing out. Rohantha Athukorala who heads the
Maldives operations said that
Sri Lanka must attract the tourists that come to Maldives.
"We manage one property in Maldives where the room rate per
day is US$4950. Incidentally they are booked right through 2005,
which demonstrates the demand by a leisure traveler"
"certification process on HACCP" was taken through by
Dr. Lalith Seneweera, the certification director of SLSI. The
documentation process of HACCP certification was presented by
Assistant Director, Sri Lanka Standards Institute, S.L Ginege.
hotelier and GM of the exclusive Taj Exotica, Ranjan Stanislaus
shared his leanings of "Balance Scorecard and running of a
hotel for food safety" whilst the ex Shangri-La hotelier,
Lakshman Perera who is the current head of the dynamic Colombo
Plaza talked on the "Shangri-la Experience of HACCP and
culture change required for HACCP success."
which is a Unilever/ SC Johnson detergent company provides not
only detergents but also provides 'Hygiene and Sanitation' advice
to hotels, restaurants, beverage plants and companies in the food
and beverage industry. Athukorala said "Sri Lanka has become
a key market for the company not because tourism is booming but
because 43% of Sri Lankan household income is spent on food and
beverage. Hence unless 'clean hygienic' food or drink is consumed
be it in a restaurant, hospital or a hotel there can be many an
outbreak of food poisoning like what we see in the Latin American
countries that we operate in. An acid test is when we take the
number of people who work in a kitchen operation and divide by the
consumption of hand washing so we see that people washing hands
ONLY once a day whilst on average we go to a toilet thrice a
Consultants launches & Brand
Consultants, a strategic marketing consultancy company, recently
launched a subsidiary company which provides a fully integrated
brand consulting service ,namely &Brand.
to Director, &Brand , Ruchi Gunewardene, " Excluding the
multinational companies operating in Sri Lanka, branding is a
little understood concept. To many local companies branding is
only about communication. It is a sad reflection, to see so many
well recognised brands that are still so poorly branded. As a
result they are not leveraging the true potential of their brands.
Branding is about the entire business value chain and therefore it
is about everything the brand has to do with the consumer."
went on to say that
having been involved in providing companies with strategic
marketing solutions, it was a logical extension to provide
branding solutions by linking strategic thinking to developing an
expression of the brand. "The core of our proposition is
understanding the context in which the brand currently operates
and developing a coherent and relevant identity / personality
which is then brought to life through a creative process".
on some of the
assignments handled by them Gunewardene
said that during the course of their assignments they had been
involved with various design agencies in creating brands. Examples
of such work includes the time
the company used a Singapore based agency to develop the Brandix
successful brand which is being rolled out is the Healthguard
pharmacy brand which was created through Blitz advertising.
"As there is no such company providing the strategic thinking
as well as the brand creation service, it was a unique opportunity
for us to get into" said Gunewardene.
" Having created the brand we or the client would then
work with advertising agencies to communicate and create awareness
of the brand". Gunewardene claims this has worked well with
both the Brandix as well as the Healthguard brands.
&Brand, Eardley Perera, added
that what &Brand sought to provide
was a complete solution to branding which goes beyond
design. "For consumer brands this would include the technical
capability of packaging and printing solutions, and for brands
which have interaction with customers, branding solutions within
the retail environment".
those clients who require a more advanced solution to their
branding problems &Brand has partnered with a Singapore based
company who can provide solutions to complex branding situations
or who could be provide solutions to take brands into
do not expect a rush of clients for this highly specialised
service" said Gunewardene. " Instead we see our role as
having to first educate clients on the importance of branding and
the power they can leverage through a focused branding exercise.
The key challenge is to convince the decision makers in the
boardroom that brands are valuable assets. And should therefore be
treated as such. This is the perspective taken throughout the
world and we should seriously pursue this in Sri Lanka."
order to support this effort, &Brand has obtained the rights
to circulate an Indian bi-monthly magazine The BrandReporter. This
is currently being circulated to key business establishments free
stated that there would be significant events planned in the near
future in order to raise awareness of brands, and the value brands
could bring to businesses, so as to generate greater returns to
board of directors of
&Brand constitute Ruchi Gunewardene, Eardley Perera and Michel
child insurance plan from Sri Lanka Insurance
Lanka Insurance has introduced Mini Muthu, a special child
insurance plan where both parents are covered under one policy.
This product is introduced by the company after looking into the
important role played by both parents in bringing up a child.
new Mini Muthu plan of assurance guarantees a fund for the child
at maturity. Even after the demise of a parent the fund will be
available for the child. This plan provides a life cover for both
parents thus making it a joint life plan. The fund for the child
will be released within a four year period.
the demise of one of the parents the surviving parent or the child
will receive double the life cover immediately. If this
unfortunate event is to take place the future premiums will be
waived and the guaranteed fund for the child will be released when
the policy completes the term.
a single premium will be charged to insure both parents and if one
parent is not insurable (deceased, medically unfit, divorced,
separated) or even if both parents are not around, the legal
guardian can sign up for this plan on behalf of the child.
plan of assurance provides greater flexibility:
can choose a plan to suite their child's age. Parents who have
children between one month and 15 years of age can benefit from
this plan of assurance.
an example; Parents can buy this plan for a six year term for a
child aged two years and the child will receive the funds from age
guaranteed fund for the child will be provided in four equal
installments spreading through four years.
child will receive 35% of the sum assured on each installment and
the bonuses also will be added to the first payment. Therefore
he/she is guaranteed to receive 140% of the sum assured and the
bonus (35% x 4 pmts = 140% plus bonus).
the demise of one of the parents during the benefit paying period
the balance payment will be doubled thus making it a 70% payment
of the sum assured.
covers for the child:
child can be covered under
hospital cash benefit
critical illness cover
are optional covers that can be taken at the inception of the
policy. Even after a claim is made the surviving parent can
continue the above additional benefits for the child, by paying
the relevant premium.
child can enjoy these benefits up to age 20 or the maturity of the
policy whichever occurs first.
award for Intervet
International BV Sri Lanka RO received the Holland Award for its
'outstanding achievement in the field of international agri/animal
business in Sri Lanka' on November 29.
Representative, Dr. R. C. Sikka was presented with the award by
the Counsellor of Agriculture, Royal Netherlands Embassy in India,
Arnold Parzer on behalf of the
Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, Food Quality, The Hauge, The
occasion was attended by the Ambassador of the Royal Netherlands
Embassy in Sri Lanka, Susan Blankhart Berkouwer.
of Intervet's leading customers/associates in Sri Lanka were
present at this awards function.
decision to create an Intervet establishment in Sri Lanka with
close association with its distributor Brown & Company Ltd.,
was based on the objective to be involved with, and be committed
quality partner accreditation for ICBS
was awarded the 'CIMA Quality Partner' accreditation by the
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK (CIMA) last
week, taking ICBS to a league of global business schools
officially recommended by CIMA to students.
accreditation was formally awarded to ICBS at a grand event held
at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo on December 6. Present at the
occasion were Director (Education), CIMA, UK, Robert Jelly and
President, CIMA Sri Lanka Division, Claude Perera.
Through partnership (LTP) is recognition by CIMA UK, of the
industry best practices adopted by the CIMA teaching colleges
worldwide. The award was presented to ICBS after a thorough audit
of the teaching methodology, coverage of syllabus and student
involvement implemented at the school.
on the achievement, Chairman / CEO, ICBS, Ravi Mahendra told The
Sunday Leader ICBS underwent a very strict audit process before it
was awarded the 'CIMA Quality Partner' accreditation.
not just a certificate, it's an acknowledgment of our commitment
and dedication to quality. We at ICBS have continuously strived to
improve the level of performance achieved by our students,"
at ICBS have an advantage over students at other schools due to
the high emphasis on quality in terms of education and the high
pass rates at ICBS, said Mahendra.
ICBS, we are also committed to personality and character
development. We believe the students today will become business
leaders in the future and inculcate values such as integrity and
leadership," he explained.
organises industry visits for its students regularly, and invites
CEOs, business leaders and motivational speakers to address the
students as well. All this is organised free of charge. It also
has a very active student society that has its own newspaper.
school launched its latest brand, Super 16 plus recently. Super 16
plus enables students to complete their advanced level
examinations while becoming a CIMA professional by the age of 18.
16 plus is a flexible programme whereby students will be able to
concurrently undertake CIMA while sitting for their A/L exams. The
Super 16 plus programme will begin in January.
is a special programme, which offers students the opportunity to
use the time they have just after their O/Ls to get a diploma
certificate that is a qualification on its own. With Super 16 plus
we are offering them the CIMA foundation, the CIMA Certificate in
Business Accounting, which they can complete before their A/L
classes begin. They can then decide whether to continue with CIMA
along with their A/Ls," said Mahendra.
students who decide to do both CIMA and A/Ls at the same time,
ICBS has developed a system where they can do both without
complications. The knowledge gained by doing CIMA, which is a very
advanced programme, will make the A/Ls much easier. We will have a
special focus on this batch since it will consist of young
students," he further said.
also offers a combined BBA and CIMA degree programme where
students have the opportunity of obtaining a highly recognised
professional qualification and an internationally recognised
bachelor's degree from Warnborough University, through a single
has a history of 17 years. It underwent a name change in 2002
under the present management. The primary focus at ICBS is on CIMA,
CIM, BBA degree and MBA programmes
institution that is committed to academic and professional
excellence, ICBS has been offering higher education for several
years and is one of the main providers of academic and
professional programmes in Sri Lanka.
school's motto is 'Your Career Is Our Concern,' and the CIMA
quality partnership is yet another step in its quest for
on 'Goal setting and performance management'
employee performance is a critical element in ensuring
organisational success. In companies where an effective
performance management system is in place, employees work towards
clearly defined goals and receive performance feedback on an
ongoing basis. The best systems are directly linked to the
organisation's strategic business plans and highlight the
contribution each employee makes towards these. Everyone knows his
or her role in the show!
management is the key organisational variable. No other human
resources system has as much impact on the success of an
organisation. For any company to be successful in the long term,
it must engender a high performance culture.
your performance measurement right is important. If you can do
that, the data you generate will tell you where you are. It will
also tell you - when compared to standards or records - how you
are doing. All of this gives you feedback. This feedback will tell
you whether you are - or aren't.
that's not all that performance measurement will give you. It will
also provide the motivation that will spur you on to improve your
performance. It will provide the incentive for you to 'do it
pursuit of this organisational need, McQuire Rens & Jones (Pvt)
Ltd. has organised a workshop to be held on January 28 -29, 2005 at Galadari Hotel. The workshop will be
facilitated by CEO and MD, Rens Group of Companies, Nalin
Jayasuriya. Jayasuriya is a highly acclaimed professional with
over two decades of senior management experience and has headed
both local and multinational organisations. He has provided
guidance and training to several managers of top organisations in
Sri Lanka as well as in Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia,
Thailand, Kenya, Dubai, India and Singapore. He was the former
Regional HR Consultant and Head of Special Projects for SmithKline
Beecham International, Southeast Asia and India.
panel member for this workshop will be
Head of Human Resources, SriLankan Airlines, Sunil
workshop will help participants ensure the method of measuring the
'right' things at the 'right' time and in the 'right' place. These
measures must also - since they are going to be with you in the
long run - be tuned into the 'game plan' of your organisation or
now in Akuressa
General Equipment (DGE) which has embarked on an islandwide
expansion programme opened its fifth showroom in Akuressa in the
Matara District recently.
We decided to open a showroom in this area due to the fact that it
borders the Galle and Matara Districts, both of which have the
highest demand for power tools in the southern region due to the
fact that this region is predominantly one where people's
livelihood comes from woodwork and carpentry" said Managing
Director Delmege Forsyth and Co. Ltd., Kosala Dissanayake speaking
at the opening of the new showroom.
main source of income for these districts comes from tea, cinnamon
and woodwork , with woodwork being carried out as a cottage
industry in Akuressa. "As a result there is a high demand for
power tools in this area especially the Dewalt brand for which DGE
are the sole agents" said Dissanayake .
Akuressa showroom , in addition to the Black & Decker , Dewalt
, Keyang , and Dolmar range of products and power tools , will
also have on sale the Nikai range of products which will enable
the company to enter into the consumer electronics market . The
Nikai range will include DVDs , VCDs , Washing Machines and Colour
TVs , while the Deltronic brand will expand its product range to
include fans - both ceiling as well as pedestal, as well as gas
cookers , in addition to its existing range of electric ovens.
Dolmar chain saws in particular are in high demand in this
area" said Dissanayake who added that with DGE's entry into
the white goods market , domestic electronic appliances will now
be accessible at competitive prices to a wider spectrum of the
general public .
General Manager, Jaminda Mendis stressed the fact that the service
aspect was one that was key to DGE's operations . "Other
brands in the power tool category have failed to establish market
share in the outskirts due to the fact that they ignored the
service aspect , however at DGE we have a fully operational
Service Centre at all our showrooms which is manned by trained
staff who can immediately attend to the customers
requirements." Mendis said that in addition to the Service
Centre they would also appoint a Service Agent so that customers
would be assured of a constant service back up .
DGE has a total of 250 dealers islandwide who even cover the north
offer at Long Feng
fantastic new offer is now taking place within Long Feng at Trans
Asia every Sunday evening.
wonderful buffet featuring an array of authentic Chinese dishes,
is presented to you in an original display. You will find Steamed
Garouper in soy sauce, fried crab in yellow chilli, rice dumpling
with lotus seed paste, live action stations, al fresco dining and
not to mention almond souffle.
this gastronomic Asian feast, the restaurant is transformed into
an intimate setting, with beautiful decorations brought in
especially for the occasion.
just Rs. 1200++ you will get a feast that is excellent value for
Trans Asia started this innovative idea, Long Feng has become a
popular hang out for those Sunday evening get togethers.
sure you book seats or you may have to join the queue.
glamourous event for ninth year
Health, Beauty & Gift Fair 2005 is presented for the ninth
successful year by Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Centre (SLECC),
the only exclusively accredited Professional Exhibition Organiser
(PEO), in association with Sri Lanka National Cosmetology
proven in previous years, Health, Beauty & Gift Fair 2005 will
create a highly conducive platform for premium product and service
providers such as bridal dressers, salons, beauty therapists,
designers, cake decorators, caterers, gift items, beauty salon
products, health products, cosmetics, printers, jewellers,
photographers, hotels, housing, insurance etc. This event gathers
all industry pioneers and highly reputed product/service suppliers
under one roof and will comprise of over 125 stalls facilitating
the exhibitors the opportunity to demonstrate to a captive
audience their specific fields of expertise, e.g. nail art, body
tattoos, facials, hair care, make-up techniques etc.
fashion shows and demonstrations by SLANCA will be the highlight
of this glamorous event. Competitions for cakes, photography,
bridal wear, hairstyle, flora dcor and accessories will feature
innovative creations of a significant number of participants, who
will be entitled to win an array of attractive gifts, trophies and
recognition in their respective industry. A Grand Championship
Award awaits the most outstanding competitor.
wins 'Futuristic Stall' award
Suntel stall at the ASOSIC ICT Exhibition and Seminar recently won
the most 'Futuristic Stall' award. The stall in general focused on
user applications and successfully demonstrated business and
domestic applications, which can be deployed immediately.
of Suntel's partners were also provided space within the Suntel
BMICH stall to demonstrate their solutions and applications.
Suntel's Access Technology partner AirSpan Communications UK
displayed the next generation solution Wi-MAX and Midas
Communications, India demonstrated eGovernance applications
including Telemedicine and Nuro- synoptics. ITABS Suntel's
software solutions partner demonstrated cost effective IP
Telephony solutions and other business applications.
BMICH and SLECC exhibition halls were made Wi-Fi (wLAN) hotspots
enabling delegates to access internet through their PDAs or laptop
Manager - is a web interface that allows customers to broadcast a
message to a large number of recipients with just a click of a
button. This service can be effectively used by marketing
Lines SMS and Corporate SMS: Suntel launched Fixed Line SMS for
the first time in Sri Lanka where any phone line with CLI can
subscribe for this service. Parallel to this the Corporate SMS
service was also launched where business could use this service in
a cost effective and efficient manner to send text messages to
their customers, own employees and suppliers.
telephony - Suntel demonstrated IP telephony applications
including soft phone applications solutions via a Wi-Fi network
(Fax Server Solution) - Fax server solution was yet another new
services launched by Suntel where business could effectively move
toward a paperless office environment. This service would yet
again enable businesses to reduce costs and at the same time
improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Conferencing - Video conferencing over ISDN and IP were
demonstrated in the stall. Suntel also established a v-con session
during the inauguration time where a live feed between BMICH and
SLECC enables delegates to experience both simultaneous opening.
(small office/home office) applications were demonstrated in this
section of the stall. Video on Demand (VoD) and Music on Demand (MoD),
Wireless web surveillance systems and many more futuristic
solutions were demonstrated in this section.
VPN applications were demonstrated in this section
wireless access systems used by Suntel, a live "Call
Manager" set up were demonstrated in this section. A video
conferencing session with the Suntel OMC (Operations and
Maintenance Centre) was also established from time to time from
the BMICH and Suntel head office.
successfully conducted over 15 training/briefing sessions to
corporate customers in the stall with the intention of updating
them with the latest technology. This was the only stall that
conducted this type of event during the exhibition, which was held
inside the dome.
to market Electrolux products in Sri Lanka
Abans Group entered into a partnership with Electrolux for the
distribution of the best of its product range recently. Electrolux
is the world's largest producer of powered appliances for kitchen,
cleaning and outdoor use, such as refrigerators, washing machines,
cookers, vacuum cleaners, chain saws, lawn mowers and garden
year customers in more than 150 countries buy more than 55 million
Electrolux Group products for both consumer and professional use.
The Electrolux Group includes well-known appliance brands such as
AEG, Electrolux, Zanussi, Frigidaire, Eureka and Husqvama.
the trusted agent for many branded products, through this
partnership will make available to Sri Lankans global expertise in
home appliances that is bound to make life easier. Featured here
are some of the Electrolux products that will be available at
solutions to meet consumer needs has led Electrolux to developing
Ultra Silencer, a vacuum cleaner, which combines cleaning with a
very low noise level. This cleverly quiet vacuum cleaner is ideal
for busy people who want to vacuum at anti-social times or for
those who do not want to disturb the rest of the household. It
also cleans the air as well as the floor through its filtration
keep a healthier home, Electrolux has recently introduced a new
upgraded version of its Oxygen vacuum cleaner, which includes a
superior cleaning performance system with a special filter
designed to reduce air pollution by vacuuming one's home. The new
Oxygen is said to filtrate more than 99.95% of all pollens,
spores, household dust, mite and cat allergens.
is currently launching a new range of funky chest freezers. The
series include five different models where all except one are on
wheels for easy moving. All models offer ergonomic designs and
safety measures and feature a dual function system, which means
they can be used either as freezers or as refrigerators.
Electrolux Visao sets new standards in microwave design, with a
sophisticated look that differentiates itself from any
conventional 3D design currently on the market. A narrowed control
panel, integral feet, tinted window without frame, clean graphics
and hidden control elements makes this microwave look just as
streamlined as any modern TV. Visao is consumer friendly, with a
'pull to open' door handle and easy control access featuring
India has recently introduced the world's first talking washing
machine known as the Washy Talky. This machine actually tells the
user how to get the perfect wash and makes it all child's play.
The appliance will even tell the user to 'Drop detergent, close
lid and relax!' should there be specific programme errors during
the wash process, it will alert the user and suggest further
have a special responsibility towards society
a bank, providers of our capital are not only the shareholders,
but far more importantly the depositors. Those depositors'
contributions far exceed the capital provided by the shareholders.
Therefore, the banks have a special responsibility towards the
community," said Chairman, Commercial Bank and United Motors,
Mahendra Amarasuriya in an interview with Dinesh Weerakkody.
Following are excerpts;
Commercial Bank set up a fund recently to showcase Corporate
Social Responsibility. The concept of social responsibility has
been around for a while. Why is it that Commercial Bank took so
long to set up this fund?
Commercial Bank has been involved over a long period in many
projects to fulfill its social responsibilities. However, these
projects have been in response to specific requests made by
community groups and more or less ad hoc in nature. It was felt
that a bank such as ours, operating in over 130 locations in Sri
Lanka, has an obligation to implement a more organised,
sustainable effort in fulfilling our responsibility to the
community, the citizens of which are our valued customers.
core business of the bank is to be involved in financial banking
services and our staff has been specially trained for this
purpose. They are target oriented and work as a team to contribute
towards the development of the bank in fulfilling its vision and
such, they have hardly any time to give thought to fulfilling the
bank's obligation in serving the community. It was therefore felt
that there was a necessity to create a special vehicle for a concentrated
effort for involvement in a variety of community related and
sustainable projects, in order to focus the attention of the
management and staff of the bank towards their obligation to
fulfill our social responsibility.
was for this purpose that we created the Commercial Bank Social
Responsibility Trust, and already we have received requests for
assistance channelled through the branches. Assistance will be
granted mainly through the branches, so that they can monitor
closely our efforts in this direction and ensure the
sustainability of these interventions.
What has been the bank's contribution to develop and nurture the
underprivileged people in our society?
It is our view that raising the living standards of the
underprivileged people and alleviating poverty is mainly the
responsibility of the government ruling the country. To achieve
this government levies taxes and banks are being heavily taxed,
our bank being probably among the largest tax payers in the
responding to requests by deserving individuals and the community
at large, we have been marginally involved in improving the
quality of life of our people. Since that effort was
insignificant, we launched the new trust to focus our attention on
social development activities through the Commercial Bank
Corporate Social Responsibility Trust.
Private sector firms have generally been solely responsible to
their providers of capital. What is the rationale for your
management to look beyond the bottom line?
It has been the traditional practice for private sector
institutions to ensure that their shareholders get an acceptable
return on their investment and to increase the shareholder value.
As such, our main concern in undoubtedly enhancing the shareholder
value. However, as a bank, providers of our capital are not only
the shareholders, but far more importantly the depositors. Those
depositors' contributions far exceed the capital provided by the
shareholders. Therefore, the banks have a special responsibility
towards the community.
the other hand, all governments in recent times, have been
unsuccessful in reducing the poverty in the country substantially,
with almost 45% of the population living below the poverty line of
US$ 2 per day. Due to the failure of politicians to deliver on
their promises, considerable resentment is building up among the
poorer classes against the private sector and upper classes in our
this trend continues, it is very likely that Sri Lanka will be
faced with another insurrection as the difference between the
haves and have nots have widened in the last three to four years.
The board of directors, therefore, on my recommendation, decided
that we should look beyond the bottom line and in addition focus
our attention on the basis of the triple bottom line i.e.
Profitability, Social Responsibility and Environmental
Sustainability, which is becoming the norm in developed countries.
The private sector more than ever needs to demonstrate a social
conscience with the greatest possible vigour and in order to
prevent antagonism being built up against the private sector by
the various publics. What role can JBIZ play to develop this
The first part of your question has been already answered.
Regarding the JBIZ's role, unfortunately the role is limited as
JBIZ is an umbrella organisation of many chambers created to make
representations to the government in office on national issues
related to the business sector. Since poverty alleviation is
considered a main issue, JBIZ can perhaps pressurise the
government to be more genuinely concerned with the needs of the
almost half of the population which is living in poverty.
On Corporate Social Responsibility, can the private sector
co-habit with the government?
My view is, it certainly can, and must cooperate with the
government. Any government in any country has the major
responsibility in looking after its citizens. The private sector
can assist in this process by sharing some of the burden in
fulfilling the social responsibility of the government.
On the other hand, does our private sector have the clout and the
capacity to influence decision making in government?
Unfortunately the private sector in Sri Lanka is not a united
body. Very often one finds that agendas of individuals in the
private sector are more related to fulfilling personal ambitions
and satisfying individual needs of their companies. You will
recall that though JBIZ attempted to put up a united front in the
recent past, some leading lights of the organised private sector
did not even participate in some of the JBIZ's initiatives.
the culture of the country and its business sector has been that
people who make personal contributions to political parties (many
of whom make contributions to both main parties and even some of
the minor parties) have a much bigger clout than the organised
chambers or JBIZ, as they have easy access to those in power, who
are obliged to return the favours of those who have contributed
immensely to their respective campaigns.
Finally, what role do you wish the government to play in bringing
about private - public partnership to grow the economy?
A very popular but hackneyed slogan in recent times has been 'the
private sector being the engine of growth of the economy.'
Unfortunately, this engine has not been given the impetus to
ensure the type of growth that we require to solve the serious
problems of the country, one of which being unemployment. If the
country is to go forward, we have to achieve a sustainable GDP
growth of 8% to 10% at least over a 10 year period and perhaps
over the next two to three decades.
type of sustainable growth can only be achieved by medium and long
term planning with set targets and goals agreed upon by both
parties, which have alternately ruled this country. However, it is
apparent, though both parties espouse an open economy and similar
policies, the implementation of such an economic strategy differs
markedly. Sadly, no
government in recent times has been able to achieve important
strategic goals like providing reasonably priced power to the
domestic consumer and industry.
it is apparent that without embarking on a coal power project, it
would not be possible to generate power at
around international market rates, the case of Norochcholai
is a sad example. For almost a decade, the rulers in power have
been debating and procrastinating on the decision to go ahead with
Norochcholai. Even after a decision is made, it will take almost
seven years to commence power generation. Since the feasibility
study has been completed, at a substantial cost by the Japanese
government, Norochcholai is the
best bet. If it is not acceptable, the government should
expeditiously look for a suitable alternate site and proceed
without continuing to debate ad nauseam on Norochcholai. The
infrastructure development in the last decade or two has been
is no agreed proposal even for a highway from the international
airport to the capital city. The southern highway is being delayed
due to a variety of reasons including corruption. Without the
development of infrastructure, specially the roads for which the
government has a responsibility, the high growth levels required
cannot be achieved. As the proposed road
development programme will take another decade at least to
be completed, it is surprising that the government does not
utilise the domestic airports of which we have many located in
strategic areas, to
be used for internal air transport specially to attract up market
tourists and thereby drive our tourism industry dramatically.
are only two of the numerous major problems that have to be solved
in order to generate high economic growth. Without proper macro
planning, on a five to 10 years forward economic plan formulated
with the assistance of the private sector, it will not be possible
to achieve the economic growth that will ensure sustainable
development to be enjoyed by all sectors of the populace.
should also be appreciated that while promoting top down growth,
it is also necessary to have viable strategies for bottom up
growth. In order to
support around 45% of the people, who are living under the poverty
line, poverty alleviation programmes like Samurdhi have to be re-organised, re-focussed and targeted and even implemented through private
sector support whereby the private sector can also get directly
involved in fullfilling its
Corporate Social Responsibility, by driving such programmes and
closely monitoring their implementation.
credit cards record highest usage
playing a dominant role in the market in terms of usage, recording
the highest usage growth per card for the year 2004, Hatton
National Bank (HNB) credit cards assures loyalty benefits,
security and comfort of payment.
offers convenience and a choice of exclusive credit cards to suit
any requirement or lifestyle. Customers will also enjoy attractive
benefits, such as holiday packages, discount facilities and
to The Sunday Leader, on why anyone should choose a HNB card over
any other card, Asst. General Manager Card Centre, HNB, P.
Sridharan stated, "The card is backed by the strength of the
bank. It has a wide network of 144 customer service centers where
card payments can be made. Cardholders are entitled to free
personal accident insurance cover for Classic cards at Rs. 50,000
and for Gold at Rs. 100,000.
applies in case of accidental death or permanent disability owing
to an accident. Also, free travel insurance is made available when
you purchase air tickets using your HNB credit card. The cards are
personalised. Transactions are secure and safeguarded through the
SMS alert system. Further, the cardholders are entitled to
benefits through the loyalty scheme. In addition to this, the bank
gives special discounts at various hotels, restaurants and
merchant outlets islandwide and discounted healthcare schemes from
Ceylinco Swift Care (Pvt) Ltd."
to Sridharan, the statistics over the past two years have revealed
that the HNB card growth has been phenomenal and rated among the
best. "The reason for this is the cards which are issued by
HNB are quite personalised to the customers' needs," pointed
out Sridharan, adding, "We were the first bank to come out
with picture cards where cardholders are allowed to carry a
picture of their choice on the credit card and also among the
first banks to insert a photo of the cardholder for additional
bank was also among the first to introduce the SMS Alert system.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Manager, Acquiring and Risk
Management, Card Centre, HNB, Zeyan Hameed stated, "This
notification prevents the misuse of the card number through
skimming and other methods. Once an unauthorised payment is
detected, the card is blocked and a new one is issued. We also
prompt the available balance after the transaction, which makes it
more convenient for the user."
observed that, "All these features along with very
significant promotions held during the year, contributed to the
HNB credit card being regarded as the preferred card right along
the year 2004." The bank also issues supplementary cards at
no additional cost.
the introduction of the loyalty programme, which is a reward
system where cardholders earn points on using the card, the usage
of cards has increasedat a phenomenal rate.
earning 300 loyalty points, a cardholder qualifies for a quarterly
draw. A final grand draw is held at the end of the year.
"What is significant about this system is that there are no
losers in this scheme, even if you don't win, you can redeem the
points in rupees to your account's credit," said Sridharan.
It was also stated that a cardholderis eligible for the
'Royalty Draw', evenif the cardholder has redeemedpoints.
service that the bank hopes to introduce early next year is the CC
online, where details and records of cardholders will be made
available on the internet along with transactions for the past 12
months. Cardholders will be able to access this information online
at any time.
the loyalty programme of 2005, the bank will be shifting its focus
to the rural sector. Commenting on this, Sridharan stated,
"We have already initiated a few projects with the farming
communities in the areas of Welimada, Nuwara Eliya and Trincomalee,
along with our network of merchants, for the purchase of
fertiliser and farming equipment. We will further identify select
community development projects to introduce the card culture,
primarily to uplift their standard of living.
a nutshell, HNB provides convenience, comfort, security and value
additions to the cardholders, in addition to what a standard
MasterCard or Visa card offers and HNB strives to be excellent by
coupling services with technology, along with the pace of
sets the season ablaze
is celebrating Christmas this year with the innovative Light Up
Your Day campaign that will give HSBC's credit cardholders chances
to win exciting prizes and the opportunity to donate to charity.
These offers are available exclusively for HSBC cardholders
especially during this festive season.
part of the seasonal festivities, each time an HSBC credit card is
used, four lucky credit cardholders have the opportunity to win Rs
50,000 each, everyday from December 2 to December 31. Four million
rupees will be given away during the season to 20 people. Winners
names will be announced daily over the radio.
are also entitled to a
delicious cake during the time of revelry by redeeming just 1000
Rewards points for a Chocolate Dream Cake from Cravings. The cake
is worth 3000 Rewards Points but HSBC, as a goodwill gesture
during Christmas, will take care of the balance 2000 points. That
is not all. HSBC will donate Rs.100 for every cake order to a
needy child at the Cancer Hospital in Maharagama.
Card Centre, Sarit Wijekoon says that the 0% Interest Instalment
Plan gets even better this year. Customers can buy whatever they
want in December and be billed in February as HSBC is giving two
months extra interest free credit. There are more than 19 partner
outlets covering a range of products and services islandwide. And
one can have the option of taking the 3, 6, 9 or 12 month plan to
suit one's convenience. HSBC is making life easier by allowing the customers to pay
their Christmas bills so that they have more money to spend.
"So shop to your heart's content!" is what Wijekoon had
all the benefits bestowed on the HSBC credit cardholder, HSBC is
inviting its customers to buy an HSBC candle for just Rs.50 at
selected Food City outlets and all the proceeds from this project
will be donated to children of the Cancer Hospital, Maharagama.
- a leader in leasing
Merchant Bank Ltd. (PMBL) structured and placed lease backed trust
certificates to the value of Rs. 250 mn on behalf of People's
Leasing Company Ltd. (PLC). The entire issue was taken up by
Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd., whilst Deutsche Bank AG acted as
the trustee to the issue.
unique feature of this debt issue was that, the notes with tenures
falling within the first two years carried a fixed rate of
interest, whilst a variable rate (AWPLR plus) was applicable for
the balance two years. In a scenario when investors are shy to
lock in on the long term, this four year instrument could be
viewed as a welcome change.
trust certificates are secured by a quality portfolio of leases
and the monies raised will be utilised to further augment PLC's
fund base and to pursue its aggressive growth strategy. This is
the third issue of lease backed trust certificates arranged by
PMBL for PLC, having successfully completed two similar issues to
the value of Rs. 200 mn and 150 mn, previously. During 2004, PLC
also issued the first ever rated (SL A rating) lease backed trust
certificates in Sri Lanka, to the value of Rs. 500 mn.
its eight year journey, PLC has evolved to be the leader in
leasing for the third consecutive year, enhancing its
profitability and expanding its branch network. PLC operates 15
branches islandwide and around 75% of its lease portfolio consists
of facilities granted to passenger/commercial vehicles. PLC is a
member of the Leasing Association of Sri Lanka (LASL) and a fully
owned subsidiary of People's Bank.
has featured prominently in local debt market transactions, having
structured and placed several securitisations, debenture issues
and loan syndications.
Bank driving its branches towards excellence
of the leading development banks in the country, DFCC Bank is
further improving its standards by the continuous monitoring of
its branches' performance and driving them towards excellence.
meeting all criteria for measuring performance, the DFCC Bank
branch in Badulla was awarded as the best performing branch for
the financial year 2003/2004. Speaking to The Sunday Leader,
Branch Manager, DFCC Bank - Badulla, Harsha Jayathilaka attributed
the success of the bank to the team effort and commitment of the
bank's staff in implementing their expansion programme.
are currently into our expansion plan, designed according to the
strategy we adopted two years ago. By implementing this approach
based on a team effort, we were able to obtain the recognition as
the best performing branch for the financial year 2003/2004,"
branch, which opened in 1997, covers a large geographical area,
which includes the Uva Province, Ampara District and Nuwara Eliya.
Around 32% of the population of the Uva Province remains below the
in Colombo and its suburbs, access to credit in these areas are
limited and restricted. We took advantage of this situation and as
part of our expansion programme concentrated on increasing our
credit services. The bank primarily concentrated on the reduction
of the delivery time of loans and other credit," said
this, the bank was able to issue credit to its customers on time,
to suit their convenience and with minimum interruption to their
plan of work.
the bank's performance, Jayathilaka stated, "Following the
expansion programme, the total approvals for credit totaled Rs.
717 million and the credit base increased by 162% compared to the
last financial year. Speaking about the quality of the portfolio,
"we have brought down the amount of non-performing credit
from 11% last year to 7% this year."
the moment, the bank mainly supports the small and medium level
industries in the area. "We have around 850 such clients and
provide them with financial assistance for the purchase of
machinery and motor vehicles at competitive interest rates,"
by a multi skilled and competent team of professionals,
Jayathilaka was confident that DFCC Bank Badulla branch was well
on its way to recording higher performance levels.
bank in a joint effort with the Matara branch, was also awarded
for best deposits mobilisation in the area.
the bank is involved in many community development projects in the
area, one of them is where the bank donated computer systems to
two rural schools in the Moneragala area and another consultancy
project done in association with the clinical society of the
Badulla General Hospital.
its endeavour to reach out to remote villages in the Anuradhapura
District, Seylan Bank recently deployed five computerised mobile
banking units controlled by the Anuradhapura Branch.
is the first time in Sri Lanka that such flexible banking
arrangements using mobile units have been deployed under the
purview of one branch.
five areas covered under this first stage are Thanthirimale,
Padaviya, Thambuthegama, Rambewa and Galen Bindunuwewa in
five computerised mobile banking vehicles would provide the
necessary banking facilities to the villages from 10 a.m. to 1
p.m. on week days.
Manager/ Chief Executive, Seylan Bank, Ajita Pasqual launched the
first phase from Seylan Bank's Anuradhapura Branch.
above are the mobile banking units which are ready to take-off to
serve the people of the Anuradhapura District.
loan to boost secondary education system
has approved a US$ 35 million loan to further improve quality and
relevance of the secondary education system in Sri Lanka. The new
project will upgrade around 1,100 1AB and 1C schools not supported
under ADB's ongoing Secondary Education Modernization Project (SEMP
1) and other earlier ADB funded projects.
project has two main objectives: 1) support the government's
strategy to improve the quality, equity, and management efficiency
of secondary education and make it more responsive to labour
market requirements, and 2) increase equity of access to quality
education and promoting education for social cohesion.
positive achievements in basic education, low investment in
education results in disparities in educational quality. The pass
rates at GCE (OL) and (AL) examinations have been low. Only 40% of
ordinary level students qualify for advanced levels, 50% fail in
mathematics and 70% fail in English. Regional disparities in the
pass rates are also evident.
140, 000 school leavers enter the labour market every year and a
large number are unemployed, indicating the need to improve the
role of secondary schools in preparing students for work. In fact,
18% of those with GCE advanced level qualifications are unemployed
because of the mismatch between the conventional education system
and labour market requirements.
project will upgrade target schools that do not meet an acceptable
standard in terms of physical facilities, teaching and learning
resources, teachers' skills and school management. This will
reduce disparities across regions, gender, and ethnicity and work
towards the goal of ensuring that every school is capable of
successfully teaching the required subjects, increasing the
percentage of students that pass GCE (OL) and GCE (AL)
examinations in future" said ADB Country Director Alessandro
from basic rehabilitation of existing buildings and provision of
equipment and furniture, the project will modernise the curriculum
and teaching methodologies by provision of science laboratories,
computer rooms, multimedia units and libraries.
project will also promote school based management and a pilot
project will be conducted to improve information technology skills
in rural areas. It will continue to support the objective of
helping students in rural areas and conflict affected areas by
giving stipends for about 12,000 students over a period of four
years and incentives for the teachers to attract rural schools.
attention will be given to assisting the north and east region and
the district of Nuwara Eliya with recruiting and deploying Tamil
speaking teachers in subjects such science and mathematics,
English and information technology.
improve the capacity of education officials at supervising and
monitoring education activities, the project will provide training
and consulting services to further improve the skills and
competencies of provincial and zonal officials.
make the education system more efficient and effective, the
project will support government policies and reforms such as
decentralising education management, developing sustainable
financing mechanisms for school operations, improving and
computerising the national testing and evaluation process and
modernising the curriculum.
project will strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Education
in coordinating with provincial and zonal authorities and regular
monitoring and evaluation of project activities and the education
management information system begun under the earlier project. The
total project cost is estimated at $47 million, of which $ 10.3
million will come from the government and $1.7 million from the
loan which will meet 74.4% of the total cost, comes from its
concessionary Asian Development Fund and carries a 32-year term,
including a grace period of eight years.
Ministry of Education is the executing agency for the project,
which is due for completion in December 2009.
over 15 years of service to the nation, Sampath Bank has remained
the pioneers in technologically advanced innovative banking
products and services, constantly utilising cutting-edge
technology in line with global innovations to present world class
banking services to Sri Lanka.
a bid to further strengthen its capital base, the bank is coming
out with a one to three rights issue. Through this rights issue an
additional 17 million shares will be issued to the existing
shareholders at Rs. 60 each, which is much lower than its current
market value. The rights issue will enhance the bank's capital
adequacy ratio for Tier 1 to over 11% and Tier 2 to 14%, which are
well above the ratios stipulated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
to The Sunday Leader, Managing Director/CEO, Sampath Bank, Anil
Amarasuriya stated, "We hope to receive Rs. 1 billion as
proceeds from this rights issue. The main aim of this rights issue
is to strengthen our capital base. This capital backing will be
used to support the bank's branch expansion programme."
addition to this, Amarasuriya pointed out, "In keeping with
our vision to be a growing force in Sri Lankan financial services,
we have taken a decision to be more aggressive in the financial
sector both locally and internationally. By using the funds
generated through this rights issue, we hope to generate an
adequate return by increasing our earnings per share by expanding
into new ventures."
Bank, which was recently awarded a SL A+ rating by Fitch Ratings,
is the acknowledged leader of IT with so many firsts in innovative
banking to its credit. "Our IT investment will see us through
the next three years and we are ready to acquire any other
developments that take place in the international arena,"
stated a confident Amarasuriya, adding, "Our focus is mainly
on IT. Accordingly,
whatever product we design is considered as a value addition.
All software packages are designed in-house to bring
convenience to the customer by enabling access to the bank through
various delivery channels, such as the telephone, the internet or
Sampath Easy Banking Centres enable customers to benefit from
banking services at their convenience. Open 24 hours a day, these
concept centres are unique self-service units that allow customers
to complete phone-banking transactions, pass book updating,
balance checking and even pay utility and amenity bills. Where
telephone and internet infrastructure does not extend to personal
domains, these centres enable customers to conduct their banking
operations from the convenience of a simple click of a button, any
time of day or night.
the need for growing demand of quicker and more convenient payment
systems, www.payeasy.lk is another value addition to the bank's
products. This facility known as Sampath PayEasy, is a one stop
internet portal for the payment of most utility bills which
includes telephone, hospital, insurance, internet and many other
payments. The service is open to customers of any bank, making the
exercise of monthly visits to billing centres a thing of the past.
the facility is accessible to anyone with internet access, for
those without such access, the Sampath Easy Banking Centres
provide the facility on a 24-hour basis.
In addition, Mastercard or Visa cardholders of any bank can
settle their bills through Sampath PayEasy while the headquarters
branch now allows Maestro Debit cardholders to use the same
the pioneer in the ATM revolution in Sri Lanka, introducing multi
point network ATMs around the island over 15 years ago, the bank
currently has 93 real time online operative ATMs. "We are
looking at expanding our ATM network. We recently signed a
Memorandum of Understanding with the Bank of Ceylon to link the
ATMs of the two banks. This
will increase the number of ATMs to 193.
By 2006, the number is expected to exceed 250.
At the moment, Sampath Bank is both on the Cirrus and Visa
networks," said Amarasuriya.
the first to introduce the VISA Gold card to Sri Lanka we went
another step further and introduced the Visa Platinum credit card.
We are also proud to be the official credit card provider for Sri
Lanka Cricket, spearheading a partnership in sport and
banking," stated Amarasuriya.
order to attract and retain the best professionals in the land,
the bank invests considerably in the training and development of
its employees. "Towards this, the bank introduced e-learning,
a distance learning concept across all our branches, a concept
developed in-house, which allows our team to gain expertise
through interactive training sessions," explained Amarasuriya.
70 branches of Sampath Bank are linked online enabling this
process. The staff's performance is constantly monitored by the
balance scorecard approach.
bank has taken many initiatives toward the conservation and
protection of the environment and involves itself in many
community development projects in the rural areas. Speaking about
some of these projects, Amarasuriya stated, "We bear the cost
of teaching English in 20 remote schools.
In an effort to impart IT skills, schoolchildren in the
rural areas are invited to visit our branches during weekends and
use our computer systems, under the bank's supervision."
years on, Citibank SL set for rapid growth
Sri Lanka celebrated its 25th anniversary this month. The bank
commenced operations in Sri Lanka in December 1979.
is the world's largest financial institution and operates in over
100 countries. Also one of the world's oldest banks, Citibank has
been in existence since 1812.
the bank's silver anniversary, it's a milestone," Country
Head and Chief Executive Officer (Sri Lanka), Citigroup, Kapila
Jayawardena told The Sunday Leader.
are very happy we managed to get Senior Vice Chairman, Citigroup,
Victor Menezes to come to Sri Lanka from New York. His visit is
significant since he was one instrumental in opening the bank in
Sri Lanka in 1979, and therefore he has a special relationship and
bond with Sri Lanka," he added.
about the bank's future plans, Jayawardena said the bank is well
positioned for growth in Sri Lanka and that Citibank operations in
the country have increased in leaps and bounds in the last 25
the bank commenced operations in the country as a small 10-man
operation, its staff has now exceeded 100.
is the third largest foreign bank in Sri Lanka, and offers a wide
range of products and services to the local market.
is also the only AAA rated commercial bank in Sri Lanka, and its
operations are more focused on the corporate and SME sectors.
bank plays a major role in facilitating trade between the United
States and Sri Lanka and has played a pivotal role in facilitating
the exports of garments from the country.
the years, the bank has proven itself a global leader in domestic
and cross-border transactions for the world's top investors,
intermediaries and issuers.
key strength of Citigroup is its corporate finance area, where the
bank has financed key infrastructure projects in the country and
has also executed many financing transactions for the Sri Lankan
bank intends to expand its footprint in the country in the future
and be a catalyst in integrating the Sri Lankan economy with the
Sri Lanka, the bank aims to adhere to the highest ethical
governance standards across multiple businesses; to provide the
most optical mix of services to customers; and to be the most
trusted financial services institution.
launched its internet cash management system, Citidirect, two
years ago. Citidirect is a web-based system that is utilised by
many multi nationals and large corporates in Sri Lanka.
bank's cash management team provides its customers a superior
service, with flexible, innovative and efficient tailor-made
solutions being the order of the day.
cash management solutions are constantly upgraded to meet the
changing needs of clients and the key difference of Citigroup cash
management services is that solutions are tailor-made to suit
specific customer requirements using a web-based and electronic
bank does not believe in introducing standard products for all
customers, opting to provide solutions to their individual needs
the emphasis being on customer service, value addition and cost,
Citidirect offers a full service gateway to the range of
Citibank's products and services.
principal user interface is through a web-based browser and it
supports a range of file handling techniques for the delivery of
transactions instructions to the bank and the collection of
transaction information and confirmations from the bank.
takes electronic banking services to a new level using internet
technology and enhanced security and is a sophisticated,
user-centered interface that offers customers global access,
uniform client software, enhanced and customised reporting
capabilities and online technical and customers services support.
sets new standard in motor insurance
Insurance Co., Ltd., is the first insurance provider to offer its
policy-holders an automatic 15-day extension of all its motor
policies, to protect them against all third party risks, if the
policies are not renewed on time.
new scheme, sets a new standard in the motor industry, and is
indicative of the company's new direction and dedication towards
providing more and more benefits to its customers at no additional
automatic 15-day cover was launched on the basis that most people
forget to renew their motor insurance on time," said AGM -
Sales and Marketing, Ravi Liyanage. "Now our policy holders
can depend on automatic third party coverage for more than two
weeks, after the expiry of the policy."
the most comprehensive motor policy in Sri Lanka Janaratha Full
Option also includes a unique toll free customer care center,
which any customer may utilise 24 hours of the day for any
problems relating to loss or damage of motor vehicles. The call
center can arrange solutions from on-site assessment to towing
services, he added. In case of an on-site assessment a police
report is not insisted upon for settlement of an 'own damage'
was launched in September 1994 as the first specialised life
insurance company in Sri Lanka. Following a merger with its
non-life associate Janashakthi General and the 2001 acquisition of
the state giant National Insurance Corporation the company is now
placed at the forefront of the country's insurance industry.
Janashakthi was the first private insurer to open an overseas
branch in the Maldives in 2002, and its ISO 9001-2000
certification is the only such distinction for a life insurer in
Merchant Leasing doubles profit
Merchant Leasing Limited (SMLL), the specialised leasing arm of
Seylan Merchant Bank, has declared a final dividend of 10 per cent
to all shareholders on the back of a creditable fiscal performance
Class A and Class B shareholders of SMLL will be eligible to
receive this dividend the company announced this week. All Class A
shares are held by Seylan Merchant Bank, while Class B
shareholders are those who participated in a public unquoted share
issue in November 2000.
has reported a net profit of Rs. 25.03 million for the year ended
December 31, 2003, almost double the profit recorded in 2002.
net income of the company increased from Rs. 36.17 million in 2002
to Rs. 53.90 million last year, representing an increase of 49 per
cent. Interest income increased 48.74 per cent from Rs. 32.17
million in 2002 to Rs. 47.85 million in 2003.
has improved its profits in each full year of operation. It also
increased the size of its leasing portfolio in 2003, enabling the
asset base to reach Rs.326 million at the end of the year in
comparison to an asset base of Rs.208.6 million at end 2002. This
was a growth of 56 per cent.
funds improved from Rs. 91.50 million as at December 31, 2002 to
Rs. 131.83 million as at December 31, 2003.
Managing Director Rohan Senanayake said: "We strongly believe
that innovation is key in terms of our achieving a distinctive
brand in the competitive market we face, and we have been
successful over the years in terms of creating innovative products
and services that provide substantial added value to
said SMLL is focusing on increasing growth and opened branches in
Mount Lavinia, Matugama and Matara, in order to increase business
Merchant Leasing was incorporated in July 2000, and commenced
operations in August 2000. Its mission is to develop and market a
diverse range of value-added leasing products. The company
declared a pre-tax profit of Rs. 25.20 million for the 2003
launches 'thumb' banking using SMS technology
the introduction of its SMS banking facility, Pan Asia Banking
Corporation Limited (PABC Bank) has brought its services to the
fingertips of its customers.
speedier service, convenience, a host of functions and low costs
involved, SMS banking is setting newer standards keeping with
PABC's vision to be the most customer preferred bank in Sri Lanka,
and the bank has invested a lot of money on enhancing its services
with innovative technology.
Rs. 25 million has been spent on hardware alone in order to boost
its processing power and the bank has further upgraded its core
banking system to offer customers more functionality in terms of
to Head, Information Technology, PABC, Sujeewa Dissanayake,
looking at the service factor, customers are demanding more
services now and being able to provide these services is a central
factor for organisations to be more successful.
said in order to do this and provide innovative, secure and
speedier services, investing more in Information Technology (IT)
customers are not confining themselves to the brick and mortar
system; they are demanding mobility in banking. With our SMS
banking facility, we have enabled 'thumb' banking - customers can
do their banking functions, using SMS technology,"
2002, the bank introduced ATMs to all its branches, enabling 24
hour, 365 day access. SMS banking also offers the same facility,
enabling customers to do their banking transactions at their
convenience and leisure.
customers usually spend a fair amount of time and money when doing
their banking activities under the brick and mortar system, with
SMS banking, they are able to save both: an SMS banking
transaction costs only Rs. 2 and the customer is saved the hassle
and cost of traveling and time as well.
banking also has a host of advantages in comparison to traditional
phone banking. With SMS banking, no longer does one have to stay
on the phone for information while the phone bill adds up.
example, paying an utility bill will cost only Rs. 2. Banking
functions such as inquiries (account balance, mini statements),
fund transfers (between own and other PABC accounts, credit card
settlements) , requests (cheque related services and account
alerts) and PIN
change etc. are some of the key features that are being offered
through our SMS banking," explained Dissanayake.
with the speed in which mobile technology is improving, things can
only get better. "The world is fast moving into mobile
technology and in time to come, mobiles will be able to perform
many more functions," Dissanayake said.
bank has also adopted a proactive approach when it comes to
account balances, opting to alert customers of their account
balances with an SMS without waiting until the customer requests
the information, thereby keeping customers updated on any account
changes at all times.
the second phase of operations, PABC also plans to link up with
most of the mobile operators, ensuring wider accessibility and
coverage for customers.
even have a 24 hour hotline number to report all concerns and
suggestions and PABC is taking every step to enhance productivity
and service levels
believe our customers come first, and the profit follows. The bank
is staging its development and is in the process of developing
more functions and features in order to provide an even more
superior service to our customers under the 'e-wave'
strategy," Dissanayake further said.
has bounced back as a competitor in the banking sector. Having
commenced operations in 1995, the bank is now in its ninth year of
operation and has 18 branches to date - of which all are online,
with most of them having ATM facilities as well - with hopes of
increasing the number of branches to 22 in the year to come.