on Transmec proposal
National Procurement Agency (NPA) is currently evaluating a proposal
by Transmec Holdings Pte. Ltd. to build the Econo Rail in Sri Lanka
utilising the undercarriages that are not being used by the Railways
proposal has been submitted to the NPA and engineers from the
Railways Department are also part of the committee that is
considering this proposal," General Manager, Railways
Department, Priyal De Silva told The Sunday Leader.
Holdings submitted the proposal to the government nine months ago in
order to develop the transport industry and says it is able to offer
the Econo Rail to the Railways Department at a much lower price than
that of the imported train.
imported train costs Rs. 300 million but we are able to offer it at
Rs. 45 million. There is a huge disparity in prices. We started the
Econo Rail in order to serve the public due to the sorry state of
the public transport. We have the engineering background, technology
and know-how to manufacture this train and we want to work with the
Railways Department in order to do this," Director, Transmec
Holdings, C.P. Guhashanka told The Sunday Leader.
said the company has requested the Railways Department to give them
the undercarriages that are not being utilised and go as scrap which
are much more valuable in order to reconstruct and refurbish them,
after which the company would build, test and hand over the Econo
Rail to the Railways Department.
to Guhashanka, in Sri Lanka, any component of a train that is needed
has to be imported.
local agent supplies all the parts and gets a percentage. If all
these items are being bought from private companies, why doesn't the
Railways Department join with a private company and manufacture its
own train?" he questioned.
also asserted the Econo Rail is not a profit-oriented operation.
are looking at the development of the country, but we are disgusted
with the response. Elsewhere government subsidies and support would
be forthcoming but in Sri Lanka this is not happening," he
Railways Department also plans to implement a project for which the
government has provided funds where 50 undercarriages that are not
being used will be rehabilitated.
rehabilitate one carriage, it will cost Rs. 2.5 million. Buying one
would cost Rs. 22 million. Rehabilitating these carriages would cost
only 10% of buying new ones. Through this project the undercarriages
would be used instead of being discarded," said De Silva.
posts impressive results for 3Q, 2004
interim results of John Keells Holdings Limited (JKH) for the nine
months ended December 31, 2004 were released on Friday (28).
group recorded a 18 percent increase in group revenues from Rs.
14.92 billion to Rs. 17.67 billion, a 33 percent increase in profit
before exceptional items from Rs. 1.99 billion to Rs. 2.64 billion
and a 74 percent increase in profit attributable to shareholders
from Rs 1.03 billion to Rs 1.79 billion.
was despite tax rates increasing from 13.67 percent 18.35 percent
mainly as a result of inflation in tax set offs and imposition of
the Economic Service Charge.
the tsunami affected the group's leisure, financial services and
food and beverage sectors, the properties were well covered by
insurance and all hotels under repair are to be fully operational by
end July this year, with the exception of Beach Hotel Bayroo.
SAP based enterprise resource planning was fully implemented and the
HR initiatives aimed at making JKH "more than just a
workplace" are nearing completion. The group continues to
pursue internal efficiency with renewed vigor in its effort to be a
world-class organisation. The construction of 'The Monarch'
commenced on schedule and JKH also established a Tsunami Relief
of December 26 marred what otherwise would have been an excellent
year for the group. Amidst the setbacks to the national economy and
significant impacts to our own operations, we are confident that the
Sri Lankan spirit will ultimately prevail and that the foundations
that we have created internally will stand in good stead when
meeting challenges posed by the external environment," said
Chairman, JKH, Vivendra Lintotawela.
in the dark over withdrawal of flour subsidy
the announcement by the government last week of plans to withdraw
the flour subsidy by March 1, Prima Ceylon Ltd. has voiced its
disapproval of the government's failure to inform the company in
from Prima Ceylon Ltd. told The Sunday Leader they were unaware of
such a decision and claimed if the decision were to be implemented,
flour prices were likely to increase.
knew about the withdrawal through the media as the government has
not informed the company to date. If this decision is implemented,
in order to cover up the subsidy, flour prices are likely to
increase by Rs. 7.50," a company official said.
Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, Jeyaraj Fernadopulle told The
Sunday Leader the government had informed the company soon after the
decision. "Everyone has been informed and Prima has in fact
made a request to the Consumer Affairs Authority to fix the prices
on flour after the withdrawal," Minister Fernandopulle said.
questioned if bread prices would increase after the subsidy
withdrawal, Minister Fernandopulle said he was not aware of whether
prices would increase but added the government would continue to
supply flour at Rs. 24 and Rs. 25 and that retail prices would
continue at Rs. 27.
President, Bakers Association, Parakrama Dassanayaka told The Sunday
Leader bread prices were likely to increase by Rs. 1.50 or Rs. 2.
However, he said this was due to the increase in the cumulative cost
of flour last year and not the withdrawal of the flour subsidy.
bakers purchase the imported flour which is sold from Rs. 24 to Rs.
26. This flour is freely available in the market. Therefore bread
prices will not increase by a large margin," he said.
boost for tourism
a bid to boost the tourism industry following the devastating
tsunami, the government has invited 200 international journalists to
visit the country by March.
tourism industry, which was one of the worst hit industries by the
tsunami, faced severe setbacks due to international media reports
claiming the country was unsafe for travel and leisure purposes due
to the spread of diseases. Fifty journalists have already arrived in
the country following the December 26 devastation and the government
is expecting 150 journalists in the country by March.
tourism industry is expected to improve in the next three to four
months and in order to inform the international community that the
country is safe, the government has implemented a programme to
invite foreign journalists," Director General, Sri Lanka
Tourist Board (SLTB), S. Kalaiselvam told The Sunday Leader.
industry recorded a drop of 23.5% in the number of tourist arrivals
in the country in January this year compared to January 2004. The
overall number of tourist arrivals in January this year is 38,187 to
last year's 49,950.
to the SLTB, the total number of tourist arrivals in the country
last year was 566,202. However, due to the tsunami, tourist arrivals
are targeted at 450,000 this year.
the tsunami, air traffic had also faced a severe setback due to the
low number of tourist arrivals in the country.
to an official from Sri Lankan Airlines, cabin factor was recorded
in the average high 80s before the tsunami but it had dropped by 10%
soon after the devastation. However, the official added that cabin
factor had increased by 5% this month.
post-tax profit tops Rs. 1 bn
Hayleys Group has achieved a milestone Rs. 1.3 bn in profit after
tax for the nine months ending December 31, 2004, with improved
contributions from several key sectors of business.
results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange last week, the blue
chip conglomerate reported strong growth in turnover and pre and
post tax profits at the end of the third quarter. In a statement
issued simultaneously to media, Hayleys said it expects strong
performance for the year, despite the appreciation of the rupee
against the US dollar in the final quarter.
of the period under review include: a turnover growth of 25 per cent
to Rs. 13.9 bn; pre-tax profit up 57 per cent to Rs. 1.3bn; profit
after tax up Rs. 472 mn, a
growth of 70 per cent and profit attributable to shareholders up 56
per cent to Rs. 573 mn.
Chairman, Rajan Yatawara said these figures are consistent with the
performance for the first three quarters of the year and reflect
particularly significant growth in the rubber, transportation,
inland marketing and plantations sectors.
Bank support for Sri Lanka
Lanka received a boost last week when the World Bank announced a
total US$ 150 million in financial support for the country's
reconstruction and recovery programme. The US$ 75 million emergency
credit / grant approved is in addition to the US$75 million made
available earlier this month as an immediate response to the
tragedy. Total financing needs for Sri Lanka's recovery and
reconstruction are estimated to be approximately US$1.5 to 1.6
billion, according to a damage and needs assessment released earlier
this month by the World Bank in partnership with the Asian
Development Bank and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
provides support services
and its international distributors are providing support in response
to the recent Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami disaster. ESRI is
working with government agencies and disaster relief organisations
to provide geographic information system resources including
software, spatial data warehousing and management, Web hosting,
emergency response GIS applications, and more. "We are humbled
by the amazing contributions our users are making to the immediate
global response to the tsunami disaster," says President, ESRI,
Alliance records highest premium
Alliance has produced Rs. 58.32 million in annualised premium in
1,541 policies at an average premium per policy of Rs. 37,000 in
January this year - the highest in the industry. The Negombo
regional office has performed best with Kurunegala and Colombo
earning the second and third place respectively. The company has a
network of only eight regional branch offices with a total sales
force of 500 sales advisors.
Cup' open for registration
is calling all students with a passion for creativity and technology
to join its third annual 'Imagine Cup' which is now open for
registration until March 15, 2005. 'Imagine Cup' is a global student
technology competition conducted by Microsoft Corp. 'Imagine Cup'
2005 has a prize fund of US$ 215,000 and five additional competition
categories to reflect a broader range of professional applications.
takes business delegation to China
American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Sri Lanka will be
participating in the spring meeting of the Asia Pacific Council of
American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) next month. The AMCHAM
delegation will be led by the Chamber's Executive Director, Maria
Rajanayagam who says, "The delegates who will be joining would
never get this type of opportunity in that the programme is a
perfect blend of meetings, networking and experiences of the
province's development and growth." The visit will offer an
excellent opportunity for business leaders in Sri Lanka to further
establish relations with American business in the region as well as
create trade relationships with key business and government
officials in China.
head at HP
board of directors of Hewlett-Packard Company announced that
Carleton S. Fiorina has stepped down as chairman and chief executive
officer and Robert P. Wayman, HP's chief financial officer, has been
named chief executive officer on an interim basis and appointed to
the board of directors. Patricia C. Dunn, an HP director since 1998,
has been named non executive chairman of the board, also effective
immediately. The board will begin a search for a new CEO
ties up with DTDC
Logistics Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. through its fully owned subsidiary DRH
Courier Express Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. is venturing in to a partnership
with India's largest locally owned courier company DTDC
(Desk-to-Desk Courier). Currently, DTDC boast of 4,200 officers
spread throughout India manned by 18,700 franchise employees, and
handles over 300,000 packages per day throughout India. Due to this
new partnership customers in Sri Lanka will be offered the best yet
cost effective and value added service.
Insurance now the leader in insurance
or small Ceylinco protects them all." Hitherto, this was the
slogan that Ceylinco Insurance was known by. Now, Ceylinco is the
leader in the industry.
week, Ceylinco Insurance Co. Ltd formally claimed market leadership
in Sri Lanka's competitive insurance business, ending four years of
dominance by the once state-owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation
at press conference to announce the change, Ceylinco Consolidated
Chairman, Deshamanya Dr.Lalith Kotelawala said that both Life and
General Insurance Divisions of the company had emerged as market
leaders in their respective segments in terms of total premium
income in 2004, making Ceylinco Insurance the undisputed No: 1
insurer in the country.
my uncle was involved in politics, my father, Senator Justin
Kotelawala was involved in economic freedom. Ceylon Insurance was
the first insurance company formed in 1938. Ceylinco Insurance
Co.Ltd, was the successor to Ceylon Insurance Co: Ltd, and Ceylinco
House, the first high-rise was completed in 1961. Ceylinco
Consolidated now has 20 companies," mentioned Kotelawala.
is most significant about this achievement is that Ceylinco
Insurance's portfolio has been built up over 17 years and has
surpassed the cumulative business built up over 40 years, with state
patronage during most of that time, by Sri Lanka Insurance,"
Life Chief Executive Director, R.Renganathan said that the company
had emerged as the industry-wide leader in new life business two
years ago after maintaining leadership among the private sector life
insurers for a decade.
Executive Director (General) Ajith Gunawardena said that Ceylinco
Insurance had made huge strides in the field of motor insurance in
particular in 2004. "Ceylinco VIP has become the most sought
after brand of motor insurance in Sri Lanka today, because of the
convenience it offers motorists."
Awards 2005 focusing on the future
SLIM Awards is by far the most glamorous event held in a calendar
year which is organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing.
The big event for 2005 is scheduled to be held on March 5 at
the Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Centre for the 16th
consecutive year with the theme 'Focusing on the future.'
Approximately 75% of this year's net proceeds would be channeled to
build a better Sri Lanka.
have completed the official judging for both the Main Advertising
and Integrated Marketing Communication categories which are the two
main areas" said
Chairman, SLIM Awards 2005, Jagath Gamanayake.
President, Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing and Head of Marketing,
Lanka Orix Leasing Co., Rienzie Martinesz headed the panel of judges
main advertising category panel 2005 comprised of Varuni Amunugama
(joint MD, Triad Advertising), Ranil de Silva (MD, Leo Burnett),
Chandani Rajaratnam (ECD, JWT),
Nilantha Bastian (Head of Sales, HSBC), and Imal Fonseka (DGM-
the Integrated Marketing Communication category, Sandya Salgado
(CEO, Ogilvy Outreach), Paddy
Weerasekara (GM, 141 Bates Asia), Ameer Ahamed (MD, Art Box
Advertising), Wisal Wickramaratne (Director/GM, Watawala
Plantations), Rathika de Silva (CSR and Communication Manager,
Holcim) and Fazla Rusli of Indonesia served as an international judge for
have judged entries from 23 agencies under 14 categories, namely
food, beverages, personal care, household care, automotive,
entertainment and leisure, information communication technology,
office automation/business education and support services,
agricultural/building/constructional/industrial equipments, banking
and financial services, investments/insurance and real estate,
corporate social responsibility/public services, retail and
corporate image under main advertising and nine categories namely,
packaging and designing, consumer trade promotions, interactive
media, transnational advertising, outdoor, public relations
(external/internal), point of sales material,
event marketing and sponsorship under Integrated Marketing
culmination of the evening will be the awards for the Print
Advertisement of the Year, Radio Commercial of the Year, TV
Commercial of the Year and the highest of all accolades, for the
Best Campaign of the
Year for creations during 2004.
last year, SLIM Awards 2005, in addition to advertising
professionals, will also award marketers in
recognition of the role they play today in marketing and
communications. Therefore, SLIM Awards is not only for the
advertising fraternity but also for marketers.
City, the largest single mixed development project to soar in the
Colombo skyline, begins piling work today (27) . Singapore Piling
& Civil Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, a Singapore based company with
construction works for many prestigious projects internationally and
in Sri Lanka under its belt, was appointed as piling contractors
following a competitive tender by six local and international
contractors. The project promises to transform the landscape in the
area, which was earlier the Wellawatte Spinning & Weaving Mills
project will showcase its world-class features as an internationally
acclaimed team of designers and consultants come together to provide
their expertise on the development of the project. East China
Architectural Design & Research Institute Co. Ltd. (ECADI) is
the design consultant while Design Group Five International (Pvt)
Ltd of Sri Lanka is the local architect and consultant. The
project's unique eco-friendly landscaping will be designed by Design
Group Five with Laki Senanayake and Shiranee Balasuriya.
City, the largest real estate development project in the country, is
designed to have 1,080 apartments, a 300 room hotel, 200 serviced
apartments and a shopping mall with a variety of shops, a department
store, cineplex, super market, international food court, cafes etc.
The project will add 3.2 million square feet of commercial
and residential space to Colombo.
City is being developed by Mireka Capital Land (Pvt) Ltd as a joint
venture between the Shing Kwan Group, real estate specialists based in Singapore and
Sri Lanka's premier bank, the Bank of Ceylon. Shing Kwan Management
Ltd, a member of the Shing Kwan Group, has been appointed the
development manager for the project. The Shing Kwan Group is the
major shareholder of Overseas Realty (Ceylon) Limited, the manager
and substantial owner of the World Trade Center, Colombo.
tender for the superstructure of the first two residential blocks
will be awarded by April 2005 and completion of these blocks is
expected in 2007.
For All" to help disabled tsunami victims
tsunami has left a wake of devastation hard to comprehend even
almost two months after its arrival. Relief and rehabilitation
operations have taken an immense effort to cater to the diverse
needs of the people affected but there are still community groups
vastly unseen in the relief efforts and unaccounted for in the
rebuilding and reconstruction process. Persons with disabilities are
one such group.
"Access For All" campaign to help people with disabilities
affected by the tsunami, is spearheaded by a consortium of
disability organisations comprising of the Disability Organisations
Joint Front, Motivation, The Spinal Injuries Association,
Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) Handicap
International, Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM) and John Grooms. The
campaign is promoting the inclusion of disabled people in all
relief, reconstruction and development programmes taking place in
the wake of the tsunami.
tsunami has affected people with disabilities in a number of ways.
The loss of loved ones on whom they depended on for support, the
loss of assistive devices etc., have left them traumatised. Though a
lot of aid has flown in, the rebuilding plans have not reached the
PWD's (People affected with disabilities). Some of the problems
faced by Access For All is the lack of proper information, lack of
awareness-results in treating affected people as a homogenous group
and of course the lack of accessibility.
needs to be done is that PWD's should be included in society.
was decided at a special press conference held at the Galle Face
Hotel that the following needs be made available to the disabled.
Transportation services, office complexes, schools, hospitals,
housing services, housing schemes and places of worship.
methods suggested were "increased employment and livelihood
opportunities through economic recovery packages and ensure
education for children with disabilities."
any crisis, disabled people tend to feel the negative impacts of the
crisis more than any other. It is reported that there are more than
16,000 survivors with injuries. Persons with disabilities are a
resource which has not been harnessed due to stereotype thinking. It
is time to break away from the shackles and start thinking and
Diriya Open to
"all exporters" - EDB Chief
Sri Lanka government budget proposal of developing the export sector
got another boost with Dahas Diriya, the Rs. 1000 million export
incentive scheme which will now be opened to all exporters except:
Black tea in bulk, natural rubber, coconut oil, copra, fresh
coconuts and quartz;
Free size gemstones, diamonds, petroleum products, mineral
sands, graphite and all types of scrap materials;
Any other product/service as decided by the SLEDB.
decision was taken by the CORE decision makers of the EDB, National
Council for Economic Development and Ministry of Finance given that in 2004 there was a 18%
increase in exports to Rs. 564 billion and the representations made
by key exporters.
new scheme whilst assisting the small and medium scale enterprises
will drive exports by 3.5 billion.
With the step up initiative to cover all exporters, we are
aiming for a 20% growth in 2005 which will cross the Rs. 600 billion
assist us by duly perfecting the application form so that we can
release the funds within three weeks," said Chairman, EDB,
Lanka is rated 72 in 104 countries in the 'Global Ratings for
Competitiveness.' The EDB and National Council for Economic
Development (NCED) is working hard to improve the Sri Lanka rating
in the next few years with targeted investment being done by each
exporter with the Dahas Diriya Scheme.
EDB will process applications and computerise same so that within
three weeks an applicant can receive the funds as per scheme. All
funds will be channeled through
commercial banks. Applications could be collected from the
Dahas Diriya Counter at the EDB head office on any working day.
TV launches new network
Television Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the only pay television operator in the
island that offers Direct-To-Home (DTH) entertainment, has launched
a new network that operates via a mini dish antenna.
TV, a venture of ZEE group of companies in India, offers 80 channels
that cover entertainment, news and infotainment, music and
lifestyle, sports and children's programming and religion.
network, which includes English, Tamil, Hindi and French channels,
can be accessed using the mini dish antenna even in the most
remotest areas islandwide including Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa
Director, Star TV Lanka, Lakshman Hulugalle, speaking three months
after the launch of Dish TV told The Sunday Leader that the new
service offers quality digital entertainment at a very affordable
rate. The mini dish antenna used to receive Dish TV is one and a
half feet wide and can be fitted using brackets on the wall or just
placed by the window.
TV Lanka already offers 15 digital channels from Star Hong Kong,
part of media magnate Rupert Murdock's TV network, also using the
DTH facility but with a larger six foot dish antenna.
was targeted mainly to the upper market clients so the cost is
fairly high whereas dish TV is nearly half that rate and also
operates in digital stereo," says Hulugalle.
says while Dish TV offers channels including Zee TV, Zee Cinema ,
Zee Music, DD package, ETV package, Sun TV, ARY, Trace, Reality TV,
BBC, NDTV, Fashion TV and ABC Asia Pacific his company has decided
to offer Star Sports and ESPN to the customers as an added benefit.
who can't afford to get Star TV which offers among others Star
Sports and ESPN for around Rs. 38,500 can now get the two premier
sports channels for less than half that rate via Dish TV for
Rs.17,500" he said.
noted that Dish TV hopes to increase its channels to around 100 in a
few months time.
also offers inbuilt video games to keep the children occupied at any
time while there is a parental locking system on both Star TV and
Dish TV to ensure the kids cannot access channels deemed unsuitable
by the parents.
also noted that the content on both networks are Indian oriented and
as such it matches our society and culture and not the West, erasing
the fear of visually unsuitable images being screened.
Lanka has an islandwide agent base offering both Star and Dish TV
including in Jaffna while it is virtually maintenance free, as it
operates direct via satellite.
Sri Lankan companies will soon have the opportunity to advertise
over Star Sports and ESPN at an affordable rate.
these channels cover more the 50 countries the advertising cost is
naturally high and cannot be met by local companies. But I have had
consultations with ESPN Star Sports and have reached an agreement
where local companies can advertise via Star TV Lanka giving them
global recognition at a reasonable cost" said a very happy
Hulugalle urged the government to offer concessions on the taxes
imposed on pay TV companies when importing equipment, including dish
antennas to help reduce the market cost and make it more affordable
to every household.
noted that pay TV is not just entertainment but offers quality
education as well which should be encouraged by the government.
also cautioned customers who may be coaxed into purchasing illegal
Dish TV connections saying the local company keeps track of the
customer base and can disconnect illegal users with a click of a
airlines making air travel affordable
the Asia Pacific region from mighty India through Malaysia,
Singapore and even tiny Sri Lanka, budget, low-cost
"no-frills" airlines are changing the face of tourism in
the region. Both, corporate and leisure travellers eagerly await the
growth and success of airlines such as Value Air, Freedom Air,
One-Two-Go, Virgin Blue, Tiger Airlines and Sri Lanka's own upstart,
HolidayAir Airways - not to mention India's Air Deccan.
as many years as anyone in Hong Kong can remember, the return fare
between Hong Kong and Bangkok was around USD 250. Low-costs carriers
are now offering that route for as little as a tenth of the price.
With the journey taking just about two hours, passengers don't worry
about the food, drink and movie on board. All they are paying for is
a seat on a plane from A
to B. In exchange for a no-frills service on board as well as on the
ground, low-cost airlines provide substantial savings on the prices
of regular airlines.
case in point is the newly opened up route of Colombo to South
Indian hub, Chennai. At the launch of that route, the fare being
charged by SriLankan Airlines was in the region of USD 210 for a
journey of approximately one hour's duration. With the arrival of
competition on the route, from JetAir and Air Sahara (not in
themselves low-cost carriers) the fare has more than halved.
Arjun Ruzaik, the founder of Sri Lanka's HolidayAir Airways,
"Competition never hurt anybody - it really empowers customers
with more choice". With a price differential of some 50 per
cent cheaper, the traveller soon realises that a saving of USD 100
on the route can more than pay for any drinks and food he buys on
low-cost concept does not mean that you have to load your own bags
on board though; there are a number of cost saving exercises
employed by low-cost carriers. For example, re-usable boarding
passes, in-flight sales of everything from water to a meal to beers
and spirits and newspapers too, fast turnaround times and the
convenience of booking and paying on-line.
depends on the support given such carriers by airport authorities
throughout the Asia Pacific region. High landing, navigation and
handling charges stifle the ability of budget airlines to stick to
their premise of low prices.
and naturally enough the established or 'traditional' carriers tend
to be vociferous in their opposition of the low-cost operation.
Major traditional carriers claim that a low-cost airline takes away
business from their high-cost, pricey operation.
airlines are equally adamant that is simply not true: claiming that
they only attract a very small number of passengers away from the
traditionals over a period. Budget airlines champion the cause of
the traveller and justifiably claim that they create a new brand of
traveller; one who has been put off travelling by air due to the
industry has also attracted plenty of investment: the flamboyant
Indian entrepreneur, Vijay Malia, known as India's liquor baron (he
owns the successful Kingfisher beer operation) has set up a budget
airline called Kingfisher which is set to make its inaugural flight
in May this year. The founder of AirAsia, Tony Fernandez had a most
successful IPO, raising some USD 300 Million on the Malaysian stock
exchange to fund an 80-aircraft acquisition programme.
impact on tourism is enormous. Investors in the fledgling aviation
industry in Sri Lanka, have watched as the number of arrivals from
its mighty neighbour, India, jump nearly 4-fold in 2 years; the
possibilities of tapping that market out of Colombo and capitalizing
on the potential has seen a keen interest in establishing a low-cost
operation out of Sri Lanka - precisely what Arjun Ruzaik and
HolidayAir Airways have envisaged.
across the Asia Pacific region are actively encouraging the
industry: the Indian government recently announced an end to the
protectionist policies that helped the national carriers, Indian
Airlines and Air India. Shortly, private airlines in India, like
JetAir and Air Sahara, will be able to fly to the British hubs of
Gatwick and Heathrow. In Sri Lanka, similar protection previously
afforded SriLankan Airlines has not been extended, with the present
administration committed to encouraging lateral growth of the
likes of Tony Fernandes are eloquent supporters of their cause: to
fly more and more and carry millions of passengers from point to
point - as cheaply as possible. Never one to miss the opportunity of
gathering column inches, Tony Fernandes is fast becoming the Asia
Pacific answer to Richard Branson. Not afraid to speak his mind, he
recently launched a scathing attack on what he perceives is the
Singapore Airport Authority's protectionist attitude when it failed
to licence on time a Fernandes-related carrier called, Awair.
it or not, national and traditional carriers are having to face up
to this inalienable fact: budget airlines are here to stay -
strictly for better. They may well be, as a source at SriLankan
Airlines recently put it, "unwilling partners" but if
growth within the aviation industry in particular and national
economies in general is to be sustained, they'll simply have to
endure or join in the world's fastest growing band wagon: budget
Grill unveils new menu
Galadari Hotel unveiled
its new menu at its fine dining restaurant the California Grill
Rooftop Restaurant on February 23.
a reputation that cannot be matched for its super steaks and sea
food, The California Grill which caters to a cross section of
patrons from Sri Lanka to foreign business travellers to airline
crews, for which the Galadari Hotel is the resident hotel in Colombo
for five major airlines, will further meet their clienteles' needs
as creative dancing Chef Anushan Perera has created a menu for every
new menu features hot and cold appetizers, salads, soups and vast
range of main courses from seafood, poultry, meat dishes including
the firm favourites, seafood grill and prim rib and of course a
fabulous selection of hot and cold desserts from flambe's to crepes.
new menu also focuses on the vegetarians as each section of the menu
offers vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes.
private beverage lounge, or the cozy bar will be the ideal venue for
pre-dinner cocktails and mocktails created by the barman. With a
wide range of exclusive wines selected to complement each meal, the
extensive menu most importantly adds value for money.
music at the California Grill is one of the best in town which
offers dance music on Friday and Saturday.
Francis will keep you entertained on violin on Mondays and Tuesdays,
while melodious piano music by Paul Pereira on Sunday, Wednesday and
Thursday and Ernest Francis Combo on Fridays and Saturdays.
restaurant which opens for dinner also offers the most elegant
ambience. It overlooks the Galle Face Green with a magnificent view
of the ocean and uses colour creative in its linen. The friendly
staff ensures diners the best in service.
first by Mount Lavinia Hotel
Lavinia Hotel which was the first hotel to have an air conditioned
bar in Sri Lanka, the first with a night club, the first with an
airline crew, etc. was also the first hotel in Sri Lanka to receive
HACCP certification in
December 2004. Chairman, Sri Lanka Standards Institution, Armyne
Wirasinha handed over
the HACCP certificate to Director/General Manager, Mount Lavinia
Hotel, Bazeer Cassim.
the presentation ceremony Wirasinha said: "Mount Lavinia Hotel
being a historically famous hotel in Sri Lanka with international
recognition as an outstanding institution has set an example to
other organisations in the country by achieving this certificate
which guarantees the highest standard of quality and the safety of
food served to customers."
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a logical
scientific system that assures safety in food processing and
preparations. The introduction of HACCP has signalled a shift in
emphasis from resource intensive product inspection and testing to
preventive control of hazards at all stages of the food chain.
award of this certificate by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLS)
to Mount Lavinia Hotel is a commendable achievement realised through
the cooperation and commitment of two leading organisations in the
country working together towards the promotion of quality and
efficiency in every sphere of service.
Resort & Spa "Highly Commended" by
Resort & Spa, located on the south west coast of Sri Lanka, has
certainly done the industry and Sri Lanka proud by being recently
awarded a "High Commendation" award by SAGA Holiday, UK.
the award states, this is a true reflection of the Saga customers'
satisfaction with the quality of accommodation and consistently high
standards of service.
is yet another feather in the cap for Confifi Group Hotels
Manager and Project Director for the Resort, Tilak Selviah stated,
"to receive this award is an honour, but to receive it when
we've been re-opened less than a year is outstanding. This is a
testament to the quality of our workforce, the efforts of our team,
the foresight of our owners and the hospitality philosophy of our
management company, Confifi Management Services."
its many achievements, the Eden Resort & Spa has over the years
has been awarded by Saga Holidays with the "Top 10 Hotels"
Award in 2000 and 2003, and "Good Food" Award in 2000.
for the property continues to soar as it proudly shows off its
startling refurbishment and redesign, leaving local visitors and
travellers from afar equally astounded by the metamorphosis and
ingenuity of the redesign that has taken place.
$ 2.0 million refurbishment budget included the introduction of a
new deluxe room category - Paradise Rooms and Suites that
incorporates a four poster bed, timber flooring, espresso machine,
tea and coffee making facilities, butler service, choice of pillows
from an extensive pillow menu, choice of room fragrances and many
more facilities and amenities to leave one feeling completely
more details visit the website on www.edenresortandspa.com
Renuka says namaste to traditional Indian cuisine
city of Colombo said 'namaste' to a brand new restaurant last week,
when Hotel Renuka opened the doors to its authentic north Indian
cuisine dining facility. Named for the traditional Indian greeting 'Namaste'
meaning 'welcome' the new restaurant brings a whole new flavour to
Indian cuisine in Sri Lanka, with the promise of quality from the
same hoteliers that have so successfully operated the popular Sri
Lankan restaurant Palmyriah for more than 20 years already.
Wednesday (23) Namaste opened for business, serving up exclusively
north Indian fare prepared by Chef Ijaz Azwer, who hails from
Jharkhand, India. Azwer's dishes promise to tantalise and tease even
the most discerning palate, having worked previously at a five star
hotel in Chennai for many years before taking up his position at
Hotel Renuka in Colombo.
decided to open Namaste because of the demand we were having from
Indian in-house guests for an authentic Indian restaurant right
inside the hotel," says General Manager, Renuka Hotels Ltd,
Shibani Thambiayah, who took up her position only in August last
year. According to Thambiayah, they expect their loyal Palmyrah
customers to be equally enthused by this latest dining option
available at Hotel Renuka and venture in to get a taste of Azwer's
truly Indian fare.
cuisine on offer at Namaste has already been put to the test and
come up for rave reviews, Thambiayah told The Sunday Leader.
"We have been holding sporadic tastings for staff, management
and friends to sample the dishes prepared by our chef and give us
their feedback. I'm happy to say that many of them really seemed to
enjoy the food and of course they gave us some constructive
criticism to work on," the GM said.
to be turned out by the Indian Chef include traditional Moghul and
north Indian fare - Tandoori Chicken and Fish, biriyani and Naan and
paratha - along with several unusual delicacies that include prawn
entrees and staple curries from Goa. Also available are a variety of
'sweet indulgences' a la India - and of course a series of
traditional Indian beverages on the Namaste drinks menu.
is much more we want to do in terms of decor, but we wanted to open
the restaurant as soon as possible and fill in the gaps as we go
along. As it is, we think the food will really get people hooked,
because we have been working on getting down the equipment and
trying out different dishes with Chef Azwer for almost two months
now," said an enthusiastic Thambiayah.
80-seater restaurant is well lit and the interior decor selected
carefully to reflect Moghul and North Indian culture, to give diners
an experience that is truly Indian. Colourful pictures depicting
scenes from India's ancient Moghul empire adorn the walls and
traditional Indian arches and ornaments add suitable ambience to the
restaurant. Namaste bids all city dwellers and visitors to Colombo
alike a warm welcome.
re-elected president, Skal International Colombo
the Annual General Meeting of Skal International Colombo
(Association de Professionels de Tourisme) held at the Golden Pond,
Taj Samudra on February 22, Sega Nagendra was re-elected uncontested
as president for the current year.
the luncheon meeting held after the Annual General Meeting the Guest
Speaker, President, Sri Lanka Medical Association, Prof. A.H.
Sheriffdeen, spoke on his views on "Aftermath of Tsunami."
was a large gathering of representatives from the tourism industry
other office bearers elected were. Vice President: Praveen Nair
(General Manager, Taj Samudra Hotel), Secretary: Zahara Mufti
(Managing Director, Tallman Tours Ltd.), Asst. Secretary:
Chryshantha de Alwis (Director of Sales, Colombo Hilton), Treasurer:
Berty Wickremapala (Managing Director, Araliya Hotels), Public
Relations Officer: Shamali de Vaz (Managing Director, Silverline
Tours (Pvt) Ltd.), Immediate Past President: Jayantha Panabokke
(Managing Director Mahaweli Reach Hotels, Kandy).
- cake combo promo at the Colombo Plaza
a stop at the Colombo Plaza's Coffee Stop will be a refreshing
experience with two special promotions lined up during the month of
March to make those 'breaks' even more enticing.
the health savvy there's a 'Smoothie's Promo' with a range of
smoothies in three flavours; passion fruit, guava and mandarin in a
delightful yogurt and fresh fruit blend. Take your pick for a
healthy start of for a refreshing encounter during the day.
the caffeine addicts, there's a delightful coffee, cake combo deal
that's hard to beat. All you have to do is to buy one of the
delicious caffeine brews and be rewarded with a sumptuous slice of
the featured cake of the day, absolutely free.
two promotions will be on from March 1st to the 31st, so try the
coffee-cake combo or the range of smoothies any time between 7 am to
Time in Malaysia
in the Year of Rooster and showcasing Malaysia as a model
multi-racial nation with appreciation and tolerance for diverse
religious beliefs, Malaysia Airlines together with Express Rail Link
organised ShowTime at the Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal (KL CAT)
and subsequently at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sepang,
commenced at the Malaysia Airlines check-in counters in KL CAT, when
its own multi-racial Lion Dance troupe thrilled members of the
public and outbound passengers with daring stunts accompanied to the
loud beat of traditional Chinese drums.
the MAS Lion Dance troupe held its audience captivated with a
brilliant performance, MAS
staff of Indian descent, attired as Chai Shen Yeh (The Money God)
went around distributing 'gold coins' and oranges to spectators
signifying the showering of good fortune and good omens for the
Asia spices up
Day is over but now the Trans Asia is calling all chilli lovers to
sample their authentic Thai Cuisine At the Royal Thai for busy
executives from Monday to Friday with special lunch set menus at Rs.
could also try out their sauteed whole prawns done with chilli
paste, spicy green mango salad with cashew nuts or you could try
chicken wrapped in Pandanas (Rampe) leaves and green curry chicken.
The Trans Asia is calling all meat eaters and vegetarians to sample
the Thai style fried rice.
the Long Feng the authentic Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine for the
busy executive from Monday to Friday features special lunch set
you are another type of lover i.e. chicken lover there is deep-fried
chicken wings with crispy garlic, wok fried beef fillet with black
pepper and broccolli or deep fried crab with slated eggs and fried
rice shang-dong style with shrimps to name a few.
you are a sweet lover try out their very own ginger ice cream with
offer is not available anywhere else. The d‚cor and the atmosphere
is something to behold and the Long Feng faces the picturesque Beira
Lake with a very peaceful atmosphere and is open from 12 noon to 2
p.m. There is also a buffet dinner on Sundays at the Long Feng.
offers diploma in professional shipping
Ceylon Association of Ships' Agents (CASA) together with its
training partner CINEC Maritime Campus has launched the country's
first professional shipping course to enhance shipping knowledge and
expertise of those who are actively involved in the shipping,
transport and logistics industry in Sri Lanka. The diploma in
professional shipping course also allows new aspirants to enter in
to the global shipping industry right here at home.
few shipping professionals have had the good fortune of following
similar diplomas and other programmes abroad through state
scholarships. Some have had to resort to scarcely available shipping
or transport related courses, which are mostly irrelevant to
applicable job functions in shipping and transport industry in Sri
course therefore opens a window of opportunity to those who are keen
to develop necessary knowledge and skills through a competent
faculty with industry experience in the shortest possible time. The
programme is fixed during weekends to accommodate those who are
employed with the flexibility to change dates, which are commonly
considered more appropriate than others.
diploma is approved by CASA and therefore opens an opportunity for
participants seeking employment to find ready employment and further
career development for those already in the industry.
are exposed to current topics such as marine economics, shipping law
and marine insurance, logistics, chartering, port agency, terminal
operations and cargo handling, fleet management and vessel
operations and general management including financial and management
are expected to submit a project report on a selected subject
related to local shipping and transport industry to qualify for the
award of a diploma. It is expected that the programme will accrue
credits for other professional courses leading to a professional
degree in transport and logistics in the future.
course is expected to commence on Saturday, March 19 and complete
towards the end of the year.
- Amongst the most powerful brands in Sri Lanka
FINANCE, the world's leading independent brand valuation company
together with STING Consultants and LMD ranked LOLC as the 10th
among the most powerful brands in Sri Lanka. This ranking put LOLC
as the most powerful brand in the non banking financial sector,
to the numerous recognitions and awards received by LOLC recently,
LOLC were the proud recipients of two awards at the annual ceremony
to acknowledge corporate reporting at its best.
first was LOLC won the award for the Best Annual Report in the
Leasing Category and another for Good Corporate Governance. The
award for the Best Report from among leasing companies was a repeat
performance of the previous financial year 2002/03. It bears
mentioning these awards were preceded by Merit Certificates in
successive years since 1998.
second was LOLC was also the winner of the prestigious South Asia
Federation of Accountants (SAFA) Award - First Place in the
non-banking financial sector for the financial year 2003/04.
momentous and rewarding year it has been the direct result of LOLC's
adherence to a formula that was a winning mix of accountability,
completeness, credibility and the audit expectations gap. This gave
to rise to what LOLC regards as a five-dimensional 'P-Plan'
convolution: People, Planet, Product, Process and Profit.
detailed definition, 'People' would centre on LOLC's efforts towards
maximising stakeholder value, increasing shareholder wealth,
increased output by employees, an enhanced supply chain management,
social responsibility and community development and the creating of
lasting value to customers through products and services. LOLC also
provides professional development education to over 1000 SMEs
through the LOLC Viyapara Shilpa programme and is a votary of CIMA
and Rotary for vocational and community development.
promoting of renewable energy - a part of a World Bank project in
association with Shell for rural economic development and an
advertising campaign that heralded on-going support for the
eradication of dengue is a demonstration of caring for the 'planet.'
focuses on the marketing of the company's products - the result of
innovation and expertise - totally in line with the LOLC mission:
' to enhance the quality of life of society by providing
value-added financial solutions' which in a phrase, means meeting
the demands of entrepreneurs of any stature.
is a set 'process' that concentrates on exemplary corporate
governance, transparency and most importantly delivering value to
being the reason to be for any business organisation, goes a little
further with LOLC with their regard for shareholder funds. Naturally
profits also encompass return on assets on capital employed and
began as a single company some 25 years ago -
the result of a response by ORIX Corporation of Japan, to the
International Monetary Fund's request and introduced leasing to the
nation. The concept did more than change the business culture and
importantly, it provided the fillip industrial growth needed. Over
the years, the lasting value LOLC brought to our country is not
merely the numerous projects inaugurated with the nation's welfare
at heart, but in being a driving force behind the creation of many
socially responsible organisations that contribute meaningfully
towards improving the quality of life of our people," said Head
of Marketing, LOLC, Rienzie Martinesz.
Trust Bank to build leasing portfolio
Trust Bank (NTB) has launched leasing operations with its new and
innovative product 'Nations Leasing.' The
product is intended to provide a 'most satisfying experience'
with fast and hassle-free processing ensuring a minimum turnaround
down payment options are on offer with financing extended up to 100
per cent on the
purchase value of new passenger vehicles and repayment installments
conveniently spread over 36 to 60 months at very competitive and
affordable interest rates. Attractive schemes are also available for
used vehicles and leasing of items such as machinery etc. will be
assessed on a 'case by case' basis.
Leasing would be mainly targeted at three segments; namely, the
salaried and self employed individuals, SMEs, and corporate
customers . Individual applicants should have been permanent
employees at their present jobs for at least six months, drawing a
minimum monthly remuneration of Rs. 40,000.
should be aged between 18 and 55
years. A maximum of 60 per cent
of the monthly income would be considered for the lease
rental. Those self employed, should have been in business for at
least three years, with a minimum income of Rs.40,000 per month, and
be capable of forwarding documentary evidence such as bank
statements etc., on the same.
electronic delivery channels that the bank possesses in terms of
ATMs, Phonebanking, Internet Banking and SMS Banking will further
facilitate this product as payment of rentals and other information
will be enabled through these channels. This will mean that
customers need not call over at the branch office at which the
leasing agreement was initiated, but could also transact at any
other branch location or through electronic channels instead
innovative structure has been set up where the processing activity
associated with the leases has been outsourced to Mercantile Leasing
Ltd (MLL) whilst the bank will retain ownership of the leased
assets. The valuable industry insights that MLL possesses will
combine with the funding and financial hedging expertise and
resources of NTB to provide customers with a leasing proposition
that is hard to beat.
leasing now included in an impressive suite of financial products
and services delivered 365 days a year, through a conveniently
located network of branches, the reality of 'one-stop' banking has
taken a further step forward.
mission is to persistently and consistently be innovative in
strategy whilst benchmarking excellent customer service standards to
reach the pinnacle in our industry. Nations Leasing is a further
step in that direction," says CEO, Nations Trust Bank, Zulfiqar
Zavahir. "MLL is truly glad to be associated in this venture
thereby generating group synergies which would ultimately yield a
win- win situation for all stakeholders" said MD/CEO, MLL,
leasing forges ahead at Sinhaputhra Finance
leasing has become, in this day and age, a vital part of business
structure. It is no small wonder to see the famous "Larry"
advertisements on TV. "This Larry," he says, "knows
what he is doing." His transport lorries are leased.
has become today an operation of customer convenience in many ways
and especially as a vital component of the transport - public and
goods conveyance - sector.
Sinhaputhra Finance Ltd., Assistant General Manager, IT and Risk,
Pandula Aluwihare also oversees the all-important leasing
far as Sinhaputhra's lease portfolio shows (as at January 31 this
year) the figure amounts to more than Rs 750 million in addition to
a loan portfolio in excess of Rs 500 million and a deposit base
exceeding Rs 1.1 billion - a dramatic rise over an approximate Rs
500 million in year 2004.
demonstrates the ever-increasing demand in leasing facilities.
Aluwihare explains this in the simplest of terms: huge capital
expenditure in the purchase of vehicles, machinery and plant can be
a huge burden; cause a drain on financial resources and actually
subverts the ambitions and plans of a business. With leasing, this
is avoided and only necessitates a more comfortable, staggered
payment of capital and interest. At the same time, the business
capitalises on the items so leased in order to enhance
has mainly concentrated its leasing activities within the rural
sector because it is strongly felt that there is an acute native
intelligence and business acumen among the rural population that
impels them to launch into business activities that enhance their
own social standards. In other words, Sinhaputhra believes in a
rural empathy and in uplifting rural status.
main finance leasing instrument is Sinha Shakthi (strength and
empowerment) and, as Aluwihare says, such leasing transactions have
registered tremendous growth.
the company has in place a stringent provision for loan default and
particularly when lease rentals are not repaid for a period of six
months or over. In this event, the company makes provision to cover
any such loss by a Central Bank requirement that calls for a 50%
provision. However Sinhaputhra makes a 100% provision that ensures
that the company maintains its status quo. In doing so, the
company's profit level could decrease but it still keeps the company
dealing with the rural
sector, Aluwihare spelt out the innate difficulties as well as the
more positive aspects of such dealings. "Normally, prospective
lessees who come to us are unable to deal with the banks because 1)
they may not have bank accounts or income tax files; 2) have had no
previous bank dealings; 3) do not possess the knowledge or expertise
to deal with the many bank procedures and are thus reluctant to
place their signatures on papers or forms they are not fully
conversant with or in other words cannot satisfy any further
requirements laid down by banks."
Sinhaputhra special investigative officers are detailed to make full
inquiries, inspections, conduct interviews and also take into
account what village leaders and officials have to say. They are
also trained to carry out independent assessments. In this way, it
is possible to ascertain the financial standing of the applicant and
his ability to meet his dues. It is when the company has reached a
large degree of reliance that the lessee is both entertained and his
the period April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006, Aluwihare is confident
that, especially with the "Recover Sri Lanka" programme
now in place, leasing will be a lynchpin and increase in leasing
should be well over Rs. 1 billion, in the company's leasing
time, with a growth spiral that is still in trajectory, a large,
fully-contained Finance Leasing Division will function in the new
Sinhaputhra Headquarters Complex to be built. Finance leasing, as a
core-business component of the company, will then operate with the
true professionalism Aluwihare has already set in motion.
Merchant Bank raises Rs. 150 mn for Ceylease
Merchant Bank Limited (PMBL) recently structured and placed asset
backed trust certificates to the value of Rs. 150 mn, on behalf of
Ceylease Financial Services Limited (CFSL). The entire issue was
taken up by Hatton National Bank (HNB), whilst Deutsche Bank AG
acted as the trustee to the issue.
trust certificates are secured by a quality portfolio of leases and
the tenure of these trust certificates range from three months to
four years. The interest rate attached to the trust certificates was
variable and pegged to the AWPLR. Monies raised through this
placement of trust certificates will be utilised to further augment
CFSL's fund base and to pursue its aggressive growth strategy.
is the third asset backed debt issue placed by PMBL for CSSL, having
successfully completed two similar issues to the value of Rs. 100 mn
and 60 mn previously.
has achieved consistent profit growth during the last few years and
they recently obtained a BBB-(sri) national rating, from Fitch
Ratings Lanka Ltd, in respect of its long term, unsecured senior
50% subsidiary of Bank of Ceylon, CFSL's other shareholders include
the Brandix Group and Union Assurance Ltd. A spokesman from PMBL
stated that CFSL's credentials, its recent performance and certain
credit enhancements embedded in the structure of these debentures,
made the risk profile of the trust certificates to be very low.
has featured prominently in debt market transactions, having
structured and placed several securitisations, debenture issues and
loan syndications for its clients. Key shareholders of PMB are
People's Bank, DPMC Financial Services Ltd. and South Bridge Capital
Investments (Sri Lanka) Ltd.
posts mixed results
Bank's non-audited group profit after tax for the nine months of
2004/2005 (current period) was Rs. 863 million, a decrease of 4.6%
from Rs. 905 million in the previous comparable period (April to
current period saw a slight reduction in interest spread compared
with the previous period but the 21% year on year increase in the
credit portfolio resulted in an increase in Net Interest Income.
income grew by 31% in the current period helped by higher divided
income, capital gains on sale of equities and by the recoveries of
advances previously written off for accounting purposes.
a specific provision of Rs. 62 million for tsunami affected loan and
lease exposures, the increase in specific and general provision in
the current period was only Rs. 17 million over the previous
bank posted a 12.4% growth in profit after tax in the current period
from its operations. This was however offset by lower contribution
to profit after tax by Commercial Bank of Ceylon Limited, an
associate company, and the loss incurred by DVB resulting in a
decrease of 4.6% in the profit after tax for the current period for
the group compared to the previous comparable period.
the published profit after tax for nine months to 30 September 2004
of CBC was Rs.1269 million being a 12% increase over the previous
comparable period, under the equity method of accounting adjustments
were made for deferred taxation not fully accounted by CBC (as
permitted for CBC) and the dividends payable by CBC on its
preference shares. These adjustments caused a 8% reduction in the
contribution from CBC for the current period compared to the
previous comparable period.
operating results of DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB) which was acquired by
DFCC in July 2003, continue to improve but it incurred a loss for
the financial year to 31 December 2004, albeit on a much reduced
scale compared to the financial year ended 31 December 2003. A key
strategy for improving the profitability of DVB is to increase its
customer advances and business volume.
project is in progress to migrate DVB to the same information
technology platform as DFCC by mid 2005 for more effective and
efficient utilisation of resources.
The relocation of the Head Office of DVB to a DFCC owned
property in 2005 is also in progress and this will also contribute
to greater efficiency and cost savings at the group level.
loans and leases approved but not disbursed was Rs 4,693 million on
31 December 2004. The portfolio of customer advances net of
provision was Rs.2,664 million in DVB as at 31 December 2004
compared to Rs.624 million one year ago. This growth in DVB together
with the undisbursed approvals of DFCC portends good prospects for
portfolio growth in the foreseeable future.
cumulative provisions for bad and doubtful debts represented 5% of
the total advances and lease portfolio.
tsunami did not have any direct impact on the infrastructure of DFCC
Bank or its subsidiaries and therefore all business units operated
without interruption. However, some customers to whom the bank has provided loans, financial
leases from the Matara Branch and Colombo Office were directly
affected by the tsunami. The
total affected exposure, as at 31 December 2004 was Rs.279 million
for small and medium scale enterprises in the non-tourism sector.
the tourism sector (total affected exposure Rs.418 million) the
larger affected enterprises had adequate insurance cover.
Based on a preliminary assessment, the bank has made a
specific provision of Rs.62 million in the income statement as at 31
December 2004, covering the small and medium scale enterprises in
the non-tourism sector and the smaller tourism exposures. The bank
is actively involved in efforts to rehabilitate business activities
of its customers who suffered damage but the financial impact of
these efforts on the income statement is not likely to be
and Abans team up to bring power tools
Ltd., is offering a promotion that is unique and has never been
offered in Sri Lanka before. In order to get the details of the
promotion we met up with Brand Manager of Abans, Chintaka
Wickramatillaka who offered us a comprehensive explanation of what
Abans in collaboration with Hitachi are offering the customer.
Is it true that Abans has teamed up with Hitachi to bring Hitachi
Power Tools to the Sri Lankan market?
Yes, that's true. Abans, which is responsible for bringing to
Sri Lanka some of the world's best brands of electronics and home
appliances will now be marketing Hitachi Power Tools.
Hitachi is one of the most respected multi-nationals with a
portfolio of numerous products. Hitachi Power Tools have been sold
in lots of countries around the world for decades. They are trusted
for their superior technology and dependable quality. The product
range covers all three key users in the industry - wood works, steel
Do you have any special promotions to popularise this range?
Abans is having a promotion that has never been offered in Sri
the first time in the country, small and medium industrial
entrepreneurs can purchase Hitachi branded power tools on special
six monthly interest free installment terms. We are sure this will
help lots of people, especially carpenters, masons and steel
fabricators, the opportunity to buy their tools, earn their living
and pay later.
are also offering a one year warranty with every product.
This is the first time a company in Sri Lanka has given
encouragement to the industrial and individual sector to boost their
As we all know, Sri Lanka is a developing country and most of
our industries are on the verge of transformation from traditional
methods to modern, more mechanised ways of functioning.
Abans, our main objective is to develop our medium and small
industries. In the near future, we hope this will provide them with
the impetus needed to enter the international market. To ensure they
get whatever support they need, Abans has also arranged hot lines
that will provide full technical support over the phone.
Will the Hitachi range of Power Tools be available only at a select
No, the entire range will be available at over 70 Abans
showrooms spread across the island. What's more, we also have
service centres with technicians who have been trained abroad to
attend to any sort of technical problems that may arise.
Anything else you would like to add?
Yes, we are also pleased to introduce a multi language technical
specification catalogue. This will help users get the required
specifications in the language they are most comfortable with and
guide them to source the right product for the right usage -
would like to take this opportunity to invite all those involved in
this business to take maximum opportunity of this special promotion
and develop their businesses.
- dominant player in leasing sector
National Bank (HNB), the number one bank in the leasing arena, has
grown steadily over the years. The bank is now at the forefront of
the overall leasing market, occupying the No. 2 position in the
overall leasing market and No. 1 position as a leasing provider in
the banking sector.
were No. 4 in the overall market and we are now No. 2. This is a
remarkable achievement. Among banks, we are No. 1 when it comes to
leasing," asserted Chief Manager (Leasing), HNB, Keerthi
has been in the leasing business since 1991. It was the first bank
to start leasing among the private commercial banks and has grown
steadily over the years.
HNB, once a lease contract is entered into with a customer, the
lessees are offered a host of facilities such as housing loans,
credit card usage in the case of individuals and approval of drafts,
arranging opening of LCs and commercial loan facilities for
try to give the best possible rate in the market and offer a very
affordable rental. Our intention is to build up our customers -
living up to our motto, 'A Partner In Progress,'" Wijeratne
a client enters into a lease agreement with HNB he immediately
becomes eligible to receive a host of other benefits that will
enable him to wing his way to further development and success,
making HNB leasing a unique experience in the leasing sector.
services are not limited to leasing. Customers start a relationship
with the bank through a leasing transaction and end up with a host
of facilities," said Wijeratne.
of the most attractive features of HNB leasing is the bank's
strategy of giving clients a comfortable rental, to ensure that they
are not overburdened and will have sufficient means to maintain
their living standards within the limitations of cash flow.
also go the extra mile to arrange finance to any project proposal.
In this manner a client, no matter whether he is a HNB
account holder or not, becomes our partner in progress with bank.
The only difference is that when we deal with our own existing
customers we are able to speed up the documentation as his credit
worthiness is already known to us," he explained.
addition, having customer service centres around the island is a
major advantage for the bank. "Our biggest strength is our
branch network - we have 140 branches around the country. Customers
who want to take a lease can do it from right where they are. We can
facilitate leases from any part of the country," he said.
at HNB is not confined only to vehicles. HNB's leasing products
cover a wide range of machinery and equipment and the bank has
contributed around Rs. 800 to 900 million for machinery leasing in
the last year.
mostly covers the tea industry, production lines, confectionery
industry, etc. This kind of quantum release of funds for machinery
leasing is possible because HNB is a bank with immense financial
resources," added Wijeratne.
has the highest number of experienced professionals in the leasing
trade in its team and as a result, the bank is capable of handling
any type of structural leasing facilities.
also offers foreign currency leases to BOI companies and with 'Wasi
Leasing,' a customer looking forward to make a cash purchase is
given the opportunity to 'keep the cash' and opt for a lease.
also gives its 'Wasi Leasing' customers an-all expenses paid
overseas holiday package including an air ticket absolutely free.
bank also offers tailor-made schemes such as 'Leasemaster' for
professionals and businessmen and handles consumer leasing for
groups of employees of reputed companies to enable them to acquire
household electronic appliances at a low rate of interest.
also have a range of unique promotions. By tying up with leading
motor vehicle importers, we are offering unique leasing packages.
HNB was the first to launch this concept. Right now we are having a special promotion with DIMO. The
intention of the promotion is to give our customers a better
advantage and wider choice of vehicles," Wijeratne said.
number one lease provider in the banking sector, HNB is committed to
giving its customers the best deals possible. The bank also intends
to launch a host of exciting products in the near future.
Leasing goes from strength to strength
the theme of being "uniquely different," Orient Financial
Services Corporation Limited, within a short span of two years has
managed to record impressive growth.
company will be engaged in finance leasing as its core activities
initially and is expected to add debt factoring among other products
to its portfolio in the near future.
currently offered by the company include standard leases, structured
leases, variable interest rate leases and residual leasing.
pillars of strength of the company include the incomparable
flexibility, unmatched speed, high IT skills and the personalised
service offered. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Assistant General
Manager (Marketing), Sumedha Fernando observed that customer care
and customer satisfaction has been the driving force in the
make it a point to deliver and it has been the satisfied customers
who have increased the company's business," he said, adding
that quality service always retains customers.
of a feature unique only to Orient Financial Services, Fernando said
that it is the only company which allows the customers to sell their
assets or even upgrade them.
Orient Leasing a customer has the liberty to upgrade his/her vehicle
as and when they want without terminating the lease contract. And
what's more, if the customer needs more financial assistance in
purchasing the new vehicle, the company would even do that without
increasing the prevailing monthly premium. That, Fernando feels is
the height of flexibility.
Financial Services has also reached a collaboration with Ashok
Leyland for Leyland Tusker Super.
of the leasing sector in the country, Fernando said the country has
come a long way.
became a popular method of acquiring capital goods at a convenient
and low cost method of finance for small and medium businesses since
popularity of leasing made finance companies and even some leading
banks to adopt leasing as a facility offered to its clientele.
Leasing is thus far the only financial product that small and medium
businessmen could get without collateral and at rates that were only
2% or 3% more than what they would have paid for a bank loan.
growth in the leasing sector could be identified by the 15% of the
country's annual investment in capital goods coming from leasing.
The members of the Leasing Association accounts for over 90% of the
annual leasing volumes which stood at Rs. 40 billion in the
financial year 2003/2004. Post tsunami development programmes are
also expected to help the leasing sector, which began to pick up
pointed out that machinery, especially for the small and medium
scale industries could pave the way for a range of new leases.
the only obstacle in the path is the reduction of capital allowance
for plant and machinery and equipment which was 50% during the PA
government to 12.5% by the previous government.
an annual growth rate of approximately 20% and the new
infrastructure coming in, Fernando feels that leasing would play a
key role in the country's economy.
a growing portfolio, Orient Financial Services Corporation Limited
has become the nation's newest and most dynamic financial services
Financial Services Corporation is a public limited liability company
registered under the Finance Leasing Act with an authorised capital
of Rs. 500 million and an issued and paid up capital of Rs. 125
Financial Services Corporation Ltd. is a fully owned subsidiary of
United Motors Lanka Ltd.
Motors Lanka Ltd. is a public quoted company and sole distributor
for Mitsubishi motor vehicles and TVS motorcycles in Sri Lanka.
for future plans, Fernando said that they would look at increasing
its portfolio by venturing into factoring as well.
Financial Services also plans to open a branch in Kochchikade,
Negombo next month.
Financial Services although a small company is definitely a strong
player in the leasing market.
A microscopic view
present value of a future transaction is the nominal amount of money
to change hands, adjusted to account for the time value of money. A
given amount of money is almost always more valuable sooner than
later, so present values are generally smaller than corresponding
simplest model of the time value of money is compound interest,
which is in fact much simpler than simple interest. To someone who
has the opportunity to invest an amount of money C for t years at a
rate of interest of i compounded annually, the present value of the
receipt of C, t years in the future, is C(1 + i)Ht. The expression
(1 + i)Ht enters almost all calculations of present value. It
represents the present value of 1. Many equations are expressed more
concisely by making the substitution v = (1 + i)H1. Something worth
1 at time = t (years in the future) is worth vt at time = 0 (the
value is additive. The present value of a bundle of cash flows is
the sum of each one's present value.
financial arrangements (including bonds, other loans, leases,
salaries, membership dues, annuities, straight-line depreciation
charges) stipulate structured payment schedules, which is to say
payment of the same amount at regular time intervals. The term
annuity is often used in to refer to any such arrangement when
discussing calculation of present value, whether or not the
arrangement is a retirement plan. The expressions for the present
value of such payments amount to summations of geometric series.
periodic amount receivable indefinitely is called a perpetuity and
is of mostly theoretical interest. A perpetuity receivable starting
at the present time is called a perpetuity due. If the frequency of
payments equals the frequency of interest compounding, the present
value of a perpetuity due with payments of 1, is given by dH1, where
d = 1 H (1 + i)H1, and is called the rate of discount. In this case,
i is the interest rate per period, not necessarily per year. If the
first payment is 1 period in the future, the annuity is a perpetuity
immediate, and the present value is iH1.
finite number (n) of periodic payments, receivable at times 1
through n, is an annuity immediate.
entire discussion thus far makes some enormous assumptions:
it is not necessary to account for price inflation.
it is not necessary to account for variable interest rates.
receipt of payments when due is certain.
we will live long enough to receive payments receivable by us in the
these and many other reasons, we consider prediction of the future
to be an inexact science.
value is one of the constituents of a leasing calculus or operation.
It describes the future value of a good in terms of percentage of
depreciation of its initial value.
A car is sold at a list price of EUR 20000 today. After a usage of
36 months and 90000 kilometers its value is contractually defined as
50% or EUR 10000. The credited amount, on which the interest is
applied, thus is EUR 20000 present value minus EUR 10000 future
values are contractually dealt with either in terms of
finance, interest is a surcharge on the repayment of debt (borrowed
money). The fact that lenders demand interest for loans can be
explained by one or more of the following:
time value of money
opportunity cost of money macroeconomic price changes
risk of default on the loan (bankruptcy)
interest generally falls in one of the following two categories:
interest, in which outstanding balances grow linearly with time. In
each period, the total balance grows by some fraction of the
principal (that is, of the original investment).
interest, in which outstanding balances grow exponentially with
time. In each period, the total balance grows by some fraction of
the sum of the principal and the interest paid on all previous
either case, the fraction by which the balances grow is called the
sometimes refer to interest as rent on money. As with any rental,
the market price (or rate) is subject to change to reflect market
conditions. Interest rates are very closely watched market
indicators, and have a dramatic effect on finance and economics.
involves the future, which is uncertain. Some interest bearing
investments are riskier than others. The greater the risk of the
security, the more interest investors expect to receive.
parties will be offered different rates on debt obligations (such as
loans). The measure of credit worthiness of an individual is called
a credit rating or credit score. Other entities (such as governments
and companies) will acquire a bond rating if they are active in bond
interest is seldom used in practice. In most cases this is because
the interest earned in previous periods is assumed to remain in the
account. Only when the interest earned is immediately withdrawn from
the account should simple interest be used.
interest is not collected as it is accrued (as with a certificate of
deposit, where the payment is in a lump sum), the interest increases
the amount of money subject to interest. In this case simple
interest would not reflect the opportunity cost that the lender
compound interest, the frequency of compounding influences the total
amount of interest paid over the life of the loan.