17 workforce fatalities
Working with its many partners, in 2007
Chevron Corporation reduced greenhouse gas
emissions, established renewable energy
research alliances, improved workforce
safety performance and invested in health
and education programmes to contribute to
the welfare and social and economic progress
in the communities where the company
Chevron’s 2007 Corporate Responsibility
Report, titled ‘Energy Partnership’ contains
details about these and other
The report reflects on how Chevron has
integrated corporate responsibility into
core business practices and shares
perspectives on the challenges and
opportunities the company faces in a complex
"The combined efforts of our 59,000
employees around the world help economies
grow and create a sustainable future," says
Chevron Corporation Chairman Dave O’Reilly.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of Chevron’s
workforce remains the company’s top priority
with improvements in the overall safety
performance for 2007.
Total Recordable Incident Rate decreased
by 17% compared with 2006. Despite this
improvement, the company experienced 17
workforce fatalities resulting from nine
incidents, a reminder of the risks inherent
in the industry and a challenge to do
"While we’ve made progress, this is an
area of concern that is shared consistently
across our leadership and our workforce,"
says Chevron’s Health, Environment and
Safety Vice President Chuck Taylor. "I’m
confident that if we continue to stay
focused on operational excellence, we will
achieve the results we are seeking."
Policy, Government and Public Affairs
Vice president Rhonda Zygocki says, "We
believe energy is one of the critical issues
of our time.
There is unprecedented interest by
governments, nongovernmental organizations,
communities and the public in energy
More than ever before, proactively
engaging our stakeholders is integral to our
The report also highlights the
organisation’s work in the Asia-Pacific
region, describing its stakeholder and
environmental efforts in Indonesia’s Gunung
Halimun Salak National Park, where one of
its geothermal operations is located.
Chevron is committed to developing more
energy from sources in an environmentally
responsible way and, in 2007, adopted seven
policy principles the company believes are
necessary for the development of flexible
and economically sound climate change
Chevron continued implementation of its
Action Plan on Climate Change, now in its
sixth year, and bettered the goal of
reducing greenhouse gases.
The company formed alliances with Texas
A&M University and the Colorado Centre for
Biorefining and Biofuels to research and
develop new technologies for converting
nonfood sources into biofuels. In early
2008, Chevron and Weyerhaeuser Co., one of
USA’s largest forest products companies,
also formed a 50-50 joint venture—Catchlight
Energy LLC—to focus on nonfood-based
The Gorgon liquefied natural gas project
off the coast of Australia received
environmental approvals and includes a
proposal to build one of the largest carbon
dioxide sequestration projects in the world.
Chevron invested $119 million in
communities around the world with about 68%
to programmes targeting basic human needs,
education, training, and support for local
Last year, Chevron became the first
Corporate Champion of the Global Fund to
Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,
allocating $30 million over three years to
combat these diseases.
In the USA last year, the company spent
$2.9 billion with small businesses; $434
million with minority-owned business and
$464 million with women-owned businesses.
Mentoring and supplier training forums were
held in Angola, Kazakhstan, Kuwait and
Thailand so that businesses would better
understand Chevron needs and safety
SL promotes environment
Sri Lanka’s presentations at the Pacific
Asia Travel Association (PATA) CEO Challenge
on ‘Confronting Climate Change’ were well
accepted and generated interest among
the 250 plus delegates who attending the two
day programme at Bangkok recently.
Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) Chairman Renton
De Alwis presented SLT’s Earth Lung Concept
where the destination will give leadership
to bring all stakeholders together to
deliver sustainable growth in a carbon
Serendib Leisure CEO Director Srilal
Miththapala presented some of the
initiatives taken by Hotel Sigiriya in
Energy and Environment conservation, leading
to reducing the hotel’s carbon footprint.
Yachtswoman partners Aviva
Record-breaking British yachtswoman Dee
Caffari is ready to race against some of
world’s best solo sailors for the first time
onboard her new generation Open 60 yacht,
Recently Caffari steped onboard Aviva to
start The Artemis Transat, a transatlantic
sprint from Plymouth to Boston, against 12
highly powered carbon fibre racing machines.
The historic British race is a
comparatively short sprint across the
Atlantic for the "round the world" sailors
at only 3,000 miles in distance and 11 days
in duration. The Transat represents a key
marker in Caffari’s Aviva Ocean Racing
campaign as she builds momentum toward her
ultimate goal-to become the first woman to
sail solo, non-stop around the world in both
directions by completing the Vendée Globe
Before departing from Plymouth Caffari
said: ‘As far as I’m concerned, I’ve got to
finish the race to build my confidence
before the Vendée Globe. I have to be
competitive in this boat, allow her to
perform and make the right decisions. This
relatively short sprint across the Atlantic
is the last off-shore race before we all
line up in Les Sables d’Olonne in November.’
Caffari and Aviva line up in Plymouth
alongside fellow Brit Sam Davies (Roxy) in a
fleet of 13 yachts from six different
countries. Alongside Davies, Caffari is one
of only two women taking part in the Open 60
class and will be looking to challenge the
men in the fleet whilst managing her own
race strategy. The inspirational skipper
will be testing her resolve, determination
and solo sailing skills in a competitive
Caffari commented from the dockside:
‘I’ve connected with Aviva over the last few
months, but miles under the belt are key to
our campaign so we’re going to be sailing
strategically. Boston is our number one
target and I’m aiming to get there as
quickly and efficiently as possible.’
The race across the north Atlantic is
predominantly upwind, going against the
preferred sailing conditions for Open 60s
that are specifically designed for fast
downwind racing. However, Caffari is an
expert in these conditions having spent 178
days in 2005/06 battling against the
prevailing winds and currents during her
record-breaking circumnavigation. Whilst
taking part in the "Transat," she will
celebrate the second anniversary of the
Aviva Challenge when she sailed into the
history books by becoming the first woman to
sail solo, non-stop the ‘wrong way ‘round
Caffari reflected on her past
achievements: ‘I can’t believe it was nearly
two years ago that I sailed past the Lizard
on the Aviva Challenge. I’ve come a long way
and with the support of a dedicated team and
sponsor, I’m looking forward to realising my
ultimate goal-to become the first woman to
sail solo, non-stop around the world in both
directions by completing the Vendée Globe.’
Aviva plc, the world’s oldest and fifth
largest insurance group, acquired the
controlling interest in Eagle Insurance in
2006, The Group has 59,000 employees serving
40 million customers in over 25 countries
with more than Sterling Pounds 377 billion
assets under management. Aviva Plc is the
largest insurer in the UK and one of the
leading providers of life and pension
products to Europe. Its main activities are
Long Term Savings, Fund Management, and
Accolades from National Geographic
KE Adventure Travel (KE), a British
partner of Nature Odyssey (the adventure
travel arm of Walkers Tours), was rated
"Best Trekking Operator on Earth" by the
National Geographic Adventure magazine,
which recently carried out the world’s first
study of over 200 adventure travel
The study focused on which operators
teach clients about the places they visit,
who pushes the frontiers of discovery and
adventure and who gives back to the planet
After six months of scrutiny, KE was
named the Best Trekking Outfitter on Earth.
KE even scored a perfect 100 in the ‘Spirit
of Adventure’ category.
KE together with Walkers Tours (WO) and
Nature Odyssey (NO), features Sri Lankan
programmes in their Adventure, Family and
The Schools programme which is designed
to be an educational summer trip for an
entire class, includes a two-night camp at a
remote village where the group will work
directly on a community development project
funded by KE.
There has been an encouraging rise in the
number of travellers of this calibre
visiting Sri Lanka over recent years,
bringing about renewed belief in the ability
to showcase the island as having more on
offer beyond the widely-associated golden,
Top prizes for 12
Twelve winners walked away with prizes
when Dialog TV (DTV) announced the first
winners of the "Little Box of Big Surprises"
(LBBS) promotion, at an awards ceremony held
at the DTV Head Office, with one winner
walking away with Rs. one million.
Other prizes included a 32" LCD TV, home
theatre systems, Dialog Broadband
connections, weekend holiday packages, CDMA
phones and mobile phones.
DTV started LBBS, a nationwide promotion
on March 1, for the very first time since
DTV started operations last year. The
promotion was carried out upto last month
The winners were selected on a random
selection basis through an automated system.
"LBBS was an exciting promotion for us,
and today we successfully conclude the very
first promotion," said DTV CEO Nushad Perera.
"There was a ‘tremendous’ response from
customers, exceeding our expectations. I
would also like to take this opportunity to
congratulate the winners and confirm that we
will continue LBBS promotion monthly,
continuing to add value and excitement to
all DTV subscribers."
Rohan Irugalbandara, Managing Director of
Alliance Five (Pvt) Ltd, who won the Rs. one
million grand prize said: "Keeping with the
name of the promotion, it was actually a
‘big surprise’ when DTV called me and told
me that I won the first prize. I’m thankful
to DTV for carrying out people oriented
promotions of this nature.
DTV offers a variety of channels and it
is great to see a lot of new local channels
being incorporated into the lineup of
Edible fish breeding
A.J. Fishing Industries Private Ltd., a
Sri Lankan industrial venture is one of the
most successful local industries to capture
the foreign market for its products.
Launched in 1987, this company works with
the primary intention of providing high
quality goods to its regular foreign buyers.
The high standards of production maintained
by them has gained them recognition and
acceptance in the foreign market.
The range of products manufactured by
this company at the beginning comprised
requisites for the fishing industry such as
fishing nets, fish hooks, artificial bait
and long line. These products are popular in
the local market and are exported to ‘Norway
to begin with and subsequently to Iceland,
Greenland and New Zealand.
After a while A J Fishing expanded their
production activities to manufacturing
fishing gear for sport fishing. They have
successfully ventured into the foreign
market, selling their products to buyers
from a number of European countries.
The new range of products for sport
fishing is produced to suit both winter and
summer weather conditions. They are also
building small boats to be used for fishing.
At present the company is on the throes
of launching a new project in collaboration
Norwegian company "Hoobas" to build large
tanks for artificial breeding of
prawns and shrimps. A. J. Fishing is
solely responsible for building the tanks.
Hoobas believes that this type of
breeding of prawns, shrimps and salmon would
be productive. They envisage producing fish
through this system, since by inbreeding
fish in tanks, the nutritional and other
needs of the fish can be identified.,
monitored and fulfilled with continuous
supervision and care.
Experiments in breeding fish in tanks is
done successfully in Norway. Hence in order
to extend this system, they plan to
introduce additional types of fish for
breeding in tanks. A. J. Fishing Managing
Director Anouf Sandwick plans to implement
this project in Sri Lanka.
Accordingly a pilot project has been
launched in Negombo where a variety of fish
called Berramandi has been introduced to a
few tanks installed iii the selected area.
Depending oil the success of this
project, he hopes to develop fish breeding
in tanks and extend it to the Asian Region.
(Based on an interview given by A J
Fishing Industries Managing Director Anouf
Sandwick and Deputy Managing Director
Sampath at Mawathagama
Sampath Bank’s newest branch was recently
opened at Kurunegala Road, Mawathagama.
It is connected to an islandwide network
of electronically linked branches, providing
advanced banking services.
Sampath Bank MD/CEO Anil Amarasuriya said
that people in the region now have direct
access to a host of unique banking
facilities and quality service through its
young and energetic staff that makes the
bank renowned for the excellent customer
They could look forward to building
strong relationships in the future.
Fox News, a Rupert Murdoch company has
entered into a tie up with MTV/MBC Channels
Pvt Ltd., where Fox News (FN) Senior
VP-International Distribution Janet Alshouse
visited the island recently to solidify the
Fox has no presence in the region.
As part of the agreement, Channel One MTV
would telecast Fox news live. This is the
first co-sharing agreement FN has entered
into, in its history. Starting off with a
few hours a day, FNs presence on the channel
is set to increase within the year. "This
partnership is significant to Sri Lanka in
that MTV/MBC has succeeded in drawing in a
global media giant to set up base here. This
is something Sri Lanka can be proud of,"
said Capital Maharaja Organization (CMO)
Group Director Mano Wikramanayake.
FN leads the intense ratings war in the
USA. Fox recently launched FBN (Fox Business
News) which has given business news
reporting worldwide an "interesting spin."
Rival business networks such as CNBC have
been hard pressed to respond to the
unconventional manner in which FBN has hit
its viewership, prompting an industrywide
rethink at how business news is presented.
"There is little doubt that this
partnership between News corp (FN’s holding
company) and CMO would prove to be a
catalyst for growth and innovation," said
MTV Channel Head Chevaan Daniel. "Fox News
and News 1st is a force to be reckoned
with...whatever they do together, will make
Helping to network
Imperial College student committee
recently organized a batch get together to
celebrate the CIM mid term success.
The committee was required to apply their
classroom learning to organize the gala
event. The "Paduru Party" was well attended
by students from all batches
Student committee Chairman Jagatheswaran
said: "We used the 6M event planning model
taught at CIM to plan this event and
encouraged ideas from all. The event helped
students at all CIM stages to network with
top marketers and take some time out from
Students were called to prepare a budget
and undertake a practical course of work for
a three week period, conduct an internal
marketing campaign, find prospective
sponsors and plan the event. "We applied
principals of marketing in a practical
manner and made a profit," said
Student committee chief organizer Arshad
Nauman said: "We picked ‘Padura party’ as a
concept to get away from the usual DJ nights
and dinner dances that our students are used
to. We wanted to have a more relaxed setting
where students could enjoy and network with
the group. Imperial College has a wide
student mix from different industries at
different levels in the corporate sector,
not forgetting the lecture panel who are
business heads. Networking is a key aspect
of the marketing education at Imperial
"Our lecture panel who were the advisors
to the student committee gave us a creative
challenge, to have a ‘Richard Branson’
approach to the usually traditional ‘Padura
Party’ and to make it a ‘Marketers Paduru
Party.’ The result was an experience that
all will cherish for a long time. In the
words of some of our younger students, ‘It
was truly a rocking paduru party.’ "
Jegatheswaran who is also Ceylon Cold
Stores (Ice cream) National Sales Manager
concluded by making a valid comment
highlighting the need for a student to
balance one’s education with fun and
excitement, and the need to get involved in
organizing events of this nature to develop
leadership skills and sharpen creative
Dialog Broadband Networks recently
introduced an integrated communication
solution to local enterprises through the
launch of ‘Box Office.’
This is the first time that such an
integrated solution has been launched in Sri
Lanka. ‘Box Office’ is an all in one
communication solution which integrates
Broadband Internet, Voice, Email and Private
Branch Exchange (PBX) communication
This is designed to connect phone
systems, fax, PBX services and Local Area
Network (LAN) to the internet using WiMAX
technology. "Box office" will offer 4/6 or 8
telephone connections as per customer
Dialog ‘Box Office’ offers a more cost
effective communication solution for local
enterprises by delivering multiple
communication services at
economical rates. ‘Box Office’ also
offers the lowest voice tariffs in the
market which can amount to upto a 40%
reduction in voice call costs.
The convergence of communication channels
will also result in cost reductions in terms
of monthly rentals with the convenience of
one single bill for all services.
Furthermore, voice communication will be
enabled with IDD facilities.
With Dialog ‘Box Office’ businesses will
be able to enjoy a higher level of
flexibility and convenience as all
communication services will be provided by
the same service provider as opposed to
multiple providers for various business
In terms of resource management, this all
in one communication solution is designed to
maximize resource utilization within
organizations, thereby eliminating costly
hardware and maintenance expenses and other
Dialog Fixed Telephony & Broadband
Services CEO Kavan Ratnayaka said, "‘Box
Office’ is a new concept to Sri Lanka. Such
integration in communication will not only
provide added flexibility and cost-ffectiveness,
but will also drive towards increasing the
efficiency and productivity within our local
enterprises, especially among the small and
medium enterprises which will now have a
cost-effective, simple communication system
through Broadband Internet and Voice
With Dialog ‘Box Office’, Broadband
internet connections will reach speeds upto
4Mbps and e-mail solutions will come with a
10Mb mail box. Voice lines offered are dual
mode lines. They operate as a
Direct-Inward-Dial (DID) number as well as
an extension. Other common PBX features such
as call forwarding, return, waiting,
transfer and many more are also included.
Through their latest product, Dialog
Broadband Networks will extend its
affordability by offering a range of ‘Box
Office’ packages to enterprises, tailor-made
to suit individual business requirements.
Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN) is a
fully owned subsidiary of Dialog
Telekom PLC, and is a key player in Sri
Lanka’s ICT infrastructure sector, providing
backbone and transmission infrastructure
facilities and data communication services.
Anti diabetic agent
NONI, Nature’s wonder fruit with the
highest number of natural nutrients bears
the botanical name–Morinda Citrifolia.
Many countries have their own names for
this fruit, but Noni is the globally
identified name. In Australia it is known as
Cheese fruit, in India as Indian Mulberry.
And in Hawaii and Tahiti it is called Noni.
For thousands of years Noni has been used by
people around the world for its health
protective benefits. Modern Herbal
researchers introduce Noni as one of
nature’s greatest gifts to humanity.
Harcourts Noni Diabetic is the pure Noni
fruit juice without any modifications by way
of flavour, taste or appearance. Noni fruit
contains 152 Neutracheticals, essential
vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, alkaloids,
amino acids and cancer inhibiting compounds.
Noni fruit juice is extensively used as a
general health supplement, an immuno-modulator,
antioxidant and a holistic system regulator.
Thousands of people worldwide have
attributed improvements in their health to
the tremendous and often life saving
benefits found in Noni. One such health
benefit that many have found in Noni is its
contribution in controlling diabetes.
Doctors and researchers suggest that Noni
has the ability to help strengthen the
immune system which in turn can help the
body maintain a strong insulin level.
Research has shown that if the immune
system starts to attack itself-perhaps the
results of auto immune disorder-it may
obliterate the pancreas’ beta cells, or at
least reduce the number of functioning beta
cells. This then affect the amount, purity
and the effectiveness of the body’s insulin.
However if the immune system is able to ward
off an attack, the integrity of the body’s
insulin will be maintained.
Noni contains properties that can
stimulate the sluggish pancreatic cells to
secrete more insulin, while stimulating the
body cells to take in more insulin in order
to utilize glucose more effectively, thus
reducing the classical insulin resistance.
Noni while acting both at pancreas level and
the cellular level helps you in your
struggle against diabetes. Noni also helps
in controlling arthritis, cholesterol, high
blood pressure, chronic pains, over weight,
sleeplessness and many other age related
An offer for CFA students
CFA Sri Lanka, a CFA Institute, USA
member, leads the investment industry by
setting the highest standards of ethics and
professional excellence and advocates fair
and transparent capital markets.
Seylan Bank is one of the largest Visa
Card issuers in Sri Lanka and the only Bank
to absorb stamp duty on credit cards.
The Bank together with CFA Sri Lanka
recently launched an affinity card which
includes an easy payment scheme for students
to pay their membership and exam fees in 3,
6, 9 or 12 equal monthly instalments.
The 3 month instalment scheme will be
offered without interest to students, while
6,9,12 month instalments scheme will be
offered at a nominal rate.
Students should contact the Seylan Call
Centre after paying their exam fees online
in order to convert the payment to a
CFA credit cardholders are eligible for
all existing value additions such as a
grants scheme through which a percentage of
surgical bills, wedding reception bills and
school fees could be claimed.
A "2 in 1" insurance cover which covers a
range of natural disasters is offered to all
cardholders. A bonus points scheme where
cardholders could earn points equivalent to
rupees, which could be redeemed at
designated merchant establishments and a
free travel insurance cover offered upon
obtaining air tickets using the credit card
are also included in the deal.
LG’s slim TV
LG Electronics Korea, a company that has
been in the forefront of innovative
technological development of electronic home
appliances and entertainment systems that
introduced the first CFC free refrigerator,
the first Gold Fin Air Conditioners, the
first and world’s only Door Cooling
Refrigerator, the first SolarDOM Heatwave
Microwave Oven and the first to employ steam
technology in washing machines, has
developed yet another innovative
appliance-the LG Super Slim Flat TV.
The LG Super Slim Flat TV is a marvel of
LG’s technological advancement and research
capabilities that have won many
international awards through the years. This
ingenious development is a boon to families
living in compact apartments and confined
spaces, because of the reduction in exterior
protrusion to a very minimum allows the TV
to fit into spaces where normal TV’s cannot
The good news about the LG Super Slim
Flat TV is that it carries a super slim
price tag as well. More good news is that it
is available on interest free instalment
terms so that it fits any pocket and any
The TV and the price maybe slim, but the
features are unmatchable. LG’s Digital Eye
feature automatically adjusts colour and
contrast to provide the best picture quality
and eliminates the risk of eye strain even
after long hours of viewing.
Turbo Sound provides quality sound
reproduction that adds quality sound to
quality viewing. Two models are currently
available at Abans-29" Model FD7RGE and 21"
Singer adds Kenwood to its portfolio
Singer (Sri Lanka) has added the world
renowned Kenwood brand of kitchen appliances
to its portfolio of global brands from this
A selection of kitchen appliances from
this elite of household brands will be
available at the exclusive Singer Mega
stores and a select number of Singer Plus
stores across the island.
Says Singer (Sri Lanka) Marketing
Director Asita Abayasekera: ‘In the late
1990s we embarked on a multi-brand strategy
offering our customers a range of electric
and electronic goods from a host of top
world brands in a bid to raise the quality
of life of the people of Sri Lanka whom we
are committed to serve.
We are proud to add the world renowned
British brand Kenwood as the latest addition
to our brands of kitchen appliances. For
more than half a century every homemaker
across the globe has dreamed of a Kenwood in
her home. We are thus pleased to offer Sri
Lankan homemakers this world renowned brand
from the comfort and convenience of our
Singer Mega and Singer Plus stores.’
‘2007 marked the 60th anniversary of
Kenwood–a company that has revolutionized
home cooking and pioneered kitchen
automation,’ says Kenwood Regional Marketing
Manager Colette Shannon. Today the company
continues to grow with a presence in over 40
countries producing 200 different models.
‘Kenwood is delighted to announce a
partnership with Singer, a name synonymous
with quality. The founding principles of
Kenwood-simplification of household chores,
quality, innovation and design–have been
retained throughout the company’s 60 year
history. We are confident that with such a
prestigious company as Singer there is a
bright future ahead for Kenwood and that
together we will be celebrating many more
years of innovation and design.’
Singer (Sri Lanka) introduced a range of
kitchen machines, food processors, blenders,
hand mixers, "smoothie" makers, sandwich
makers, pop-up toasters, vacuum cleaners and
kettles from Kenwood, each product offering
models at different price ranges to suit
different groups of customers.
Singer launched the premium Kenwood brand
at its upscale retail chain Singer Mega
across the island, beginning with the
Nugegoda store. At the launch at Nugegoda,
Cinnamon Grand Sous Chef Kithsiri
Weerawardene demonstrated the uses of
Kenwood appliances to customers. Throughout
this month, the Kenwood range of kitchen
appliances will be unveiled at other Singer
Mega branches in the country.
MBSL fails to raise Rs. 600 mn.
Although Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL)
had intended to raise LKR600 million through
two debenture issues, it had only managed to
raise half that amount due to a lack of
investor interest as a result of treasury
yields rising above the rate offered by MBSL,
a rating agency said.
Hence in recent times, MBSL has been
increasingly relying on short-term loans,
underscoring the inherent funding risks in
its business model, RAM Ratings said.
Short-term debts constituted 30.65% of
the Bank’s total interest-bearing funds as
at the end of FYE December 31, 2007 (FY Dec
2007) (FY Dec 2006: 20.85%). Nonetheless,
the Bank had been able to secure other
financing lines on top of the temporary
overdraft facility provided by its parent,
Bank of Ceylon (BOC).
MBSL’s pre-tax profit was lifted 1.52%
y-o-y to LKR273.36 million in FY Dec 2007.
This translated into a respectable return on
assets (ROA) of 6.68% for the same period,
although lower than its record of 7.56% a
MBSL is a 76%-owned subsidiary of BOC,
the largest commercial bank in terms total
assets. BOC is a sovereign-owned entity that
has consistently demonstrated its commitment
to MBSL via long- and short-term loans.
The current high interest environment,
coupled with MBSL’s funding mix, has pushed
up its interest costs. As a result, net
interest income for FY Dec 2007 only nudged
up 3.36% year-on-year (y-o-y). Even though
MBSL had managed its overheads well, the
Bank’s cost–to-income ratio still increased
marginally as result of provisioning
vis-à-vis its portfolio of trading equities.
Moving forward, the Bank intends to apply
for a specialised banking license in order
to alleviate its funding risk.
RAM Ratings has reaffirmed MBSL’s long
and short-term financial institution ratings
at AA- and P1 respectively. The long-term
rating has a stable outlook. The ratings are
supported by the credit strength and
financial flexibility which stem from its
At the same time, both its LKR300 million
Unlisted Private Debentures and LKR14.60
million Unlisted Public Debentures have also
been reaffirmed at AA-, with stable
Meanwhile, the Bank’s improving-albeit
still weak-asset quality resulted in
slightly lower provisions. A factor that
enables MBSL to keep its ROA at an adequate
level is its strong capitalisation. The
Bank’s shareholders’ funds amounted to
LKR1.56 billion as at end-FY Dec 2007,
resulting in a gearing ratio of 1.59 times,
which is deemed conservative.
$ 2 mn. aid to Myanmar
Chevron Corporation announced that it has
contributed $2 million to provide assistance
to those affected by the recent cyclone in
The International Federation of the Red
Cross will receive a $1 million
contribution. An additional $1 million will
be allocated to four other organizations:
the International Organization for
Migration, Mercy Corps, Pact and Save the
The contributions will aid disaster
relief efforts for Cyclone Nargis that
struck Myanmar recently and caused
widespread destruction along the country’s
southern coast and southeast regions.
Chevron’s Vice Chairman Peter Robertson
said: "We share the global community’s
concerns for the welfare of those affected
by this terrible tragedy."
Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration &
Production President Jim Blackwell said,
"Chevron’s contribution represents our
commitment to the people of Myanmar. This
direct aid is intended to help relieve the
suffering of those in the hardest hit
Chevron Corporation is one of the world’s
leading integrated energy companies with
subsidiaries that conduct business across
the globe. The company’s success is driven
by the commitment of 59,000 employees who
operate across the energy spectrum.
Chevron explores for, produces and
transports crude oil and natural gas;
refines, markets and distributes
transportation fuels and other energy
products; manufactures and sells
petrochemical products; generates power and
produces geothermal energy; provides energy
efficiency solutions; and develops and
commercializes energy resources of the
future, including biofuels and other
Printcare (Ceylon) PLC has declared a Rs.
2 final dividend. Shareholders’ meeting:
September 15, excluding dividend (XD) date:
September 16 and payment date: September 22.
Dipped Products PLC has declared a final
tax free dividend of Rs. 1.50 a share for
the financial year (fy) 2007/08.
Shareholders’ meeting on June 26, 2008;
XD date on June 27 and payment date: July 3.
Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC has
declared a final dividend of Rs. 2.50 a
share for the fy 2007/08. XD date is June 16
and payment date June 27.
Watapota Investments PLC has declared a
first and final dividend (partly taxable) of
Rs. 15 per share for the fy 2007/08. AGM on
June 11, XD date: June 12 and payment date:
Associated Property Development PLC has
declared a first and final dividend of Rs.
2.50 per share for the fy 2007/08. AGM on
June 26, XD date: June 27 and payment date:
July 3, 2008.
Equity One PLC has declared a first and
final dividend of Rs. 0.20 per share for the
fy 2007/08. AGM on June 11, XD date: June 12
and payment date: June 19, 2008.
Haycarb PLC has declared a "partly
taxable" final dividend of Rs. 1 per share
for the fy 2007/08. AGM on June 25, XD date
on June 26 and payment date on July 2.2008.
Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills PLC has
declared a tax exempt final dividend of Rs.
3.90 per share for the fy 2007/08. AGM on
June 24, XD date: June 25 and payment date:
Watawala Plantations PLC has declared a
first and final dividend of Rs. 2.50 per
share with dates to be notified.
Ceylon Hospitals PLC has declared a Rs.
1.50 interim dividend per share for the fy
2007/08. XD date on May 28 and payment date
on June 9,2008. Balangoda Plantations Ltd.,
has declared a 2nd and final dividend of Rs.
1.25 per share for the fy 2007. AGM on July
1, XD date: July 2 and payment date: July 8.
Seylan Bank PLC has declared a Rs. 1.50
first and final dividend per share. AGM on
June 30, 2008; XD date: July 1 and payment
date July 7,2008.
5,000 trees project
Sri Lanka’s apparel sector inspiration
Brandix will facilitate the planting of
5,000 trees and allocate Rs. one million
towards a water project with its share of
the proceeds of the ‘Colombo Vogue’
Fusing fashion with care for the
environment, the country’s largest apparel
exporter said its role as Platinum Sponsor
of this event would be leveraged to expand
on its on-going environment and community
"The decision of the Colombo Vogue
organisers to commit to the planting of a
million trees found resonance within Brandix
because this year’s cause fits perfectly
with our own CSR focus," said Brandix CSR
Head Anusha Alles.
"We believe this is an opportunity to
bring about synergy between the
externally visible aspect of our
business, which is high street fashion, and
our commitment to the environment."
She said Brandix has also decided to
involve some 20 ‘5S’ schools that it
supports and to widen the scope of the 5S
programmes in these schools to include the
tree planting initiative to inculcate
environmental consciousness in young people.
The tree planting project would also be
extended to 12 schools in Kalpitiya at which
Brandix is in the process of improving
sanitation facilities and is promoting bio
As Platinum sponsor Brandix will also be
responsible for one segment of the fashion
show, at which it will showcase an exclusive
design collection produced by its own
inhouse designers. This segment will
demonstrate Brandix’s capabilities in
design, raw material and manufacture of
apparel for discerning international High
Street fashion labels.
Brandix pioneered the concept of total
solutions in the Sri Lankan apparel industry
and is Sri Lanka’s largest apparel exporter
with a consolidated annual turnover of over
US$320 million (2006-07).
The winner of two Presidential Export
Awards and the recipient of the prestigious
international Green Apple award for
practice, the Group is also focused on
CSR initiatives that involve water.
Sampath-Fin. Ministry "JV"
Sampath Bank in keeping with their values
to uplift the needy, has joined with the
Finance Ministry in their efforts to help
under privileged children in Mawanella and
The Bank handed over 1,000 "Pubudu"
children’s savings accounts at recent
ceremonies held in those areas to launch
project "Ran Piyawara," an initiative taken
by the Ministry with a view to inculcating
the savings habit among the children.
Accountholders were also rewarded with
Sampath School Bag as special gifts.
Sampath Bank is proud to have been the
first private commercial bank to rise to the
occasion and partner such a project in
serving the under privileged community.
Sampath Pubudu Savings scheme offers
interest rates, bonus interest and other
rewards for young savers. This is
complemented by the accessibility to their
savings account through more than 100
electronically linked branches islandwide.
The Bank hopes to open branches in these
areas in the near future which will also
help to sustain this effort.
Upgrades Wennappuwa ops.
Pan Asia Bank’s (PAB’s) Wennapuwa
extension office located by Chilaw Road,
Wennappuwa was upgraded to a fully fledged
PAB Chairman A..G..Weerasinghe addressing
the gathering said that the Wennappuwa
customer service centre, even as an
extension office performed well, providing
customers a good service. He also mentioned
that this was evident by the presence of the
large number of customers attending this
ceremony. He said that PAB would continue to
provide the best of services to its
customers through this dedicated staff.
Ajith Dabarera, a valued customer of the
branch and a prominent businessman in the
area commended the branch’s service, saying
that the branch was quick to identify
customer needs, thereby being in a position
to provide appropriate solutions.
Branch Manager Monindra Fenando proposed
the vote of thanks.
SCB opens more branches
Standard Chartered Bank Kollupitiya was
recently opened by Standard Chartered Bank
Sri Lanka (SCB SL) CEO Clive Haswell,
marking the completion of a three phased re-furbishment
that was undertaken by the Bank in February
Branches in Kirulapone and Moratuwa
were re-opened prior to this.
Haswell said, "I am delighted to open
these branches outside Colombo city as it
not only represents SCB’s confidence in Sri
Lanka, but also the opportunities to do
business, while contributing to the
country’s economic progress."
Refurbished branches are equipped with an
ATM lobby providing customers with a secure
surrounding. The branches also cater to
disabled customers, with disabled friendly
The branches also boast SCB’s
internationally acclaimed branding campaign
translated into Sinhala and Tamil for the
first time in the history of the Bank’s
local franchise. The new fully refurbished
branches offer a range of products and
banking services on par with international
SCB SL Consumer Banking Head Anirvan
Ghosh-Dastidar said, "The opening of these
branches proves the bank’s commitment to
enhancing our footprint in the Sri Lankan
market. This is in keeping with our strategy
to add value to the consumer banking
segment. The branches will offer tailor made
banking solutions to our customer base. We
are certain that our superior service
standards along with the vast product range
will offer a unique banking experience to
the communities in these busy towns."
Standard Chartered is one of the oldest
bank’s in Sri Lanka, having started business
here as an agent office in 1858 and as a
full branch in 1892. The Bank is now the 2nd
largest foreign bank in the county and was
awarded Asian Bankers best retail bank in
Sri Lanka 2007.
Eagle’s PBT down 45%
Eagle Insurance PLC recorded a
consolidated revenue of Rs.1,594 million for
the 2008 first quarter (1Q), representing an
18% year on year (YoY) growth over 2007.
Total gross written premium income grew by
14% to Rs.1, 516 million.
Life and general insurance premiums
recorded growths of 8% and 27% respectively
with Rs. 948 million and Rs.568 million.
The Group recorded a net profit before
tax of Rs. 21 million for the quarter, a 45%
YoY decline. The dip was due to the large
number of claims settled in the general
insurance business. The Group’s commitment
towards expense management initiatives has
ensured that operating expenses are within
the budget, despite rising costs.
As in previous years, the result for the
quarter does not include contribution from
long-term business, which is determined
annually after the actuarial valuation and
included in the full year results.
Eagle expanded its product offering by
launching a range of insurance products for
its bancassurance customers. In keeping with
its core value of "dedication to customers"
the company launched "Eagle Care Centre"–a
state of the art, 24 hour call centre for
life and general insurance customers. Now
Eagle customers can call "one number" for
all their insurance needs. This includes
specialized and speedier assistance in motor
Company’s Managing Director Deepal
Sooriyaarachchi said, "General insurance
business has performed satisfactorily during
the 2008 1Q. We have launched strategic
initiatives to improve net claims cost for
the remaining 2008 period.
Sound strategies are in place to secure a
rapid growth in Life insurance business. We
are confident that our initiatives are
suited to the current environment and will
produce satisfactory results at year-end."
Eagle Insurance Chairman Bert Paterson
said, "We have an aggressive growth
strategy. The Board remains confident that
the Company will forge ahead even in this
challenging business environment."
SriLankan modifies engines
SriLankan Airlines has become one of the
few organisations in the world to have
carried out an important mandatory
modification for engines on the Airbus A340,
one of the world’s most widely used
SriLankan Engineering, the aircraft
engineering arm of SriLankan Airlines, is
now carrying out modifications on the CFM-56
engines of SriLankan’s own fleet of A340’s
in its aircraft engineering facilities at
Bandaranaike International Airport. Base
Maintenance Manager A. M. Ariyasena said: "SriLankan
Airlines is one of only seven aircraft
maintenance organisations in the world to
have performed this modification, which is a
considerable achievement that our national
carrier and our country can be proud of. The
other institutions are in Europe, Canada and
Hong Kong. We are also achieving a
significant cost saving for the airline, and
conserving foreign exchange by carrying out
the work in Sri Lanka."
The modifications are mandatory
requirements by the engine’s manufacturer,
which must be completed on every CFM-56
engine in use in all airlines by end 2008.
It comprises a set of upgrades to strengthen
the structural integrity of the engine’s
exhaust section, known as the C-duct or the
Thrust Reverser. This is vital in reversing
the direction of thrust to bring an aircraft
to a halt on landing. Most other airlines
using A340 aircraft are going through the
costly and laborious process of removing
their engine thrust reversers and shipping
them to Europe for the modifications.
Inflation & Money Supply
IMF Asia and Pacific Department Director
David Burton in a statement said: "Our
recent IMF Working Paper ‘Pass-Through of
External Shocks to Inflation in Sri Lanka’
has attracted a lot of attention in Sri
Lanka and we felt it would be useful to
clarify some of the points raised by this
The Working Paper examined the causes of
inflation in Sri Lanka and used statistical
analysis to investigate how much external
shocks—events beyond the government’s
control—contributed to inflation. The
analysis indicated that such shocks
explained about 25% of the variation in Sri
Lanka’s consumer price inflation between
January 2003-July 2007, while 16% was
explained by monetary growth and excess
demand, and the rest by other factors such
as changes in government subsidies and
volatile domestic food prices.
Based on these findings, the paper
concluded that domestic policies play an
important role in containing inflation—a
view that is consistent with those of IMF’s
2007 Article IV report on Sri Lanka and with
the experience of other countries.
In this context, it is important to note
that the staff study only looks at data up
to July 2007, and that it does not take
account of the surge in world commodity
prices that has been a big cause of the run
up in headline inflation in Sri Lanka from
13.5% in July 2007 to 25% in April 2008.
The Sri Lanka authorities have taken
important steps to address this latest
challenge. The government took a bold—in the
sense of economically correct and
politically difficult—step of allowing these
price rises to pass through by phasing out
food and fuel subsidies during the second
half of 2007, and the Central Bank of Sri
Lanka (CBSL) has taken welcome steps to
tighten monetary policy to combat inflation.
The authorities are right to be concerned
about the level of headline inflation and
the IMF supports their goal of bringing it
down to single digits. This is why the 2007
Article IV report backed continued efforts
to tighten monetary policy and to reduce the
Meanwhile CBSL said: " In response to the
clarifications made by CBSL on the
scientific grounds on the validity of the
findings in the recent IMF working paper on
Pass-through of External Shocks to Inflation
in Sri Lanka, Burton has now issued an
explanation to the media.
During discussions with CBSL officials,
IMF admitted that money supply and output
gap were the two variables that represent
monetary and fiscal stimulus in the model
used. The IMF has further clarified that
monetary and fiscal expansion explains only
16% of the variation in inflation, not 75%
as interpreted earlier. Accordingly, the IMF
explanation implies that the impact of
monetary and fiscal expansion on current
inflation would be even lower than the 16%
captured by the study and that the impact of
food and energy prices could be even higher
now as food and energy prices rose sharply
and monetary and fiscal policies were
tightened further since July 2007.
CBSL is thankful to the IMF for issuing
an explanation in this regard as it would
provide a clear interpretation of the
results of the Working Paper."
One in five couples suffer from
The last 30 years have seen many advances
in the treatment modalities available to
In Sri Lanka, 1 in 5 couples suffer some
form of infertility which requires
consultation with infertility experts.
More than 50% of the couples in Sri Lanka
experience infertility due to the male
factor: "Poor sperm count or no sperm at all
and even problems with coitus." The female
contributing factor can be divided further
into those with tubal problems and others
who have poor quality eggs due to their age.
Unlike males, female fertility index
decreases with increasing age.
While general practitioners would
normally be the first stop for consultation,
it is important to note that infertile
couples can approach infertility clinics
directly. These clinics are equipped to
carry out sophisticated tests which allow
the infertility specialist to choose the
best treatment modality for the couple.
Nawaloka Fertility Centre (NFC) is one
such centre. It offers the most advanced
treatment options to its patients ranging
from screened donor insemination to egg
cryopreservation for future use. Recognizing
and respecting the fact that most patients
would prefer a female gynaecologist, NFC has
on its staff an experienced gynaecologist
from India, supported by a team of local
At NFC we offer the most recent,
clinically- safe treatment modalities for
The technique, of Intracytoplasmic Sperm
injection (ICSI), continues to make it
possible to help males with poor sperm or no
sperm at all to father a child. In the cases
of absence of sperms, sperms are extracted
from the testes tubules by the biopsy
technique. . After processing the sperm,
they are injected into an egg of the mother
in a state of the art laboratory. Following
fertilisation and embryo development, a
maximum of three embryos are transferred
into the womb of the patient. This technique
requires a skilled person to ensure that the
eggs are not damaged, destroyed or its
genetic material harmed. At NFC, we have a
clinical scientist of international repute,
responsible for the ICSI (Intra cytoplasmic
sperm injection) procedure.
Recent statistics reveal that a large
group of patients in the age group of 38
plus produce eggs of inferior quality. For
such patients, the only way forward is to
have their embryos tested for genetic
abnormalities prior to their transfer into
the womb (Pre implantation Genetic Diagnosis
/ PGD), or to look for an egg donor.
While most cities the world over have
taken to egg donation in a large scale, most
clinics in Sri Lanka are still in their
infancy. Most of our patients at NFC require
egg donation. Our several years’ experience
in this fields allows us to offer patients a
good chance for conceiving with egg donation
With systematic selection of good quality
embryos our patients enjoy good success
rates. All our egg donors are altruistic and
undergo screening tests, including
Karyotyping. This ensures that the eggs
being donated are genetically normal. Most
of our donors have proven fertility, and are
under the age of 32 years. Our egg donation
programme ensures that each of the
recipients receives a minimum of 6 eggs with
an added advantage of freezing spare
embryos, of good quality, for future use.
A new freezing technique called
‘Vitrification’ has been introduced at NFC.
Unlike the previous slow freezing technique,
Vitrification involves a quick quenching of
the embryos or eggs into liquid nitrogen.
Traditionally, it has been documented that
Frozen Embryo transfers give inferior
results compared to fresh transfers.
However, with the new Vitrfication
technique, results reported worldwide thus
far are encouraging.
While this procedure has only been
recently introduced at NFC, the next few
months will reveal the true potential of
this freezing programme. As there is a
shortage of altruistic (unselfish) egg
donors, the vitrification process will allow
us to freeze donated eggs for future use of
our patients without having to wait for a
matched donor. Just like a sperm donor bank,
NFC will be offering egg donation through
its egg freezing programme.
Further, it is known that any freezing
and thawing of the embryos or eggs lead to
hardening of the outer covering or the Zona
Pelluicda. This may further delay or prevent
the hatching of the cells from within and
could lead to failed implantation. In order
to prevent this happening, at NFC, our
entire frozen embryo transfers and "now
frozen egg" would undergo a process called
‘Assisted Hatching.’ Here, the Zona
Pellucida is gently breached (thinned) to
allow for a natural opening, leading to the
extrusion of the cells in readiness for
One major cost factor involved in
IVF/ICSI cycles is the cost of drugs
required to stimulate the cycles. In order
to avoid hyper stimulation and to reduce the
cost of these cycles considerably, NFC has
embarked on a minimal stimulation programme
combined with in vitro maturation of the
In this procedure, similar to the IVF/ICSI
cycles, the patient is stimulated with
hormones; however, the dosage of the
hormones administered is reduced to half.
The egg collection is then done much earlier
in the cycle and the eggs collected are
allowed to mature in the laboratory, prior
to the addition of sperms. Once the eggs are
matured, they are then subjected to ICSI and
the resulting embryos transferred into the
womb. These techniques allow us to monitor
patients and prevent hyper stimulation,
which could prove fatal.
Although donor sperm is not a new
treatment modality, the Assisted
Reproductive Guidelines by Sri Lanka Medical
Council have directed infertility clinics to
use screened, quarantined, frozen donor
sperm for their donor sperm programmes. NFC
has already implemented these
recommendations. It provides patients with
peace of mind to know that the sample used
on them is screened for sexually transmitted
diseases, including HIV, and quarantined
NFC offers its patients newer techniques
at the leading edge of technology, combining
old proven safe techniques with the new, to
enhance results even more. NFC staff address
the needs of the patient under one roof.
The patient experiences continued care from
the time of the first consultation to the
time when pregnancy is achieved.
NFC will soon be relocating itself into
the modern "purpose built" laboratory &
clinic at the new building of Nawaloka
HSBC practices "green" environment
HSBC concluded its first ever "Inter
Departmental Competition on Climate Change"
by announcing the finalists of the
Four teams were selected for their
innovative thinking and were awarded first,
second and third places by chief guest Nick
A Nicolaou, Chief Executive Officer HSBC Sri
Lanka and the Maldives at a ceremony held at
the Bank premises recently.
The first place was awarded to the
"Corporate Real Estate" team, whilst teams
"Operations Development and Design" and
"Human Resources" were awarded second place.
The "Card Centre" team was awarded third
place amongst 45 teams actively taking part
in this year’s competition.
The competition was open to all internal
departments and branches within the bank and
each entity was requested to make a
presentation on initiatives that could be
implemented to minimise direct impacts on
Each entry was evaluated against the
common objectives of-supporting the group’s
commitment to climate change, creating an
environmentally sensitive workforce and
identifying methods of reducing emissions
and efficient use of resources.
Moratuwa University’s Chemical and
Process Engineering Department former Head
and Senior Lecturer Prof. Ajith de Alwis
selected the four best teams.
The criteria for selecting the best
proposals were based on practical
guidelines–originality, ease of
implementation, carbon and resource savings
The competition from its inception in
2007 has already implemented some of the
best ideas such as recycling paper and toner
cartridges, rain water harvesting,
minimising utility waste, creating a
paperless environment, improving processors
to reduce turnaround time, trading in used
paper for notebooks with third party
suppliers and reducing the use of plastic
bags by distributing cloth bags to staff.
Sicille rubs shoulders with bigwigs
CELINCO Consolidated Deputy Chairperson
Dr. Sicille P.C. Kotelawala was part of a
private delegation that accompanied Foreign
Minister Rohitha Bogollagama for the Second
Ministerial Meeting of Asia Middle East
Dialogue (AMED-11) which was held at Sharm
El Sheikh, Egypt, recently.
During her visit, Kotelawala met with
Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa,
Trade and Industry Minister Rashid Mohamed
Rashid and Tourism Minister Zoheir Garanah,
where an MoU was signed between the two
governments on tourism cooperation.
Kotelawala’s father, the late Senator Sam
P.C. Fernando served as Sri Lanka’s
Ambassador to Egypt, concurrently accredited
to Jordan, Yugoslavia and Sudan from 1963 to
Fernando also chaired the preparatory
meeting of the Non-Aligned Conference held
in Colombo, which later led to the 5th
Non-Aligned Conference which was held in
Colombo in 1976.