Ajith Nivard Cabraal and
Cabraal glosses over possibility
Nexus between fake finance cos.,
& rising inflation
A senior Central Bank (CB) officer glossed
over a possible corollary between the rise
of spurious finance companies like the now
defunct Sakvithi that offered depositors
above average market interest rates and
One of CB's prime responsibilities is
inflation targeting to ensure price
stability in the economy.
CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal speaking to
reporters on Thursday said that depositors
should think twice before investing in such
fake finance companies that offered an 80%
interest rate on deposits.
He however avoided answering the question of
what steps the Bank was taking to bring
This was after it was pointed out that what
may have had induced gullible depositors to
"bank" their money in such illegal finance
companies was the promise of returns that
would beat inflation.
Inflation in the country according to a
watered down index launched by the
government controlled Census and Statistics
Department recently is over 23%. High
inflation erodes consumers' purchasing power
and according to World Bank Country Director
Ms. Naoko Ishii, hits the urban poor the
And in the present high inflationary
scenario traditional finance institutions
regulated by the CB offer depositors returns
below the inflationary rate, giving them a
negative return on their savings.
Cabraal glossed over the possible historical
corollary between failed finance companies
then and now, and high inflation in the
context of finance companies that failed in
the early 1980s and late 1980s, in an
environment similar to that which currently
exists, of high inflation and those failed
"finance" companies which too offered a
higher rate of return on customer deposits.
Meanwhile, CB's actions appear to be stoking
inflation, rather than trying to reduce it.
In the two week period from September 18 to
October 2 it has increased its Treasury Bill
(T. Bill) holdings by over 750% to Rs.
The sale of T. Bills by the Treasury is one
way by which the government borrows money to
meet its expenditure requirements.
However, when such T. Bills are bought by
the CB, as opposed to being purchased by the
market, it causes inflationary pressure in
the economy as the CB releases new paper
money to the Treasury, while at the same
time there is no corresponding increase in
the supply of goods and services in the
market to cause any deflationary pressure to
mitigate any price upside that such an
action would cause.
But, CB Deputy Governor W. A. Wijewardena
defended the Bank's action to increase
credit to the government by saying that any
attempt to control inflation in "one go"
would kill the patient.
He further said that such credit extended to
the government by the CB was within the
Bank's monetary targets.
Wijewardena said that the CB targets to
bring down inflation to 20% by the year end
and to 11% by the end of next year.
Meanwhile, Cabraal said that amendments
would be brought in to the Finance Companies
Act of 1988 to rein in spurious finance
companies like the now defunct Sakvithi.
He said that the present law lacks teeth to
prosecute such errant finance companies
which circumvent the law by using phrases
like investing in trees and education
instead of deposits, a word which is
permitted to be used by law by only those
financial institutions registered with the
CB. Sakvithi was not registered with the CB.
WB aid addresses conflict issues
The World Bank (WB) wants to address the
root causes of the conflict, a WB official
WB Country Director Ms. Naoko Ishii speaking
to reporters on Thursday said that 30% of
the Bank's US$ 900 million Country
Assistance Strategy (CAS) to Sri Lanka
covering a four year period beginning from
next year are funds earmarked for the
development of conflict affected areas.
She said that a lot of insight was gleaned
after speaking to the Eastern Provincial
Council in this regard.
Ishii said assisting to promote English as a
link language plays a crucial role here.
The new CAS strategy has three target areas:
Roads, for which 40% of the funding is
directed; Community Based funding which
takes-up another 15-20%, while the balance
funding were directed to Health and
Women too play a major role in the new CAS
programme, where a minimum 51% of the
membership for the development of community
based works will have to be women.
"If that ratio is not met, the WB will not
release any money for such development
works," said Ishii.
Those participatory community development
works include agriculture and irrigation and
rural road development, targeting economic
uplift at the grassroots level.
She said that the reason for the insistence
of the participation of women in the
decision making process for such development
works was because women were the source of
Sri Lanka's three biggest foreign exchange
revenue earners, namely garments and tea as
well as remittances from overseas.
She said that the road development works
include helping to connect the farmer with
the market. The WB had found that this was a
serious problem in rural Sri Lanka.
There is also a component in the new CAS
that is being worked out to provide water to
the plantation sector. "While poverty in the
country on an overall basis has reduced,
however, poverty in the estate sector has
increased," she said.
Ishii further said that when speaking to the
authorities and the community she found that
there was a disconnect between what the
centre thought were the needs of the
periphery, vis-…-vis the periphery's actual
needs. The new CAS is cognizant of this
Ishii further claimed that the areas to
which the new CAS is targeted, were
virtually immune from any abuse or
Plantations to drive bourse
The market is looking for something tangible
to happen at Killinochchi if it is to be
given a boost, market sources who did not
want to be named told The Sunday Leader.
The bourse, continuing with its string of
low runs, returned a nominal turnover of Rs.
111 million on Friday, though the indices
were up by seven and nine points on
speculation on plantation stock.
Speculation that a Malaysian party was
interested in acquiring Maskeliya
Plantations drove the value of both
Maskeliya and Richard Pieris, which has a
controlling stake in Maskeliya, at Friday's
Maskeliya closed the week at Rs. 30, up Rs.
4 over its previous closing price on a
volume of 548,900. Virtually all of these
trades were led by retailers, they said.
Meanwhile, Richard Pieris saw 85,300 shares
traded at the Rs. 45 price levels before
closing at Rs. 44.75, Rs, 4.75 more than its
previous closing price.
They expected this tide of speculation to
continue in the week beginning tomorrow that
would drive up the bourse.
Other major contributions to the day came
from Distilleries, Rs. 43 million on a share
volume of 482,400. Of this volume, 475, 000
comprised a crossing of foreign buying and
local selling, they said. AMW Rs. seven
million on buying of this stock from its
recent majority shareholder Al Futtaim of
Dubai, and Chevron a share volume of 38,500
shares before closing at Rs. 114.75, up Rs.
Market sources however said that business
confidence on the Colombo bourse was down,
buffeted by the high interest rate and high
inflationary regime besetting the economy.
"For days, if not weeks, there has been
government propaganda on Killinochchi, but
no market moving news have so far been
generated from that end," they said.
There however may be a possibility of
foreign funds looking once again at the
Colombo bourse if the US$ 700 billion bail
out package voted in by the US Senate last
week, is finally approved by Congress, they
That may bring stability to those markets,
the sources said. Though there is a school
of thought that says that such a bail out
may not work because it's the taxpayers who
will have to ultimately foot in the bill,
However, if stability is once again restored
in Wall Street, foreign funds may start
looking at markets such as Sri Lanka, they
said. Foreign funds have been staying away
from the Colombo Bourse since June, well
before last month's crash of Wall Street,
the sources added.
CB sells $ 200 mn., to protect rupee
The Central Bank (CB) last month sold over
US$ 200 million to the market in order to
defend the rupee, CB data revealed.
However, with Monday's collapse of Wall
Street, the Central Bank (CB) though the
State controlled Bank of Ceylon (BoC)
stopped protecting the rupee on Tuesday
which resulted in the US dollar breaking the
Rs. 108 barrier and ending up at the Rs.
But the CB through the BoC once again
returned to the market the following day,
Wednesday, and has been pumping more than
US$ 10 million on a daily basis since, at
the Rs. 108 levels, in order to stabilize
the dollar at those prices, market sources
who did not want to be named told The Sunday
Pressure on the rupee to fall further is
building-up due to a mix of genuine importer
demand, including the settlement of defence
and petroleum bills, coupled with
speculation, they said.
The CB has been intervening the whole of
last month in order to protect the rupee,
they said. The sources expected CB to
intervention to continue in the coming weeks
Meanwhile, overnight call money market rates
(OMR) slid down by 200 basis to close the
week at the 17% levels due to captive funds
or the CB, or a mix of both, subscribing to
Treasury Bills (T. Bills) and T. Bonds at
rates less than that which the market was
demanding, and those moneys entering the
system, thereby increasing market liquidity
and hence lessening pressure on rates, they
However, the CB opened its concessionary
overnight reverse repo window and lent to
the market a sum of Rs. 8.7 billion at the
12% interest rate on Friday.
This is the twelfth consecutive market day
that the CB has opened its overnight reverse
repo window and lent to the market, a total
of Rs.75 billion to date this way.
Meanwhile, Thursday's T. Bond primary
auction, saw the weighted average yields
demanded by the market for all three tenures
ranging in the 19% levels, 200 basis points
higher over the WAYs commanded at the
previous primary auction.
Lifeboat and davit manufacturer Schat-Harding
is to launch a new generation freefall
lifeboat for the offshore industry.
The FF1200 boat and matching davit will have
a capacity for up to 70 persons and will be
suitable for drop heights from platforms and
other offshore units upto 33 m above sea
level in extreme conditions.
The unique feature of the new design is that
it meets all the new OLF (The Norwegian Oil
Industry Association) design criteria for
lifeboats in the Norwegian offshore sector,
which leads the world in offshore safety
standards. (Marine Talk)
Dr.P. B. Jayasundera tendered his
resignation from his position as Chairman
SriLankan Airlines effective from Thursday
(October 2) and The Government of Sri Lanka
(GoSL) has appointed Nishanta Wickramasinghe
(Executive Director) as Acting Chairman.
Wickremasinghe is currently the General
Manager of James Finlay Plantation Holdings
Ltd., and is the brother -in -law of
President Mahinda Rajapakse. GoSL has also
nominated and appointed the following as
directors of the national carrier: Dr U. N.
B. Obeysekera, Nihal Jayamanne (PC) and
Laugfs Holdings Ltd., the pioneer in the
auto gas retailing and conversion business
will open its 20th auto gas filling station
at Polhena, Matara tomorrow.
Laugfs Holdings is a 100% Sri Lankan
owned company which has interests in energy
products, retailing, modern trade
(supermarkets), heavy engineering, rubber
related exports, salt based chemical
manufacture, hotels and automotive and
Laugfs Holdings Ltd., Chairman W. K. H.
Wegapitiya stressed the importance of using
LPG as an alternative fuel for petrol driven
vehicles for a country like Sri Lanka.
Being a 100% import dependant country for
its petroleum based energy needs, Sri Lanka
should be concerned about its energy bill no
matter what the level of price crude oil is.
Since LPG has always shown a 40% discount
over petrol prices, it has become the most
convenient alternative for today’s
motorists. Even motorists in developed
countries like Australia, Italy and UK, as
well as newly emerging Poland, are being
encouraged and incentivized to convert their
vehicles to LPG, says Wegapitiya.
He also mentioned that upto now Sri
Lankan authorities have not given any
encouragement for conversions nor have they
shown any interest in this area.
Laugfs Holdings operates the
state-of-the-art network of auto gas
stations in Sri Lanka. With over 15 stations
in Colombo and four stations located outside
Colombo (Anuradhapura, Kandy, Galle and
Kurunegala), the company has over 60%
coverage. The newest station at Matara will
add to this network, giving the opportunity
for motorists in this area to reduce their
petrol bills by 40%.
The station at Matara is operated with SK
Agencies through a franchise arrangement.
The company believes that this
arrangement gives opportunity to local
entrepreneurs who are better able to
understand local business conditions.
Under the franchise arrangement, Laugfs
Holdings will provide the product (LPG),
equipment, storage tanks, staff training and
technical support for the franchisee. The
new auto gas station will be coupled with a
lubricant and car care outlet as well as the
supply of domestic gas cylinders.
As with all Laugfs stations, this station
will also be open 24 hours a day.
Also together with SK Agencies, Laugfs
Holdings have tied up with several prominent
motor repair shops/garages in Matara to
undertake vehicle conversions using its
equipment. At present the company is
providing training for selected employees
from those establishments at its conversion
centre in Colombo. From next month motorists
in Matara will have the opportunity to get
quality certified conversions using BRC kits
manufactured in Italy.
MAK enters market
For the first time in Sri Lanka Hero
Honda motorcycle users have the opportunity
of using their own genuine engine oil. Hero
Honda Genuine Engine Oil is manufactured by
MAK Lubricants, based on a specialized
formulation developed by Honda Motors,
MAK is the lubricant brand of Bharat
Petroleum Corporation Ltd., a giant in
India’s energy sector and among the few
regional companies listed among the Fortune
Some of the other genuine oils
manufactured by MAK Lubricants include TATA,
TVS, Komatsu, General Motors and
Baharat Petroleum’s lubricant SBU has
been achieving continuous growth in the past
TVS Automotives Pvt. Ltd., Director
Chanaka Yatawara says: "Introduction of such
genuine engine oils to the Sri Lankan market
will provide our customers with the
opportunity of using products especially
developed for their own brand of vehicles."
TVS is the sole distributor for MAK
Lubricants in Sri Lanka. "Furthermore, it
will also be comforting for MAK Lubricants
customers to know that MAK Lubricants have
been the No.1 choice among many original
equipment manufactures both in India and
Hero Honda Motors Ltd is the single
largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world
with a monthly production of around 500,000
units per month. While the largest market
for Hero Honda is India, Hero Honda exports
to several countries from which Sri Lanka is
a key export market. Stafford Motor Co.
Ltd., the sole authorized distributor for
Honda & Hero Honda in Sri Lanka imports &
markets a number of Hero Honda models for
the local consumers such as CD Dawn,
Splendor NXG, Passion, Glamour, CBZX and
Sri Lanka Insurance has tied up with the
All Ceylon Drivers School Owners Association
(ACDSOA) to provide training & workshops for
its member driving schools on the importance
of driver & passenger safety and the
importance of repairing a vehicle to
manufacturers’ specifications after a
The workshops will be carried out at the
collision repair Centre Formula World,
ACDSOA was established in 1961 under the
supervision of the Labour Ministry and work
closely with the Transport Ministry. The
association has a member school base of over
500 spanning all regions of the country
excluding the north and some parts of the
east and is a major stakeholder in most of
the important decisions in motor traffic
Apart from conducting training &
workshops for member organizations, the
association takes upon itself the
responsibility of educating members of new
rules & regulations to be imposed by the
motor traffic department and also provides
assistance in obtaining various vehicle
licenses and the other documentation
pertaining to motor traffic.
CB doubles access to lending window
Reserve money, the operating target for
Central Bank’s (CB’s) monetary policy has
been well within the revised third quarter
target, the CB said.
It further said: "The achievement of the
reserve money target last month (September
2008) follows the successful achievement of
the targets set for the first two quarters
of the year. Average reserve money during
the third quarter at Rs. 280.6 billion (a
9.8% growth) compared with the Rs. 285.2
billion target (a 11.4% year-on-year
CB revised its quarterly targets
published in the "Road Map for Monetary and
Financial Sector Policies for 2008 and
beyond" to contain the second round effect
of the high international commodity prices
on future inflation.
CB’s strategy has been to keep in check
the growth in reserve money through open
market operations as well as stringent
quantitative restrictions and allowing
market interest rates to adjust accordingly
to contain demand driven inflationary
The impact of the tight monetary policy
stance maintained thus far has been evident
in the deceleration in monetary aggregates
growth and the decline in inflation.
Inflation, as measured by the
year-on-year change in the New Colombo
Consumers’ Price Index (base=2002), which
reached 28.2%t in June 2008 has continued to
decline thereafter, to 24.3% by end
Supported by the continued containment of
demand pressure as well as improvements on
the supply side, inflation is expected to
moderate further during the months ahead.
Turbulent conditions in global financial
markets have led to tighter liquidity and
credit conditions the world over. CB has
been closely monitoring these developments
and observed some sharp movements in
interest rates which are not warranted under
present conditions where there is sufficient
leeway in the reserve money programme.
Therefore, considering the firm market
liquidity levels maintained thus far through
the tight monetary policy stance and the
current global developments, CB has decided
to ease conditions pertaining to the
provision of the reverse repurchase facility
in order to avert any risks that may arise
from liquidity constraints. Accordingly, the
provision of liquidity by the Central Bank
to market participants at the Reverse
repurchase rate has been enhanced to six
times per calendar month from three, as per
existing rules with effect from this month
However, the provision of reverse
repurchases at the Reverse repo rate of the
Central Bank will continue to be made only
when the market is short in liquidity.
This move is expected to contain the
volatility in money market interest rates.
Since reserve money is well within the
targeted level, this measure will not pose
any risk to achieving the fourth quarter
reserve money target.
Among top 4
Cinnamon Island Alidhoo was conferred the
prestigious Grand PATA award for the
‘Education and Training’ category at a
presentation held in Hyderabad, India
recently. The other three PATA Grand Awards
were won by Singapore Airlines in the
Marketing category; Delhi Tourism and
Transportation Development Corporation for
Heritage; and Nihiwatu Resort, Indonesia for
In addition to the four Grand Awards, 22
Gold Awards were also given to
travel-related organisations and
Cinnamon Island Alidhoo is the flagship
resort of Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, the
John Keells Group’s premier hospitality
brand. It is in the atoll of Haa Alifu which
is in the northern most part of the
Titled ‘We shared and we cared,’ the
Cinnamon Island Alidhoo award-winning
project is a new School of Hospitality at
its premises. The initiative began as a
recruitment drive and gradually snowballed
into an opportunity for the women and young
people of the Barah and Utheem islands in
the Maldives, to transform themselves into
hoteliers. Starting this year, the resort’s
parent company, Keells Hotel Management
Services Ltd., invested to operate a hotel
school in which the curriculum is focused on
providing the youth of the islands
neighbouring Cinnamon Island Alidhoo with
skills that would equip them to enter the
"Recession" hits airlines
International passenger demand growth
slowed to 1.3%, following a disappointing
1.9% growth in July.
Passenger load factors fell to 79.2%, a
sharp drop-off from the 81% recorded during
the same period last year as capacity growth
International freight traffic saw its
third consecutive month of contraction with
a 2.7% decline following drops of 1.9% in
July and 0.8% in June.
Passenger traffic grew by 5.4% in the
first half of the year. That slowed to 1.9%
in July and 1.3% in August.
"The contrast between the first half of
the year and the last two months is stark,"
said IATA’s Director General Giovanni
"Slowdown has been so sudden that
airlines can’t adjust capacity quickly
enough. While the drop in the oil price is
welcome relief on the cost side, fuel
remains 30% higher than a year ago. And with
traffic growth continuing to decline, the
industry is still heading for a US$5.2
billion loss this year."
Air freight has declined for the past
three months, led by Asia Pacific carriers
that posted a 6.5% decline in July and a
6.8% decline in August.
"Airlines carry 35% by value of the goods
traded internationally. The three-month
decline-led by weakness in Asia-Pacific
markets-is a clear indication that global
trade is slowing down. This shows that the
impact of the financial crisis is broad
geographically and will worsen before it
gets better," said Bisignani.
Asia Pacific carriers reported a 3.1%
contraction, following a 0.5% decline in
July. Economic distortions surrounding the
Olympics in China and a weakening Japanese
economic outlook contributed to the decline.
While some recovery in this weak performance
is expected in coming months, clearly the
region’s economies are feeling the impact of
the turmoil in financial markets.
Middle Eastern carriers saw traffic
growth drop to 4.3% following 5.3% in July
and well below the 10.6% growth recorded
during the first six months of the year.
In contrast, international passenger
traffic carried by North American airlines
accelerated from a 4.2% growth in July to
5.2% in August, in Latin America from 8.1%
to 11.9% and in Europe from 1.3% to 1.6%.
August is usually the second strongest
month of the year, but the 79.2% load factor
achieved was 1.8% points lower than last
year, although scheduled capacity is planned
to slow very sharply to the point where it
barely grows by the year end.
The 6.8% decline in international freight
shipped by carriers in the Asia Pacific
region had the greatest impact as they
comprise 45% of the global air cargo
Other big market players also showed
weakness. European carriers experienced a
0.9% decline, while US carriers reported a
Sharp declines in freight traffic in
Latin America (-13.2%) reflect restructuring
in Brazil with cuts in capacity.
"Industry crisis is deepening and no
region is immune. Urgent measures are
needed. From taxation to charges and
operational efficiencies, all areas
impacting the business must be examined for
ways to reduce costs and drive efficiencies.
It’s a matter of survival," said Bisignani.
He noted significant progress in Brazil,
where a Presidential approval for the
removal of a fuel tax for international
flights was published recently
"After a two-year campaign, this is great
news and the US$411 million savings over the
next four years could not be better timed.
The challenge is for other governments to
follow Brazil’s example, conform with global
standards and free the industry of crazy
taxation. This is particularly true of
India. Its carriers will post the largest
losses outside of the USA-US$1.5 billion
this year-and they are being crippled by
enormous taxation on fuel, particularly in
domestic markets," said Bisignani.
Homes & Property Sri Lanka, a magazine
catering to the housing sector, is published
by Well Red Ink Pvt. Ltd.
The magazine which is printed on glossy
paper is well laid out with articles and
colour photographs, targeting a middle-class
audience and above, in this sector.
It includes articles on home décor and
carries information on housing property and
land for sale or for rent and suppliers of
housing building stock.
It makes good reading for the connoisseur
of housing decor
Main Branch at Green Path
Hatton National Bank’s (HNB’s) Main
Branch at R.A De Mel Mawatha was recently
relocated to No. 38, Ananda Kumaraswamy
Mawatha, Green Path, Colombo.
It will hereafter be called the HNB Green
Path customer centre.
HNB Managing Director /CEO Rajendra
Theagarajah said that HNB is committed to
provide superior banking services to its
customers. He said that a number of value
additions have been provided with the
relocation of this customer centre keeping
in line with the bank’s commitment to
provide convenience to its customers.
The new Green Path customer centre
situated in the heart of Colombo is in a
sophisticated locality with nature friendly
architecture. In addition to this there is
ample parking space provided to carry out
banking functions with ease. The new
customer centre is equipped with a drive
through ATM, access for the differently-
abled persons and will also provide holiday
Green Path Manager Dharshana Ratnayake
thanked his customers for maintaining
longstanding relationships with the bank and
assured them of greater convenience through
the new branch. A distinguished gathering
was present on this occasion.
HNB was named the Best Retail Bank in Sri
Lanka by the Asian Banker magazine and
offers a comprehensive range of products and
services with product offerings to new borns
up to senior citizens.
The official creation of Aviva Investors,
the global asset management business of
Aviva plc, took place recently.
Aviva Investors is a single business with
1100 employees working in 21 locations
around the world.
Aviva, the world’s fifth largest
insurance company1, is investing to
transform its asset management business over
the next few years into onZe that
significantly increases its contribution to
Group profit and becomes an investment
powerhouse on a global scale. Aviva
Investors currently manages more than £235
billion (€297 billion/US$469 billion).
Aviva Investors Chief Executive Alain
Dromer said: "This marks the initial
integration of our asset management
companies and the start of Aviva Investors’
transformation into a global investment
powerhouse. The exceptional tensions
experienced in the past few weeks have
highlighted the benefit of operating
globally to service all our clients better.
Aviva Investors will draw on the best of
products and capabilities from around the
world to deliver innovative services and
investment performance to our internal and
This is not just about rebranding. It is
a radical change, driven by the value that
we can deliver to our clients. It’s about
creating a new approach to asset management
for Aviva and building a dynamic new
business that can provide global investment
The investment model developed for Aviva
Investors is one that anticipates market
trends and changing client demands. It will
be transformed to deliver greater
specialisation and focus and be based around
two key areas: Local autonomous teams that
concentrate on generating alpha and high
"out-performance" through active portfolio
management in areas such as equity and fixed
income investment and real estate.
A global investment solutions team that
will manage capabilities requiring scale and
a global outlook will focus on products
and multi-asset solutions that include
quantitative, index, asset allocation,
multi-manager and structured products.
Aviva Investors combines businesses in
Australia (Portfolio Partners) France (Aviva
Gestion d’Actifs) Poland (CUIM Polska),
Ireland (Hibernian Investment Managers)
North America (Aviva Capital Management &
MFM International, Aviva Investment Canada)
Romania (CertInvest) and the UK (Morley).
Path to Sri Pada
Commercial Bank of Ceylon Corporate
Social Responsibility Trust (CSR Trust)
started a project last year to rehabilitate
and reconstruct the stretch between
Seethagangula and Thenna at Sri Pada (Adam’s
Peak), the only mountain in the world
considered sacred by the followers of
many different faiths.
This followed a request by the Chief
Incumbent of the Sri Padasthanaya,
Handapangoda Wimalabhidana Thera and the
Chief Incumbent of Uda Maluwa, Dampahala
The Trust began with a startup capital of
Rs 25 million and the Bank contributes up to
one per cent of its post tax profits every
year towards it.
"The Sri Pada path-way through Hatton was
in a dilapidated condition and we were
informed that there were delays in obtaining
the necessary funds for the reconstruction
of this stretch which was in a particularly
bad condition. Our CSR Trust responded by
undertaking the project to rehabilitate and
reconstruct this pathway with the consent of
the authorities," Commercial Bank’s AGM-Plan
Implementation Richard Rodrigo said.
He said that subsequent to the Bank’s
offer, government authorities and several
other private establishments had come
forward to assist in the rehabilitation of
different stretches of this pathway.
A public meeting was organized recently
in Hatton by the authorities to acknowledge
the contributions made towards this project
by Commercial Bank and the Government.
Work on the stretch undertaken by the
Bank is progressing fast despite
the many challenges of working during the
"Off Season" which is also the rainy season.
Another difficulty is carrying the building
materials manually to the place of work
located at high elevations. "Notwithstanding
all these, the work is nearing completion
and we expect to handover the rehabilitated
roadway to the authorities in the near
future. This would ease the hardships faced
by pilgrims visiting Sri Pada at least to
some extent," Rodrigo added.
CSR Trust empowers communities and
individuals to help them become self-reliant
and independent, to motivate people, to
encourage individuals to think out of box,
to capture and preserve heritage & folk
Recent CSR initiatives by the Trust
include granting scholarships to
undergraduates, building homes for the
Tsunami affected, assisting Children’s
Homes, donating equipment and essentials to
the Colombo National Hospital and
refurbishing the Dental Clinic of Deniyaya
ICICI Bank Sri Lanka (ICICIB) recently
announced the launch of a card-based
remittance product, an alternative to
The first such card was presented to
Matheesha Panchala Perera of Bandaragama who
receives money regularly from his brother
who is a permanent resident in the UK.
Hitherto Perera was receiving money via
various informal channels which necessitated
his coming to Colombo.
With ICICIB’s Remittance Card he no
longer has to make the trek to Colombo, thus
saving him time and money.
The remittance card is a Sri Lankan Rupee
(LKR) denominated card. It is re-loadable
for funding and can be used to withdraw
money at over 1,000 VISA affiliated ATMs
islandwide at no additional charge, as well
as at merchant establishments in Sri Lanka.
ICICIB Country Head Prem Thampi said,
"The Sri Lankan remittance market is growing
rapidly with migration of Sri Lankans to
newer geographies. At ICICIB, customer
convenience is utilized as a strategic tool
across all our business lines, and the
launch of the remittance card is all about
maximizing convenience and benefits to both
the remitter and beneficiary."
Benefits of the Remittance Card: 24-hour
access to funds, use at VISA Point of Sale
terminals(the card can be used for
transactions at over 14,000 merchant
establishments across the country) and
Safety: Beneficiary does not have to
withdraw the entire credit and take the risk
of carrying the money.
160 schols. on offer
More than 160 new scholarships will be on
offer to Ceylinco "Pranama" policyholders in
all districts of Sri Lanka.
Ceylinco Life said it has begun the
collection of applications from eligible
students. Applications close on November 30,
2008 for the
next batch of annual scholarships to be
presented at the BMICH in January.
Applications for Pranama scholarships are
available at Ceylinco Life branches
islandwide. Ceylinco Pranama scholarships
are presented to policyholders’ children who
achieve the best results in their respective
districts at the Year 5 scholarship exam,
GCE O’Level and A’Level and to those who
excel at the national level in sports,
culture, arts, drama or invention.
For the next round of scholarships,
students who sat the Year 5 scholarship exam
in 2008 and the GCE (O/L) and (A/L) exams
last year (2007) will be eligible to apply.
The National Merit Awards will consider
achievements in 2007/08.
Additionally, cash awards of Rs 25,000
each are presented to students who achieve
the highest marks islandwide in maths,
biology, commerce and arts at the GCE (A/L)
exam in 2007, irrespective of whether or not
they are the children of policyholders. If,
however, a policyholder’s child has achieved
this distinction, he or she qualifies to
receive both awards, the districtwise
scholarship and the special cash award.
The Pranama programme has benefited more
than 850 ‘future leaders’ since the first
awards ceremony in January 2002. The total
value of scholarships awarded to date
exceeds Rs. 30 million.
Besides the Pranama scholarships scheme,
Ceylinco Life has also established the
Ceylinco Aloka Fund for education, which
pays up to Rs 54,000 in 36 equal monthly
instalments on the death of an active
policyholder in the low income segment whose
children are undergoing primary, secondary
or tertiary education.
Euronet lauds Seylan
Seylan Card Centre took part at the Sixth
Annual Euronet Software Clients’ Annual Peer
Exchange (ESCAPE) held recently at Little
The theme of the conference was
"Targeting a Secure Future."
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, opened the
conference and representatives of Euronet’s
partners and clients from over 26 countries
attended the conference sessions that
covered the challenges and opportunities in
the Financial Services Industry.
Presentations were made on current and
future industry and technology trends,
product reviews as well as customer case
studies. Seylan Card Centre Senior Deputy
General Manager Tissa Nanayakkara
enlightened the Conference participants with
a presentation on ‘Innovation in the Card
issuing and Acquiring arena.’
Euronet Software Division Managing
Director Ms. Cindy Ashcraft said, "Beebe and
Euronet are especially pleased to present
Nanayakkara with a presentation which
showcased his Bank’s innovation in the card
issuing and acquiring arena."
All Delegates were able to exchange ideas
with their peers, foster strong
relationships with partners and clients, and
network with industry experts such as
MasterCard, Original Software, Acquirer
Systems, Thales, Trustware, NCR, Barnes
International, Insight and Uni-Source 2000,
Euronet Worldwide, Inc. is an industry
leader in processing secure electronic
financial transactions. The Company offers
payment and transaction processing solutions
to financial institutions, mobile operators
and retailers which include ATM, point of
sales (POS) and Card outsourcing services;
card issuing and merchant acquiring
services; software solutions; consumer money
transfer and bill payment services; and
electronic distribution for prepaid mobile
airtime and other prepaid products. Euronet
operates and processes transactions from 42
Euronet’s global payment network includes
11,917 ATMs and 51,000 EFT POS terminals
which are under management in 20 countries;
a growing portfolio of outsourced debit and
credit card services and card software
solutions; a prepaid processing network of
394,000 POS terminals across 193,000
retailer locations in 14 countries and a
"consumer-to-consumer" money transfer
network in more than 68,000 locations
serving 100 countries. With corporate
headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and 32
worldwide offices, Euronet serves clients in
B’caloa Centre relocated
Hatton National Bank(HNB)recently
relocated the Batticaloa Customer Centre at
Bazaar Street, Batticaloa.
The newly relocated customer centre will
be housed in a more spacious building with
ample parking space. This customer centre
was declared open by Batticaloa Mayor Mrs.
Sivageetha Prapaharan and HNB Deputy General
Manager Personal Banking & Network
Management Chandula Abeywickrema.
A large gathering was present on this
occasion including Deputy General
Manager-Zone II Mrs. L. L. C. C. Thambiah, &
Northern Region Senior Regional Manager A.
Abeywickrema in his address expressed his
pleasure in having opened the new customer
centre in a locality where they could serve
a developing community to support the
economy. He further said HNB will partner in
providing a new lease of life for the people
in the east and initiate programmes on
proper financial management and discipline.
With the east opening up, people who
experienced natural calamities and war have
now settled down peacefully waiting for
development and prosperity in their day to
At this juncture what they want is a
development process in agriculture, fishing
and business enterprise that would help to
improve the lifestyles of the people of
HNB being one of the largest private
commercial banks will be in a very good
position to fulfil the banking needs of the
people of Batticaloa in achieving their
aspirations, he said.
The HNB Batticaloa Customer Centre offers
a complete range of facilities from current
and saving accounts, to import/export
facilities. Singithi (minor savings
accounts), Shanthi home loans, financing
under the Gami Pubuduwa scheme,
credit Cards, NRFC/RFC accounts and leasing
facilities. HNB drives on the cutting-edge
of technology with an islandwide ATM
network, online banking and tele-banking
Bronze for JAAF
The Joint Apparel Association Forum’s (JAAF’s)
"Garments without Guilt" campaign won the
Bronze under the "Most Effective Use of
Public Relations" category Asian Marketing
effectiveness awards that was held at Macau
The Silver was shared between Levi
Strauss Hong Kong and GlaxoSmithKline
Australia. There was no Gold award given
under this category.
Awards in 19 categories were presented in
total, in addition to a Platinum award which
was won by the World Wildlife Fund. JAAF’s
advertising agency was Grey Global Colombo.
IPTV from SLT
SLT will now have Internet Protocol
Television (IPTV), a system where digital
television service is delivered using IP
over a network infrastructure which includes
delivery via broadband connection.
With an IP based platform, it allows
viewers watching TV more interactive and
VisionCom (Pvt) Ltd., CEO Thusha
Weerasooriya said, "This is an important
project for SLT as the success of this is
going to enhance and drive demand for core
optical network, copper wire lines and ADSL,
thereby allowing the growth of multi-sided
businesses to increase and complement each
other in many forms. We are glad to be the
driving force with the IP based TV
broadcasting service in Sri Lanka, with the
latest entertainment mediums in the world.
Our aim was to bring in IP technology
that has been driving new real time voice,
data and multimedia applications throughout
the areas of business, education and
Viewers will have the opportunity to
watch whatever they want at a time that is
convenient, giving a greater degree of
flexibility to the user, with high
definition images and high quality audio
coming into your living room.
With IPTV, SLT will be enabled to offer a
real time broadcast programming, Video on
Demand and other advanced services over
broadband connection to TVs. How the system
works is with the SetTopBox, which is
provided with one side being connected to
the TV and the other being connected to an
ADSL line which are the basic requirements
from the user’s end.
Viewers are able to access TV, movies,
email, internet directory services,
telephony and other business communications
through one converged IP network which is
made simple for the end user as the need for
separate interconnections of either
computing and broadcast services are
eliminated. By integrating multi media
communication technology into the TV
experience, IPTV subscribers can use their
TVs to communicate and interact with friends
and family through a variety of media such
as instant messaging, video and picture
sharing. By adding TV and TV delivered
applications to the list of services that
can be offered to their subscribers, this
generates new revenue and customer
Rating upgraded to "Stable"
Asian Finance Ltd., has reported a net
profit after tax (NPAT)of Rs. 34.5 million
for the year ended March 31, 2008.
This commendable performance was attained
in spite of adverse macro economic
conditions such as sharply rising interest
rates and high inflation leading to a
dramatic increase in interest costs and
Moreover, an increasingly hostile
economic environment caused difficulties in
recoveries and some sluggishness in the sale
of the real estate and residential property
markets. In the backdrop of such adverse
conditions, this performance vis-à-vis a
NPAT of Rs. 53.1 million reported in year
2006/07 proves the remarkable resilience of
Asian Finance due to timely and prudent
strategies adopted by the company to cushion
the stormy impact of external factors.
In the year under review the assets of
the company have grown by 32.2 %.
Furthermore the proportion of real estate
portfolio as a percentage of total assets
dropped to 26.3% in the year 2007/08
compared to 31.1% in the previous year
(2006/07). The existing real estate stock
has substantial profit potential. The
company possesses enviable competencies in
identifying and marketing real estate and is
a respected major player in the real estate
industry. The real estate sector is expected
to contribute substantially towards the
improvement of profitability in the future.
The Non-performing loan component in the
credit portfolio is only 6.36 % and remains
lower than that of the industry average of
6.54%. The company continues to lend based
on stringent lending criteria pursuing an
aggressive budget to enhance its portfolio
both qualitatively and quantitatively.
The network of head office and branches
in Kandy, Kurunegala, Nugegoda, Kollupitiya,
Kiribathgoda and Ambalangoda afford a well
established customer outreach in major urban
and suburban areas. The last four branches
were opened recently and are now geared to
realize the full potential of increasing
business opportunities presented to them.
Fully integrated information technology
system linking all branches on line
real-time and trained staff will place the
company at an advantage over its competitors
in prompt customer service.
Asian Finance visualizes its strategic
goals in the future years in the above
context and plans to expand its activities
and enhance its profitability with a major
investment in an ever growing quality credit
portfolio complemented by relatively limited
investment in the real estate and housing
RAM rating recently revised its long-term
rating of the company to BB+. Moreover, the
long term rating outlook which was negative
has now been changed to stable.
Furthermore, Asian Finance is planning to
merge with its parent Ceylinco Finance PLC
and such merger will further strengthen the
financial standing in the financial services
industry of both companies.
Dialog will be catalyst
Dialog GSM achieved five million
subscribers last week, cementing its
position as the premier mobile telecoms
service provider in the country.
With over 50% of the mobile market share,
Dialog has now connected a quarter of the
Sri Lanka’s population.
As part of a celebratory offer, the
company introduced an unprecedented call
charge regime through a brand new post-paid
package, plus, per-second billing for its
pre-paid segment through yet another
Dialog Telekom PLC Group Chief Executive
Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya attributed the
milestone to his company’s philosophy of
‘Innovation for Inclusion.’
"Dialog is today truly a company for all
Sri Lankans, as we have demonstrated by
connecting with five million customers.
Segment specific solutions drive increased
levels of inclusion across multiple layers.
Bringing mobile telephony within reach of
every Sri Lankan puts in place a vehicle for
digital empowerment and Dialog will continue
to be that catalyst," he said.
Dialog Telekom Group Chief Marketing
Officer Nushad Perera said, "This is a proud
moment for all at Dialog, to know we are
connected with and have empowered five
million Sri Lankan lives. Customer-driven
technology solutions and unparalleled
service have been the key facets of our
success, and would continue to be so when we
connect the next million. It was Dialog GSM
that changed the face of mobile telecoms in
Sri Lanka and South Asia, and in today’s
fast-evolving environment we would continue
to lead by example."
Dialog GSM is celebrating five million
connections with groundbreaking offers for
post and pre-paid subscribers for all Sri
Lankans with unmatched benefits. "Per-Second
Blaster" is the exciting new package for
post-paid users which offers 1,000 minutes
of free outgoing calls to Dialog numbers at
any time of the day. With incoming totally
free from any network, customers can also
enjoy per-second billing and "My10" services
for no monthly rental. All this for a
nominal package transfer fee of Rs. 500
while new connections would and could be
obtained for Rs.1,000.
Dialog pre-paid customers could avail
themselves of the Kit Per-Second Package and
enjoy the benefits of per-second billing.
Outgoing calls to Dialog numbers from Kit
pre-paid are now just Rs. 3 a minute at any
time of day. The Lifetime Discount would
continue to apply for those who pay for the
Also, for every Rs. 50 reload, all Dialog
Kit pre-paid users get five days of free
incoming calls with no more rentals for this
Dialog Mobile Chief Operating Officer
Supun Weerasinghe said, "This new offer is a
tribute to our five million customers for
their confidence in Dialog. We take pride in
having constantly delivered the best value
service not only in Sri Lanka, but in the
region. Our product development efforts are
dedicated to delivering technology and value
for lower cost, and the possibilities are
Stock market announcements
Singer Sri Lanka PLC has declared a Rs.4
interim dividend per share for the fy 2008.
Excluding dividend (XD) date: October 3 and
payment date: October 16, 2008.
Lanka Walltile PLC has declared a Rs.
2.41 final dividend per share. Shareholders’
meeting: October 20, 2008; XD date: October
21 and payment date: October 28, 2008.
Colombo Investment Trust PLC has declared
a Rights issue in the proportion of "1 for
3" (subject to approval) at an issue price
of Rs. 20 a share to enhance the company’s
current portfolio and to make further
investments in fundamentally sound and
Bairaha Farms PLC has declared a Rs. 1
final dividend for the financial year
2007/08. AGM: October 22, XD date: October
23 and payment date: October 30, 2008.
Serendib Land Ltd., has declared a Rs. 10
first and final dividend for the financial
year 2007/08. AGM: September 30, XD and
payment dates: October 2.
Kuruwita Textile Mills has declared a Rs.
1 final dividend. Shareholders’ meeting:
October 16, XD date: October 17 and payment
date: October 23, 2008.
Selingsing PLC and Good Hope PLC, have
both declared first interim dividends of 72
cents and Rs. 1.46 respectively. XD dates
for both of these companies is September 19
and payment dates: September 29, 2008.
Abans Electricals Ltd., has declared a
first and final dividend of Rs. 3 per share.
Shareholders meeting: September 29, XD date:
September 30 and payment date: Oct. 7, 2008.
Cargo Boat Development Ltd., and Renuka
City Hotels Ltd., have declared first and
final dividends of Rs. 1 and Rs. 5 each
respectively. Both companies have set
shareholders’ meetings at September 29,
2008; excluding dividend (XD) dates on:
Sept., 30 and payment dates on: Sept., 30,
Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC has declared a Rs.
10, first and final dividend. Shareholders
meeting: September 29, 2008; XD date:
September 30 and payment date: Oct. 2, 2008.
Hunter & Co., Ltd., has declared a first
and final dividend of 50 cents a share.
Shareholders meeting: September 30, XD date:
October 2 and payment date: Oct. 8, 2008.
Bairaha Farms PLC has declared a first
and final dividend of Rs. 1 a share with
dates to be notified.
Tokyo Cement Co., PLC has declared a Rs.
4 dividend on its voting shares and a 40
cents dividend on its non voting shares.
Shareholders’ meeting: September 29, 2008;
XD date: September 30 and payment date:
October 10, 2008.
Serendib Land Ltd., has declared a first
and final dividend of Rs. 10 a share.
Shareholders’ meeting: September 30, 2008;
XD date: October 2, 2008 and payment date:
Oct., 8, 2008.
Distilleries Co., of Sri Lanka Ltd., has
declared a final dividend of Rs. 1.75 a
share. Shareholders’ meeting: September 18,
2008; XD date: September 19, 2008 and
payment date: Sept. 25, 2008.
Industrial Asphalts (Ceylon) PLC has
declared a final dividend of Rs. 4 a share.
Shareholders’ meeting: September 30, 2008;
XD date: October 2, 2008 and payment date:
Oct., 8, 2008.
Kotagala missed the bus
Kotagala Plantations in the first quarter
(1Q) ended June 30, 2008 enjoyed a 62%
growth in earnings year on year (yoy) to Rs.
138.8 million backed by rising tea and
rubber prices, John Keells Stock Brokers (JKSB)
in a report said.
Tea production (including bought crop)
during the 1Qexceeded two million kgs, a yoy
volume growth of 12.6% while sales revenue
averaged Rs. 270 per kg during the Q
compared to Rs. 228 per kg a year ago.
With over 71% of its tea crop being high
grown teas, the company failed to capture
the advantage of rising low grown prices.
This is due to the large proportion of
bought leaf where margins enjoyed by the
company tend to be small.
Rubber output declined 28% due to
unfavourable weather conditions leading to a
decline in revenue by a mere 0.2%. Growth in
revenue was predominantly seen from the tea
segment with a 34% growth. Higher fuel and
energy costs compared to 1Q2008 (vis-à-vis
1Q 2009) were seen as a major reason for a
24% increase in sales cost.
"Since majority of its tea crop is high
grown, we expect the company to enjoy higher
earnings during the 2Q and 3Q of 2009E where
tea prices are likely to be above its level
in the 1Q2009 due to the better quality
season.," said JKSB.
"We anticipate a 22% decline in rubber
production for the year along with a 17%
growth in tea," the stock broking firm
The Collective Agreement which was signed
in September 2006 was due to expire in
December 2008 but agreement was renewed in
October 2007 when the Government ordered a
wage increment across the industry.
Thus, the expiry date of the new
agreement has been extended to March 2009
after which a new agreement may be signed.
JKSB expects Kotagala’s earnings in
financial year 2009 to increase by 12% yoy
to Rs. 554 million.
This year’s "Adyapana 2008" exhibition
that will be held at the Sirimavo
Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre,
will be conducted over three days beginning
Friday. Some 145 stalls will be on display
at this exhibition.
CIC Group of Companies Executive
Chairman. B. R. L. Fernando will address Sri
Lanka Institute of Directors members and
their guests on "Sri Lanka Agriculture-Food
Security" at Taj Samudra on Tuesday.
Regnis’ PAT down 7%
Regnis Lanka Ltd., in the 2Q ended June
30, 2008 saw its PAT decline by 7% yoy to Rs.
9.92 million. This is attributed to higher
raw material prices. The company in the 1H
ended June 30, 2008 however saw its PAT
increase by 111% yoy to Rs. 32.68 million.
PAT up 7%
Central Industries in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw net profit grow by 7% yoy to Rs.
Renuka Hotels PAT
Renuka City Hotels in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw net profit grow by 103% yoy to
Rs. 55.61 million.
PAT up 1,001%
Ceylon Guardian Inv. in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw net profit grow by 1,001% yoy
to Rs. 566.23 million.
PAT up 952%
Ceylon Investment in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw net profit grow by 952% yoy to
Rs. 364.82 million.
Equity 2 PAT up 2%
Equity 2 in the 1Q ended June 30, 2008
saw net profit grow by 76% yoy to Rs. 1.72
E.B. Creasy PAT up
E.B. Creasy & Co., in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw net profit grow by 476% yoy to
Rs. 62.59 million.
Equity One PAT down
Equity One, in the 1Q ended June 30, 2008
saw net profit decline by 80% yoy to Rs.
The Finance PAT
The Finance, in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw net profit decline by 2% yoy to Rs.
Browns makes Rs. 9
Brown & Company in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 made a Rs. 9.35 million loss,
translated to a 137% decline in net profit
Hotels Corp., makes
Rs. 8 mn., loss
Ceylon Hotels Corp., in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 reduced their losses by 48% yoy to
Rs. 8.37 million.
Walkers makes Rs. 6
MDT Walkers in the 1Q ended June 30, 2008
saw PAT up by 10,233% yoy to Rs. 6.2
Muller’s PAT down
Muller & Phipps in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw PAT decline by 20% yoy to Rs. 2.9
SML’s PAT down 77%
Seylan Merc. Leasing in the 2Q ended June
30, 2008 saw its PAT decline by 77% yoy to
Rs. 1.99 million. The company in the 1H
ended June 30, 2008 saw its PAT decline by
44% yoy to Rs. 8.52 million.
Arpico Finance PAT
Arpico Finance in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw PAT decline by 74% yoy to Rs. 2.9
Alliance’s PAT down
Alliance Finance in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw PAT decline by 25% yoy to Rs. 13.5
PAT up 636%
Ceylinco Seylan Dev., in the 2Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its PAT increase by 636%
yoy to Rs. 86.9 million after the
revaluation of its investment property. The
company in the 1H ended June 30, 2008 saw
its PAT increase by 295% yoy to Rs. 101.2
PAT down 5%
Renuka Holdings’ in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw PAT decline by 5% yoy to Rs. 3.3
Palms Beach losses
Royal Palms Beach Hotel in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its losses decline by 28%
yoy to Rs. 14.9 million.
Acme makes Rs. 5.2
Acme Printing in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 made a Rs. 5.2 million loss compared to
a Rs. one million PAT in the corresponding Q
the previous year.
Bukit’s PAT up 75%
Bukit Darah PLC in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT up by 74.6% yoy to Rs.
Carson’s PAT up
Carson Cumberbatch PLC in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its PAT up by 153.5 % yoy
to Rs. 1,596.8 million.
CF’s PAT up 5%
Central Finance Co., PLC in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its PAT up by 4.6 % yoy to
Rs. 285.6 million.
CGE makes Rs. 98 mn.,
Ceylon Grain Elevators in the 2Q ended
June 30, 2008 made a Rs. 97.7 million loss
compared to a Rs. 39.2 million PAT in the
corresponding 2Q the previous year. The
company in the 1H ended June 30, 2008 made a
Rs. 118.5 million loss compared to a Rs.
192.3 million PAT in the corresponding 1H
the previous year.
CT Land’s PAT down
CT Land Dev. PLC in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT decline by 11.2 % yoy to Rs.
Dankotuwa Porcelain PLC in the 2Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its losses increase by
3,789.2% yoy to Rs. 42.8 million. The
company in the 1H ended June 30, 2008 made a
Rs.41.7 million loss compared to a Rs. 1.7
million PAT in the corresponding 1H the
Good Hope’s PAT up
Good Hope PLC in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT up 80 % yoy to Rs. 40
Indo Malay’s PAT up
Indo (Malay) PLC in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT up 208 % yoy to Rs. 15.9
PAT up 80%
Lanka Aluminium PLC in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw its PAT up 720.9 % yoy to Rs.
Lanka IOC’s PAT up
Lanka IOC in the 1Q ended June 30, 2008
saw its PAT up 108.8 % yoy to Rs. 1,023.5
Hotel Reefcomber in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its losses decline by 18 % yoy to
Rs. 3.96 million.
Lankem’s PAT up
Lankem in the 1Q ended June 30, 2008 saw
its PAT up 341 % yoy to Rs. 129 million.
Asian Cotton’s PAT
Asian Cotton Mills in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw its PAT up 628 % yoy to Rs.
Confifi’s losses up
Confifi Hotel Holdings in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its losses increase by 81%
yoy to Rs. 1.72 million.
Sigiriya Village Hotels in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its losses decline by 25%
yoy to Rs. 14.75 million.
Lion reduces losses
Lion Brewery in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its losses decline by 117% yoy to
Rs. 4.83 million.
Riverina Hotels Ltd., in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its losses increase by 16%
yoy to Rs. 14.76 million.
Soy Foods’ PAT up
Soy Foods in the 1Q ended June 30, 2008
saw its PAT increase by 35% yoy to Rs. 10.75
Eden’s losses up
Eden Hotel Lanka in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its losses increase by 160% yoy to
Rs. 30.56 million.
Galadari Hotel in the 2Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its losses increase by 52% yoy to
Rs. 103.76 million. The Hotel in the 1H
ended June 30, 2008 saw its losses increase
by 63% yoy to Rs. 153.57 million.
Milk Foods reduces
Lanka Milk Foods in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its losses decline by 121% yoy to
Rs. 2.18 million.
Harischandra Mills in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw its PAT up by 290% yoy to Rs.
Pharmacy’s PAT up
Colombo Pharamcy in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT up by 22% yoy to Rs. 4.62
C.W.Mackie in the 2Q ended June 30, 2008
saw its losses decline by 128% yoy to Rs.
7.57 million. The company in the 1H ended
June 30, 2008 made a Rs.28.44 million PAT, a
62% yoy decline.
Laxapana Batteries in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 made a Rs. three million PAT
compared to a Rs. 3.7 million loss in the
corresponding Q the previous year.
Pegasus Hotels in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its losses reduced 63.7% yoy to Rs.
Printcare’s PAT up
Printcare PLC in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT up 4.9 % yoy to Rs. eight
Radiant Gems’ PAT
Radiant Gems in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT down 96.4 % yoy to Rs.
Selinsing PLC in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT down 6.2 % yoy to Rs. 37.9
Shalimar’s PAT up
Shalimar (Malay) PLC in the 1Q ended June
30, 2008 saw its PAT up 288.3 % yoy to Rs.
Three Acre makes Rs.
65 mn., loss
Three Acre Farms in the 2Q ended June 30,
2008 made a Rs. 65.3 million loss compared
to a Rs. 17.1 million PAT in the
corresponding 2Q the previous year. The
company in the 1H ended June 30, 2008 made a
Rs. 71.1 million loss compared to a Rs. 51.2
million PAT in the corresponding 1H the
Vanik Incorporated in the 2Q ended June
30, 2008 reduced its losses by 49.2% yoy to
Rs. 43.1 million. The company in the 1H
ended June 30, 2008 reduced its losses by
27.8% yoy to Rs. 120.2 million.
Blue Diamonds’ PAT
Blue Diamonds in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT increase by 52% yoy to Rs.
losses up 14%
Ceylon Leather’s in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its losses increase by 14% yoy to
Rs. 8.67 million.
Colombo Fort Inv.,
PAT up 2%
Colombo Fort Investments’ in the 1Q ended
June 30, 2008 saw its PAT increase by 2% yoy
to Rs. 1.64 million.
Distilleries in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT decline by 16% yoy to Rs.
1.2 billion. Earnings decline were
attributed to slower revenue growth and high
Hunters’ PAT down
Hunter & Co., in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT decline by 64% yoy to Rs.
Kelani Cables’ PAT
Kelani Cables in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT decline by 77% yoy to Rs.
PAT up 150%
Lanka Hospitals in the 1Q ended June 30,
2008 saw its PAT increase by 150% yoy to Rs.
17.6 million. (Source: John Keells Stock
Govt., debt up 14%
While the country's domestic debt month on
month (mom) increased by Rs. 20 billion to
Rs. 1,885.5 billion in July, its foreign
debt however in the period under review
declined by Rs. 33.1 billion to Rs. 1,397.4
Total outstanding government debt as at end
July stood at Rs. 3,282.9 billion; a mom
decline of Rs. 13.1 billion, however a year
on year (yoy) increase of Rs. 408.5 billion
That comprised a total domestic debt
component of Rs. 1,885.5 billion; a Rs.
257.7 billion (15.8%) yoy increase and a
total foreign debt component of Rs. 1,397.4
billion, a Rs. 150.8 billion (12.1%) yoy
Capex lags behind
The government's Rs. 400.9 billion current
expenditure figure in the first seven months
of this year has met 56.2% of the budgeted
target of Rs. 712.9 billion for the year,
its capital & lending minus repayments
figure however has met only 45.1% of its
targeted budgeted figure at Rs. 149.5
billion in the period under review.
Total expenditure & lending minus repayments
at Rs. 550.4 billion in the period under
review is 52.7% of the total budgeted
expenditure figure for the year.
Government revenue at Rs. 357.5 billion in
the first seven months of the year has met
47.6% of the budgeted revenue target of Rs.
Tourism earnings down 8%
Both tourist arrivals and earnings in the
first eight months of the year declined by
8.2% year on year to 288,017 and US$ 224.7
million respectively. (Source: Central Bank)
Doubts over Effies SL
The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM)
has brought the 'big league' of advertising
awards to Sri Lanka together with the 4A's;
The Effie Awards, "one of the biggest and
most challenging advertising awards which
has been rewarding 'Ideas that Work' since
While clients and agencies are encouraged to
participate at the inaugural Effie awards in
Sri Lanka, some in the ad industry are
skeptical about the fact that the data sent
in by agencies supporting their entries will
allegedly not be crossed checked, casting a
shadow of doubt over the selection and
While some claimed that the award already
seems to lack credibility, organizers
maintained that the 24 categories will give
most campaigns a fair chance of competing
against similar competitive products and
services, giving everyone a chance to win.
The Panel of judges will consist of eleven
members out of which two will be overseas
judges and the balance will be from Sri
A UK Competition Commission report proposed
that BAA sell three of its seven UK
airports-two in London and one in
Scotland-as part of measures to increase
competition in the sector and ease "capacity
constraints that are strangling air travel
The Commission did not rule out a forced
sale of London Heathrow, but said a sale of
Gatwick and Stansted is more likely.
BAA, a unit of Grupo Ferrovial, said a call
for airport sales could delay building new
runways. A final ruling will be issued in
first quarter 2009. The regulator plans to
overhaul the regulatory framework of the
sector and review government policy,
including airport expansion plans.
Airlines generally supported the
recommendations but labour unions said they
would resist a BAA break-up, since it could
threaten jobs. Those expressing interest in
an airport sale include Manchester Airports
Group, London City Airport co-owner Global
Infrastructure Partners, Germany's Fraport
and Hochtief and Australia's Macquarie.
(Washington Aviation Summary)
It pays to remember a smart tip, recalling
the 'smart tips' from Ratthi, the 'Smart
People's Choice' on Ran FM radio paid off
for those smart winners.
They each received a year's supply of
Rattthi milk powder by recalling the latest
budget stretching 'smart tips' from Ratthi
brand ambassador Mrs. Perera playing on Ran
FM. Every week, one lucky winner will
receive a year's supply of milk powder free.
The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and
Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) under its
Business for Peace Alliance (BPA) has
rehabilitated 957 livelihoods and businesses
and channelled support for a value of more
than Rs 26 million.
It has also established a wholesale
distribution centre in Wanni and
chartered its own ship and shipped more than
10,700 MT of food,
essential items especially inputs for
livelihood activation in the region through
it and also facilitated sending more than
13,000 MTs of same items through
Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES)
In addition, BPA facilitated in sending more
than 8,500 MTs of goods to Wanni.
Meanwhile, BPA was recently adjudged the
Best Social Marketing Project at the Asian
Brand Excellence Awards. This award was
collected by its President Kosala
Wickramanayake and CEO Samantha Abeywickrama.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of
Sri Lanka (ICASL) with over 25,000 students
on roll, has more than 3,500 members of whom
25% are employed overseas.
It is also devolved with the responsibility
to promulgate Financial Reporting and
Auditing Standards in Sri Lanka. The
application of such standards is mandatory
for business enterprises specified in the
the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing
Standards Act No 15 of 1995. The ICASL is a
founder member of the South Asian Federation
of the Accountants.
Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) unveiled
its offer, 'Meet in Sri Lanka,' at a media
briefing at Taj Krishna in Hyderabad on the
eve of the PATA Travel Mart 2008, where Sri
Lanka's strengths as a Meetings Incentives
Conventions and Exhibitions(MICE)
destination were showcased.
A Team led by SLCB Chairman Prema Cooray,
Sri Lanka PATA Chapter Chairperson Amal
Goonatilleke, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion
Bureau Chairman Renton de Alwis, Sri Lankan
Airlines CEO Manoj Gunawardena, Sri Lanka
Tourism Development Authority Board Member
Abbas Esufally, were in India for the
launch. PATA Travel Mart delegates from all
over the world and Hyderabad's residents
were exposed to a billboard campaign on the
theme 'Meet in Sri Lanka.'
'Meet in Sri Lanka' was the cohesive effort
of SriLankan Airlines, PATA Sri Lanka
Chapter and the MICE industry and was aimed
at capturing at least 10% of the Indian
outbound MICE market.
Toroid International (Pvt)Ltd., Managing
Director Bo Lindberg. This caption was
inadvertently mixed up in our last week's
issue. The error is regretted.
Asian Alliance Insurance PLC (AAI) added
its 19th branch office in Castle Street on
The branch in Castle Street is a landmark
office geared to extend the highest standard
of professionalism to the Rajagiriya
Lying adjacent to the city, AAI has
resourced this unit with experienced staff
and state of the art ICT to deliver quality
real time insurance solutions to its
AAI CEO Mr. Ramal G. Jasinghe was present
as the chief guest on this occasion. The AAI
Executive committee members along with the
management and regional distribution staff
were present to witness the opening which
included a colorful pageant by traditional
The CEO in his speech emphasized the
thinking behind AAI venturing out into
Castle Street and summarized the Company’s
objectives, formula for success and way
forward. He also stressed on the importance
of maintaining the high standards of
integrity in providing this highly
confidence based service to the client.
Sampath expands in East
Sampath Bank opened its 112th branch-at
This is the 3rd branch that the bank
opened in the Eastern Province this year,
following the opening of the Batticaloa and
The bank is aligning its expansions
strategy in tandem with the country’s focus
on regional development.
The new branch opened will offer a range
of banking products and an array of services
to uplift the livelihood of the people in
the area from all communities, and
In recognizing societal circumstances,
the branch highlights on a special section
exclusively dedicated for the banking needs
of Muslim women in the area, and ensures an
efficient and friendly service provided only
by its female staff. Sampath Bank is proud
to be the first to have offered a unique
service of this nature in the industry.
Dubai-based Emirates Airline added
another set of accolades to its trophy
collection, winning the ‘Best Middle
East/African Airline’ award at the 2008
Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards, Hong
Kong, and the ‘Best First Class’ title at
the Golden Wing Awards 2008, Shanghai.
Over 400 travel and hospitality
professionals celebrated Emirates’ triumph
as it notched up its eighth consecutive
‘Best Middle East/African Airline’ prize
title at the Asia Pacific region’s travel
and tourism industry event held in Hong
The airline’s First Class product also
received top honours at the 2nd Golden Wing
Awards held in mainland China, and
co-founded by the Oriental Morning Post and
the magazine Travel + Leisure (Chinese
The awards reveal the results of annual
votes polled by readers and frequent
Emirates serves the Asia-Pacific region
with 149 weekly flights to 18 destinations.
In the financial year 2007/08 the region
contributed 30% of the airline’s revenue.
Emirates has won other top honours this
year-including the ‘World’s Best Airline
Inflight Entertainment 2008' from Skytrax;
‘Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East’ (for
the 13th consecutive year) from Cargo News
Asia’ and the ‘Best Middle East Cargo
Airline’ (for the 20th consecutive year)
from Air Cargo News.
American Express (AmEx), the credit card
solely issued by Nations Trust Bank PLC (NTB),
recently announced another initiative where
AmEx will be partnering with Arpico
Supercentres and BT Store in offering a
chance for its card members to win nine iPod
nanos as another value addition to
"The unique feature of this programme is
that all AmEx card members who shop at
Arpico Supercentres till the month end
(October 31, 2008) will be eligible for the
iPod nano Draw" said Chief Manager Cards and
Consumer Assets Lewie Diasz.
There are nine colourful iPod nanos on
offer and the winners will be selected
through a month end draw. Card members will
also receive membership rewards points for
every LKR 100 spent at Arpico super centres.
Indulakshin Wickramasinghe (Arthur)
Senanayake took over as Sampath Bank
Chairman this month.
He has been a founder Director of the
Bank and its Deputy Chairman since 1998. He
will be the 5th Chairman of the Bank since
its inception in 1986.
He is a Past Honorary Trade
Representative for Singapore Trade
Development Board in Sri Lanka and is the
Chairman of American President Line (Pvt)
Ltd. He is an old boy of Mahinda College,
He is also the Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of IWS Holdings (Pvt)
Ltd.,-a conglomerate with diversified
business interests in many industries in the
During the firstt six months of 2008
Sampath Bank’s income increased by 26.7% and
net profit after tax increased by 17.3% over
the corresponding period in 2007. Sampath
Bank has 112 branches and has recently moved
into setting up branches in the Eastern
Passengers flying Emirates Airline’s
First Class or Business Class via Dubai over
the coming months will receive a
complimentary stay in Atlantis and enjoy
Palm Jumeirah’s aquatic wonders.
The offer includes access during their
stay at Atlantis to the water playground
Aquaventure featuring water rides as well as
The Lost Chambers, a maze of underground
tunnels offering "fascinating" underwater
Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice
President Commercial Operations
Worldwide Keith Longstaff, said: "We are
delighted to offer our First and Business
Class customers this opportunity to be
amongst the first to experience the
world-class facilities at Atlantis.
Passengers flying Emirates Business Class
via Dubai during the offer period will enjoy
a complimentary one-night stay at Atlantis,
while eligible Emirates First Class
passengers will enjoy two nights. This offer
ends on December 24, 2008.
GAAP to IFRS
Chartered Institute of Management
Accountants (CIMA) chief executive Charles
Tilley recently addressed US business
leaders on the topic of moving over from US
GAAP accounting standards to IFRS
(International Financial Reporting
Standards), a crucial step forward for
He also spoke at the International
Financial Executives Leadership Forum in
Washington as part of an ongoing
collaboration between the AICPA (American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants),
CMA (Certified Management Accountants)
Canada and CIMA. Tilley addressed on the
urgent requirement for the development of
international accounting standards in order
to address complex issues and aid
transparency. He stressed the need for one
international accounting language rather
than different variants being used in
"In these turbulent times, moving from US
GAAP standards to IFRS will aid transparent
reporting across the world and will further
help to address issues surrounding annual
Tilley spoke through the research project
he is leading for IFAC (International
Federation of Accountants) to examine the
suitability of business reporting and
identify areas for future development. He
highlighted his work on the FRC’s (Financial
Reporting Council’s) Advisory Panel looking
into the increasing complexity of financial
reports and the need for narrative reporting
to help provide clarity.
Maliban Milk Products (Pvt.) Ltd., was
awarded the HACCP certification for Food
Kuwait Airways District Sales manager
(Sri Lanka) Sudesh Rupasinghe is recently
quoted to have had said that it is a
privilege for them to offer "free lounge
facilities" for Economy Class passengers
travelling with Kuwait airways Services.
This covers travel to Europe & USA. " Kuwait
Airways is the only carrier which provides
this facility at present ex Colombo."
Further KU passengers can now enjoy
morning breakfast with a mix of Sri Lankan &
western food and unlimited beverages, plus
other services such as telephone facilities.