Winning the Peace
"Socially, I think there’s a whole
question of dealing with the contentment of
people. When you have a war, and a victor
and the vanquished, there are feelings of
despair and a lack of hope.
I think all of that has to be worked on
straight away. The minorities must be made
to feel that they too are a part of Sri
Lanka-that is important," Deshamanya Bradman
Weerakoon told the widely-watched business
TV programme Benchmark last Sunday.
He was discussing challenges in a
post-war scenario in Sri Lanka, with the
show’s Special Correspondent Savithri
Touching on the question of
reconstruction against the backdrop of the
enormous damage done to the north and east,
"I think that’s going to be important.
There is also the economic problem of
balancing the budget. How do you make for a
more equitable distribution of resources in
Central government, provincial
governments and the Defence Ministry, as
against health and education ministries.
You’ve got to work on all that and see
that the balance is much greater and more
equitable than it has been in a war
Discussing former Malaysian Premier Dr.
Mahathir Mohamad’s comment-in an exclusive
interview with LMD, in the pioneering
magazine’s February edition-that we’re now
at the beginning of the ‘Asian century,’
Weerakoon asserted that "the local situation
today is not so great with the economic
meltdown, but I’m looking at the long range.
If you look at the long-term, I think the
Asian age is still to come."
Assessing the future of this country,
Weerakoon who has served no less than nine
heads of state stressed that Sri Lanka is
full of a "very resilient, very resourceful"
people. "But they must be provided with an
opportunity to express themselves," he
While an end to the war is a foregone
conclusion for many, touching on the
underlying issues that actually fuelled
terrorism in the first
place, Weerakoon said: "How do you win a
war and also win the peace? It requires the
consent of the people. How do you get the
consent of people who are now not content?
How do you govern with consent? Everybody
must be willing to participate in this.
There seems to be a lot of aggression at the
moment. and there is a feeling of what
people call ‘triumphalism,’ in which one has
won a victory. But that must soon give way
Benchmark is presented by LMD and airs on
TNL-on Sundays at noon, with a repeat at
9.05 p.m. The programme is also carried over
DialogTV as well as on LBN and on Bloomberg
Channel on Mondays at 10 p.m. The weekly biz
show is produced by the wrap factory.
win, not low inflation, will reduce rates
Winning the war and not bringing down
inflation alone will reduce interest rates,
a market source who did not want to be named
told The Sunday Leader.
He was referring to the statement made by
Central Bank (CB) Governor Ajith Nivard
Cabraal to reporters on Friday (February 20)
that he wants registered commercial banks (RCBs)
and registered finance companies to bring
down deposit and interest rates by 200 basis
points (bps) each.
Cabraal did not give any time frame to
implement this direction.
The moving average annual inflation
according to a new index put forward by the
government was 10.7% last month. Cabraal
said that this figure will come down closer
to 5% by the year end.
"When inflation hit 30%, did rates go
upto that level," the source however asked?
10% inflation does not necessarily mean that
rates will go down to 10%, he added.
But if the war reverts to the pre July
1983 levels, when the terrorists were
confined to the jungles, then rates will
come down, the source said.
The State has to be out of the market for
rates to come down, he further said.
But this is not happening. The State is
the biggest buyer from the foreign exchange
(US dollar) market as well as the biggest
borrower from the rupee market, thereby
crowding out the private sector from the
markets, he said.
All this activity is to finance the war,
the source said.
That is why rates at Wednesday’s Treasury
Bill (T Bill) auction were flat, the source
With the State being heavily involved in
the markets, that gives an opposite signal
on rate direction to that which the CB is
trying to convey, another source said
Cabraal said that the State needs to be
cognizant of the fact that if they are
involved in the market that they would have
to bear a higher interest cost.
"Besides, how can Cabraal direct that
rates be brought down when different banks
have different rate structures?" the source
The source said that the flight of
foreign exchange (forex) reserves does not
augur well for a rate dip. Reserves have
come down from US$ 2.2 billion in August to
US$ 1.8 billion in December due to the CB’s
attempt to defend the rupee from falling
vis-à-vis the dollar.
Further, CB credit to the government has
jumped from Rs. 1,911 million in September
2008 to Rs. 167,314 million as at Thursday,
an exercise that involves CB purchasing T
Bills and thereby giving on credit an
equivalent amount of money to the State, an
action that does not augur well for
"On the one hand the government wants to
bring down rates to make life easier for the
borrowers, but on the other hand pensioners
want higher rates for their deposits," the
source further said.
The market attributes one reason for the
defeat of the Ranil Wickremesinghe
government in the 2004 elections due to low
rates savers got for their deposits, in a
regime that was able to bring down inflation
to single digit levels, which, as a result
lowered both the borrowing costs as well as
deposit rates, but still lost the lections.
He also said that it was the unbridled
credit growth in the West (some 500% growth
in the USA) that spawned the current global
economic crisis. "Lower rates may spur such
unbridled credit growth, the source warned.
(These comments were got before Friday
night’s LTTE "air force" bomb attack on the
Inland Revenue Department)
More than that which meets the eye
Removal or softening of travel advisories
is allegedly more complex than finding peace
in the island, or so it seems according to
one tourism industry source who did not want
to be named.
Removal of such advisories also allegedly
requires getting into the good books of the
envoys concerned, whose countries have
issued travel advisories on Sri Lanka.
The source alleged that one envoy of a
key West European country which brings in a
number of tourists to the country has an
animus against the President on human rights
"As such he is allegedly slow in trying
to get the travel advisory on Sri Lanka
issued by his government softened," the
source said. "When we meet this envoy, he
treats us well, but when it comes to the
questioning of softening his country’s
stance on its travel advisory, he speaks of
other issues," the source said.
He had even wanted Tourism Minister
Milinda Moragoda to meet this diplomat, but
Moragoda had allegedly said that it’s better
that he meets the envoy without him because
of that man’s penchant to speak of other
issues. "In a way Moragoda’s move was
prudent," the source told The Sunday
Virtually the whole Continent and the UK
have issued travel advisories on Sri Lanka,
with UK’s tone being "softer" than those
emanating from the Continent, Michael Elias,
the CEO of Walker Tours, a key inbound
operator to the country, told this newspaper
in its last week’s edition.
For example, Germany has even warned its
citizens not to travel to the hill country
and the Southern coastal belt, he said.
A travel advisory is a warning to its
citizens about visiting a particular
country, or certain parts of that country
due to the possibility of harm befalling
them. In Sri Lanka’s case it’s mainly the
As such a tourist, if his country has
issued a travel advisory on a particular
country would think twice before visiting
it, as a precaution. And secondly, because
of higher premiums demanded by insurers
because of such advisories.
The source said that in Sri Lanka’s
context because most tourists, particularly
from Western Europe are brought in by tour
operators, and the operator to indemnify
himself has those visitors insured,
resulting in higher premiums having had to
be paid due to the advisories.
But tourists who come on their own, known
as free independent travellers, who are not
dependent on tour operators for their
visits, need not insure themselves against
such travel, the source said. (These
comments were got before Friday night’s LTTE
"air force" bomb attack on the Inland
Samba shortage till March
The cheaper variety of the Samba rice
retailed at the controlled price of Rs. 70 a
kilo is not freely available in the market
these days, the trade said.
However the more expensive varieties of
Samba such as the Keera Samba is
freely available at Rs. 95 a kg. There is no
controlled price for the more expensive
varieties of Samba.
Kumaran Murali, of Colombo Trading at Old
Moor Street attributed this shortage due to
rice from the harvest in Polonnaruwa not
entering the market, when this reporter made
inquiries on Friday.
It will take at least another two weeks
for this crop to be harvested, milled and be
transported to Colombo, he said.
However, the cheap variety is available
in the black market at Rs. 85 a kg., Murali
The cheaper variety of Samba that is
currently available is that which was
harvested from Akkaraipattu, Mannar, but
that source is drying up, and now the crisis
has set in, he said.
But other varieties of rice such as the
Nadu and the white rice are available, he
said. Meanwhile, the government run Lak
Sathosa supermarket outlet in Mount
Lavinia has been bereft of the cheaper
variety of Samba for a month, a source from
the outlet who did not want to be named told
The Sunday Leader. But at the same
time it was retailing the more expensive
Keera Samba at Rs. 95 a kg.
The Keells Supermarket outlet at Galle
Road, Mt. Lavinia was selling the cheaper
variety of Samba in five kg. Bags at Rs. 350
a kg., on Friday morning. "We haven’t got
the loose variety for sometime," a
saleswoman said. However, the more expensive
Keeri Samba was available at this
Meanhile the Cargills outlet at Mt.
Lavinia junction had only a 50 kg. bag of
"loose" Samba rice ( i.e. the Rs. 70
variety) available The other bag was snapped
up, a company salesman who did not want to
be named said. "We order for 10 bags, but we
get only eight," he added.
The Cargills outlet near S. Thomas’
College Mt. Lavinia has had no Samba for the
past three days, a saleswoman said.
Prasanna Guneratne, a supervisor attached
to the Cargills supermarket outlet at Mt.
Lavinia junction said that his outlet which
used to take delivery of around 6,000 kg. of
Samba weekly, has now seen this number being
slashed drastically due to the delay in
obtaining the milled rice to their
collecting centres located in key producing
areas in the country.
"We get Samba rice, but not the
quantities we want," Guneratne said.
As a result the limited quantities are
snapped-up in a jiffy.
However, with the harvest rolling in,
Guneratne expected this shortage to be
"We have not taken delivery of Samba for
the past two days and we don’t know when the
next stock will come," a sales assistant at
Arpico Centre, Dehiwela told this reporter
Siripura Traders, Dehiwela, a rice
wholesaler cum retailer, was also bereft of
this variety of the Samba rice when The
Sunday Leader checked on Wednesday.
WAY of 1 yr. T
Rates hit bottom
Rates appeared to have had reached the
bottom, with the weighted average yields (WAYs)
at Wednesday’s Treasury (T) Bill primary
auction remaining virtually unchanged over
the WAYs fetched at the previous week’s
WAYs for T Bills of 91, 182 and 364 day
maturities at Wednesday’s auction marginally
fell by two and one basis point (bp) each to
15.76%, 16.93% and 17.73% respectively.
Market sources said that with State names
such as People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon
borrowing heavily from the market, allegedly
to cover their liquidity positions due to
the Government Treasury overdrawing their
accounts maintained with the same to meet
Government’s expenditure needs, being the
main reason for the economy to be operating
in a high interest rate environment.
If the State and its agents withdraw from
the market, then rates will come down, they
Wednesday’s auction was for the re-issue
of Rs. 7,000 million worth of maturing T
Bills to the market of which Rs. 4,262
million was re-issued to the same and the
balance Rs. 2,738 million rejected, the
Central Bank (CB) in a statement said.
Rejection of offers means that either the CB
subscribed to the same by lending to the
Treasury an equivalent amount to cover this
shortfall by printing money, an action that
has demand side inflationary pressure on the
economy, or that it got captive funds to
invest in the same.
Issuing of T Bills to the market is a
popular way that the government raises money
from the domestic market to meet its
expenditure needs. (See also main story
on this page)
National Development Bank PLC has
declared a first and final dividend of Rs.
6.75 per share for the financial year (fy)
2008. AGM March 30, 2009; excluding dividend
(XD) date: March 31 and payment: April 6,
Asian Alliance Insurance PLC has declared
a Rs. 1.25 final dividend per share for the
fy 2008. Sri Lanka Telecom. PLC has declared
a first and final dividend of Rs. 1 per
share for the financial year (fy) 2008.
AGM March 27, 2009; XD date: March 30 and
payment: April 3, 2009.
E.B. Creasy & Co. PLC has declared a
first and final dividend of Rs. 2 per share
for the fy 2008. AGM March 27, 2009; XD
date: March 28 and payment: April 3, 2009.
Nations Trust Bank PLC has declared a
first and final dividend of Rs. 1.50 per
ordinary share for the year ended December
31, 2008. Shareholders’ meeting: March 30,
2009; XD date: March 31 and payment date:
April 6, 2009.
Sampath Bank PLC has declared a first and
final dividend of Rs. 4 per ordinary share
for the year ended December 31, 2008. AGM:
March 31, 2009; XD date: April1 and payment
date: April 6, 2009.
Kelani Valley Plantations PLC has
declared a Rs. 3.50 first and final dividend
per share of which Rs. 3.27 is liable to a
10% dividend tax and the balance divorced
from that liability. AGM: March 31, 2009;
XD: April 1, 2009 and payment: April 7,
Exports down 19%
Exports in December declined by 19.1%
compared to the same month in 2007, although
the value was the highest since September.
Agricultural and industrial exports
appear to have been affected by adverse
global economic circumstances which in turn
led total exports to contract in December to
US$ 681 million.
Some agricultural exports such as rubber
and coconut increased in terms of volume in
December, despite lower prices. Tea export
earnings in December reduced by 22.5% mainly
due to price reductions in the international
market although Colombo Auction prices
remained higher than most other auction
centres around the world. Minor agricultural
crop exports declined marginally amidst
increased price competition while textile
and garment exports declined by 6.3%. All
other major subsectors within the industrial
sector also declined in December. Cumulative
earnings from exports during the year
(January – December 2008) recorded a 6.5%
growth year-on-year (YoY) and amounted to
US$ 8,137 million.
Cumulative expenditure on imports during
the year amounted to US$ 14,008 million, a
24% increase. Deviating from the normal
seasonal trends of increased expenditure on
imports towards the year end in view of
Christmas festivities and New Year holidays,
the uncertain global economic situation
dampened imports expenditure in December.
Imports declined for the second consecutive
month, by 9.7% in December to US$ 1,049
million. While a large part of this decline
in growth was attributed to the decline in
imports of intermediate goods, the decline
in imports of consumer goods also
contributed to the reduction. However,
investment goods imports grew by 8.2 % in
December, reflecting a substantial increase
in the imports of transport equipment and to
a lesser extent other investment goods. Low
import growth witnessed during the last two
months is expected to prevail throughout a
greater part of 2009.
Reflecting these developments, the trade
deficit increased by 15.1% to US$ 368
million in December 2008. Accordingly, the
cumulative deficit in the trade balance
increased to US$ 5,871 million during the
year 2008 compared to the US$ 3,656 million
deficit recorded in the previous year. At
the same time, private remittances increased
by 16.6% to US$ 2,918 million in 2008, and
helped to contain the current account
Consequently the gross official reserves
with and without Asian Clearing Union (ACU)
funds recorded US$ 2,561 million and US$
1,753 million respectively by end December
Based on the previous 12 month average
imports, these reserve values are equivalent
to 2.2 and 1.5 months of imports
respectively. Meanwhile, total reserves with
and without ACU funds by end 2008 were US
dollars 3,799 million and US dollars 2,992
million respectively and these reserve
levels are equivalent to 3.3 and 2.6 months
of imports, respectively.
Revival of funding
A UK based professional education body
has requested its local arm to come up with
a business plan for funding.
Roger Dickinson, CEO of the Institute of
Chartered Secretaries and Administrators UK
(ICSA) told The Sunday Leader that he
has asked the Institute of Chartered
Corporate Secretaries of Sri Lanka (ICCSSL)
to submit such a plan, which is expected to
be out by summer.
ICSA used to provide some GBP 10,000
annually to ICCSSL, but stopped this funding
in the early part of this decade.
Dickinson said that this funding was
stopped because ICCSSL took too long to
stand on its own two feet. But when this
reporter told him that ICAS, even after it
had stopped funding its local affiliate body
had allegedly re-channelled that grant money
to an individual in Sri Lanka for a few
years before closing that channel as well,
in reply said that he was not aware of those
Dickinson took over as CEO of ICSA in
He said that ICCSSL is one of the oldest
professional education bodies in Sri Lanka,
having had been established in the 1940s.
He said that a country should have at
least 1,000 members to be able to stand on
its own, in Sri Lanka’s case it’s only 300,
The local Secretariat has no premises of
its own. It formally used to operate from a
rented building at Jawatte Road, Colombo,
but after London stopped funding Colombo, it
vacated from those premises.
That’s how it is in most affiliate bodies
in other countries, they don’t have their
own premises to operate from, Dickinson told
this reporter. He said that their number one
student body is in Nigeria, with some 800
students passing out annually. That was
followed by UK with some 600-650. "In Sri
Lanka the annual pass rate is about 10," he
But Sri Lanka has the potential to grow,
Because of the dislocation of its
operations here, ICSA/ICCSSL after a lapse
of several years had their convocation in a
Colombo hotel on Wednesday (February 18),
where graduates who had passed out as far
back as 2004 also received their
certificates at this ceremony.
ICSA which is represented in 70 countries
has 36,000 members and 12,000 students
Dickinson speaking at the convocation
said that Dubai has invited ICSA to assist
them in drawing up their corporate
governance (CG) plan for the next five
years. It plans to have some 3-400 chartered
secretaries in their listed companies.
Calpers, the US$ 18 trillion California
pension fund would only invest in a country
if it has the necessary CG infrastrucutre in
place, he said.
Makes capital gain in Rs. 1.5 bn.,
The Carsons Group which has had a long
standing business relationship with the John
Keells Holdings Group (JKH) threw a seeming
surprise at Friday’s trading when they
exited their holdings held for a number of
years in John Keells Ltd. (JKL), Union
Assurance (UA) and Ceylon Cold Stores (CCS)
for Rs. 1.5 billion to their business
Those divestments comprised 36% of UA,
20% of CCS and 10% of JKL.
"We made a capital gain from those
divestments, some were sold at market rates,
others at a premium, those sales were a
commercial decision," Mrs. Ruvini Fernando,
a director of Guardian Fund Management, the
asset management company of the Carson
Cumberbatch Group told The Sunday Leader.
Guardian too is a Carsons company and the
Group is controlled by the Selvanathan
brothers, Hari and Mano.
"At this moment, the accruals made from
these divestments will be kept in fixed
income instruments which will give us a good
return," she said. The Carsons Group’s
investment portfolio also encompasses India,
Malaysia and Indonesia, where they have a
brewery in the Sub Continent and oil palm
plantations in South East Asia.
"We haven’t taken a decision as to
whether we would re-channel the accruals
made from these divestments for investment
overseas or not," said Fernando. "It will
take some time before we decide what we
should do with those accruals," she said.
Meanwhile, those trades pushed turnover
to Rs. 1.7 billion on Friday, with the
benchmark ASPI gaining by 9.99 points and
the more sensitive MPI by 6.4 points over
that of Thursday’s close.
Market sources however said that the
direction of the bourse in the week
beginning Tuesday (there will be no trading
tomorrow because of the Maha Sivarathri
Holiday) would depend on the progress made
in the war front over the long week-end.
"If there is progress made, then the
bourse in the short run will make gains,"
they said. But that too temporarily, the
sources said. There needs to be structural
changes in the economy, like the clamping
down of high inflation and high interest
rate scenario which is detrimental to the
bourse, they said.
Further, foreigners taking flight from
the local market because of their troubled
economies back in their home countries don’t
help the bourse either, the sources said.
Meanwhile JKH in a stock market filing
said that it acquired 13.7 million shares in
UA (37% of its equity) at Rs. 72 a share,
4.4 million shares of CCS (20.2%) of its
equity at Rs. 115 a share and 1.7 million
shares of JKL at Rs. 60 a share at Friday’s
It further said that those stakes
acquired were those of their subsidiary and
With those acquisitions, JKH’s
shareholding in JKL will go upto 86.9%, and
in UA and CCS by 73.9% and 80.5%
respectively, the announcement said. JKH
will be making a mandatory offer for the
remaining shares of UA as per the Takeovers
and Mergers Code, the release further said.
Rs. 4.2 bn. bailout pkg
Central Bank (CB) on Friday announced to
reporters a bail out package to troubled
registered finance companies (RFCs) and
specialised leasing companies (SLCs) that
includes a cut in directors’ emoluments to
those companies that seek assistance from
Other measures include a full stop to
related party transactions, buying of real
estate belonging to such companies at 67% of
their value by the State run specialized
bank Lankaputhra for which they will be
given Treasury Bonds (T Bonds) of two year
maturity that may be discounted in secondary
market bond trading to raise liquidity,
reducing their liquidity ratio on
outstanding term deposits from 15% to 10%
and on outstanding savings deposits from 20%
to 15%, CB/Government guarantee on bank
facilities that have been frozen for such
troubled companies so that those will be
activated and the availability of dipping
into CB’s reserves for bail out if
CB Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal refused
to name such companies that have sought CB
assistance. Neither did he give the values
of emoluments drawn by the directors of such
He said that the facilities frozen by
banks to such companies amount to around Rs.
two billion and placed the amount of
assistance needed at around Rs. 4-4.2
billion. This scheme is expected to be on
stream before the month end.
Cabraal said that RFC and SLCs (there are
a total of 56 of those) comprise 9% of the
country’s financial assets.
He blamed the collapse of unauthorised
finance companies as the reason for this
stress, which resulted in depositors losing
faith in such companies, thereby causing a
run on the same, which in turn had caused a
liquidity crisis in such companies.
Travelocity reports average U.S. domestic
airfare for spring is down $24 compared to
same period 2008, from $393 to $369.
"All 10 of the nation’s most popular
destinations have at least some decline in
airfare," said the online travel company,
due to lower jet fuel prices and weakening
Domestic destinations with year-over-year
declines of 10% or more include: Denver
(-13%), Los Angeles (-16%), Salt Lake City
(-16%), San Francisco (-15%), Seattle
(-10%), Chicago (-17%), Atlanta (-10%),
Jacksonville (-13%), San
Antonio (-16%) and Tucson (-11%).
(Washington Aviation Summary)
Foreign T Bond holding down 10%
Foreign holding of
Treasury Bond outstanding in the week ended
Wednesday slipped 9.7% week on week to Rs.
12,834 million. (Source: Central Bank)
$ up 30 cts.
The US dollar on Friday
gained by 30 Sri Lanka cents to Rs.114/40
vis-à-vis the dollar in spot trading over
that of Thursday, with the two State
commercial banks being the biggest buyers in
the foreign exchange (forex) market, sources
They were also the
biggest borrowers in the rupee market,
leading to a rupee shortfall, on an
overnight net basis to Rs. 18.3 billion in
the overnight (O/N) reverse repo auction, up
from Thursday’s shortfall, on an O/N basis,
of Rs. 13 billion.
Meanwhile the State owned
Bank of Ceylon was buying dollars from the
market at the Rs.114/40 levels, while it was
also offering the same at the Rs.113/85
levels, provided the market furnished the
necessary import documentation.
"I cannot understand the
logic of this operation," one market source
told The Sunday Leader. (See also
main story on this page)
CB sells US$ 1.4
bn. to defend rupee
Central Bank (CB) on a
net basis sold US$. 251.65 million to the
market last month, an action described by
analysts as one of the moves made by the
Bank to defend the rupee at the cost of
depleting the country’s already sparse
foreign exchange reserves.
An inflated rupee also
reduces Government’s cost, the biggest buyer
of foreign exchange from the market.
CB, this way, has sold
US$ 1,434.21 million to commercial banks in
the five month period from September 2008 to
January 2009 in order to defend the rupee.
(See also main story on this page)
alone is not the answer to poverty. Jobs
must also provide a certain degree of
Half the world’s workers
could descend abruptly into poverty if they
suddenly lose their jobs and have no means
of covering their expenses, either through
their own resources or public support.
The proportion of the
global workforce that earned a living
through vulnerable employment has decreased
slowly, from 53% in 1997 to 50% in 2007. And
almost 1.5 billion workers remain in
unstable, insecure jobs.
Vulnerable employment is highest in Sub
Saharan Africa where it accounts for three
quarters of all jobs. It is also high in
Oceania, South, South East and East Asia.
(Source: UN’s 2008 Millennium Development
NDB PAT up 47%
NDB Bank (NDB) in the 4th
quarter (4Q) ended December 31, 2008 saw net
profits increase by 47% year on year (YoY)
to Rs. 540.96 million. The company in the
financial year (fy) ended December 31, 2008
saw net profits increase by 5% YoY to Rs.
Lanka Tiles PAT down 34%
Lanka Tiles PLC in the 3Q
ended December 31, 2008 saw net profits
decrease by 34% YoY to Rs. 63.04 million.
The company in the nine
months ended December 31, 2008 saw net
profits decline by 16% YoY to Rs. 177.75
Benefits of listing
Some of Colombo Stock
Exchange’s (CSE) success stories: Capital
Reach Leasing raising Rs. 60.12 million in
2009; Janashakthi Insurance raising Rs. 396
million in 2008; Dialog Telecom raising Rs.
8.55 billion in 2005; Lanka IOC raising Rs.
3.58 billion in 2004; Hemas Holdings Rs. 600
million in 2003 and Sri Lanka Telecom Rs.
3.25 billion in 2003.
This was said by CSE
Director General Ms. Surekha Sellahewa at a
seminar on the stock market recently.
She said that investing
in the share market opens up opportunities
to raise capital to fund new projects,
undertake expansions, diversifications and
for acquisitions. Through debenture issues,
rights and private placements it would
enable to raise further capital.
The seminar was organised
by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce
and Industry of Sri Lanka.
Japan’s Foreign Affairs
Ministry (FAM) took nine Sri Lankan youths
from the East of Sri Lanka representing
Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities for a
Peace Promotion Tour (PPT) of Japan which
concludes on February 24, 2009.
The primary objective of
the PPT is to provide Sri Lankan youths from
the East an opportunity to familiarize
themselves with issues concerning local
government and nation building as well as
enabling them to engage in confidence
building activities among various ethnic
groups with a view to contributing to peace
and stability in Sri Lanka.
During their stay in
Japan, they will meet the Japanese
Government’s Peace-Building, Rehabilitation
and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka
Representative Yasushi Akashi and the FAM’s
The programme includes a
briefing on local governance in Japan,
discussions with Japan International
Cooperation Agency officials and Japanese
NGOs currently operating in Sri Lanka as
well as an exchange of views with university
academics and students in Tokyo.
They will also visit
Kyoto, Miyajima Island and the Hiroshima
Peace Memorial Museum with an opportunity to
listen to a bomb victim’s lecture.
This is the fourth in the
series, following the past invitation
programmes in November 2004, February 2006
and February 2008.
Dr. Razeen Sally, an
international trade expert, will share his
views on current economic and trade policy
developments in the E.U., U.S.A., and China,
and how these will be relevant to Sri Lanka
at a seminar organised by the Ceylon Chamber
of Commerce on Thursday.
E.U. and U.S.A. account
for nearly 60% of Sri Lanka’s exports.
Sally is a lecturer at
the London School of Economics and
Co-Director of the "European Centre for
International Political Economy," a think
tank based in Brussels.
Practical measures to
more effectively deal with the Somali Piracy
Problem were considered at a workshop
recently co-hosted in London by the
international shipping organisation BIMCO
and long established maritime security
company, Maritime & Underwater Security
Attended by experts from
the shipping industry, governments, the
International Maritime Organisation,
security specialists, insurance and law, the
workshop focused upon ways of co-ordinating
the approach to the problem. (Marine
& Phipps PAT up 29%
Muller & Phipps in the 3Q
ended December 31, 2008 saw net profits
increase by 29% YoY to Rs. 5.36 million. The
company in the nine months ended December
31, 2008 saw net profits increase by 123%
YoY to Rs. 15.22 million.
Colombo Land PAT down 80%
Colombo Land &
Development in the 4Q ended December 31,
2008 saw net profits decline by 80% YoY to
Rs. 3.79 million. The company in the fy
ended December 31, 2008 saw net profits
decline by 69% YoY to Rs. 23.26 million.
Nawaloka reduces losses
reduced their losses by 82% YoY to Rs.
102.02 million in the 3Q ended December 31,
2008. However, the company in the nine
months ended December 31, 2008 saw its
losses increase by 10% YoY to Rs. 138.93
Ceylon Hospitals PAT up 3%
Ceylon Hospitals PAT in
the 3Q ended December 31, 2008 increased by
3% YoY to Rs. 34.71 million. However, the
company in the nine months ended December
31, 2008 saw its PAT decline by 9% YoY to Rs.
Kelani Valley makes loss
Kelani Valley Plantation
in the 4Q ended December 31, 2008 made a Rs.
7.90 million loss compared to a Rs. 197.5
million profit made in the corresponding Q
of the previous year.
The company in the nine
months ended December 31, 2008 saw its PAT
decline by 34% YoY to Rs. 275.85 million.
Land PAT down 42%
CT Land & Development in
the 3Q ended December 31, 2008 saw their PAT
decline by 42% YoY to Rs. 12.62 million. The
company in the nine months ended December
31, 2008 saw its PAT decline by 22% YoY to
Rs. 98.19 million.
Lighthouse makes loss
Lighthouse Hotel in the
3Q ended December 31, 2008 made a Rs. 14.57
million loss compared to a Rs. 18.2 million
profit made in the corresponding Q of the
The company in the nine
months ended December 31, 2008 made a Rs.
41.23 million loss compared to a Rs. 18.5
million net profit made in the corresponding
period of the previous year.
Hunas makes loss
Hunas Hotel in the 3Q
ended December 31, 2008 made a Rs. 3.70
million loss compared to a Rs. 21.8 million
profit made in the corresponding Q of the
However, the company in
the nine months ended December 31, 2008
reduced their losses by 96% YoY to Rs. 8.75
Environmental Resources increase losses
in the 3Q ended December 31, 2008 increased
their YoY losses by 57% to Rs. 0.54 million.
The company in the nine months ended
December 31, 2008 made a Rs. 8.39 million
loss compared to a Rs. 1.1 million profit
made in the corresponding period the
Lake House Printers makes loss
Lake House Printers in
the 3Q ended December 31, 2008 made a Rs.
3.35 million loss compared to a Rs. 0.35
million profit made in the corresponding Q
of the previous year.
However, the company in the nine months
ended December 31, 2008 made a 69% YoY
increase in their profits to Rs. 2.26
million. (John Keells Stock Brokers)