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1 billion vaccine doses: Emirates SkyCargo surpasses a historic landmark for COVID-19 vaccine transportation

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Cargo carrier reaches 1 billion vaccine doses milestone 18 months after transporting the first trial shipment of COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccines moved to more than 80 destinations through Dubai, supporting local vaccination programmes

Emirates SkyCargo has transported more than 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines on its aircraft. The air cargo carrier has achieved this historic milestone within a span of 18 months from the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines trialled in October 2020. More than 4,200 tonnes of COVID-19 vaccines, equivalent to over 1 billion doses, have been moved to over 80 destinations on over 2,000 Emirates flights. Close to two-thirds of the 1 billion doses were transported to developing countries.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo, said: “From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo has been focused on supporting global communities in their recovery from the devastating effects of the virus and we have prioritised assistance to developing countries. The strategic location of our Dubai hub combined with the strengths of our modern fleet of widebody aircraft, our purpose built facilities and capabilities in moving temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals allowed us to transport COVID-19 vaccines securely, reliably and rapidly from one corner of the globe to another. Ahead of World Health Day, we’re incredibly proud of our global Emirates SkyCargo team who have pulled out all stops during the pandemic to keep supply chains for essential goods like vaccines up and running. “

As early as August 2020, Emirates SkyCargo was one of the first global air cargo carriers to begin mapping out the global logistics for the movement of potential vaccines for COVID-19 transport. In October 2020, Emirates announced that it would be setting aside a dedicated GDP certified airside hub for transport of COVID-19 vaccines. During the same month, working with its logistics partners, the cargo division of Emirates transported trial shipments of COVID-19 vaccines through Dubai.

In January 2021, Emirates SkyCargo teamed up with leading Dubai-based companies to form the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance to speed up distribution of vaccines through Dubai to developing countries. In February 2021, the carrier signed an MoU with UNICEF to prioritise transport and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in support of the COVAX initiative. By early April 2021, Emirates SkyCargo had already transported more than 50 million doses of vaccines.

In June 2021, Emirates SkyCargo expanded its pharma cool chain infrastructure at Dubai International Airport, allowing it to store an additional estimated 60-90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines at any one point of time. With the global scaling up of vaccine distribution and administration, Emirates SkyCargo facilitated transport of larger volumes of COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturing origins to destinations, reaching 250 million doses by September 2021 and 600 million doses by December 2021.

Emirates SkyCargo is one of the leading global air cargo carriers for the transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceutical cargo. In addition to COVID-19 vaccines, the carrier transports other critical life-saving medicines and treatments on its flights to more than 140 destinations across six continents. An estimated 200 tonnes of pharmaceutical cargo are flown every day on Emirates’ aircraft.



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Business

Dialog Smart Home Enables Seamless Home Automation via Range of Intuitive Solutions 

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Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, introduced a range of convenient and integrated solutions via ‘Dialog Smart Home’ to enable intelligent automation and intuitive control of homes.

The newly introduced range of future-fit smart home solutions by Dialog Smart Home ranges from Home Automation, Home Security & Surveillance and Home Connectivity, and are designed to enable any home to work as one harmonious system where all elements work in tandem together to create a truly intelligent home.

The Home Automation solutions offer homeowners seamless and convenient control of their electronic appliances through their smartphones anytime, anywhere. With the Smart Touch Wall Switches, Smart Power Strips and Smart Fan Controllers, homeowners can take control of existing light bulbs, table fans, rice cookers, chargers, ceiling fans and more appliances. Additionally, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered TeDi Alexa Solution enables users to control connected smart devices including TVs, air conditioners, home security systems and more through voice commands.

Home Security & Surveillance solutions transform basic cameras into high-powered CCTV solutions. Baby and house monitoring smart cameras can be placed inside homes to keep a 360-degree eye on children and pets. The Indoor Security Camera has the ability to sound a siren and notify users if a stranger enters their home. Dialog Smart Home has also partnered with Singer to offer customers world-renowned Dahua CCTV solutions.

The Home Connectivity solutions offers consumers Wi-Fi extenders to facilitate uninterrupted internet connectivity across the house to fit the homeowner’s lifestyle and requirements.

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CBSL implements extraordinary measures to support banking sector

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions and its impact on the banking sector, has decided to implement the following regulatory measures to support the banking sector to facilitate effective financial intermediation and the flow of credit to the economy, whilst ensuring the soundness of the banking sector.

• Sri Lankan banking sector maintains a Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB) of 2.5% to ensure that banks have an additional layer of usable capital that can be drawn down during stress times. An industry wide flexibility is granted for banks to drawdown the CCB (up to 2.5%), if needed, subject to restrictions on distribution to shareholders/ repatriation of profits and submission of a capital augmentation plan to rebuild CCB during a period up to three years.

• The current deadline for licensed banks to meet the enhanced minimum capital requirement (31.12.2022) is extended up to 31.12.2023. Licensed banks which are unable to meet the minimum capital requirement by 31.12.2022, need to submit their capital augmentation plan, including plans to consolidate or merge with suitable financial institutions, by 31.12.2022 and these licensed banks too shall refrain from distribution of dividends/ repatriation of profits until the minimum capital requirement is met.

• Licensed banks are encouraged to move to approaches such as The Standardised Approach (TSA) or alternative TSA for computation of risk weighted assets for operational risk for the purposes of computing the Capital Adequacy Ratio, subject to supervisory review.

• Licensed banks are given the flexibility to stagger the unrealised mark to market loss on Government Securities denominated in LKR on account of the recent interest rate hike for Capital Adequacy purposes until Q2 of 2024, subject to conditions.

• Licensed banks are granted flexibility on the treatment for Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) for Capital Adequacy purpose in line with the International Standards.

• The deadline for licensed banks to submit the document on Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) for 2022, to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is extended by one month, until 30.06.2022.

• As a short-term measure to support licensed banks to adjust their liquidity profiles, licensed banks are provided with the flexibility to operate maintaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) not lower than 90% up to 30.09.2022. Furthermore, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on 06 May 2022 decided to restrict certain discretionary payments of licensed banks, such as declaring cash dividends and repatriation of profits, until the financial statements for the year 2022 are audited by its External Auditor, engaging in share buy backs, increasing management allowances and payments to the Board of Directors until 31 December 2022 with a view to strengthening the liquidity and capital positions of licensed banks under these exceptional circumstances.

The above measures were introduced with the aim of providing the licensed banks with more flexibility and opportunities to operate in these challenging conditions and support economic recovery, while taking measures to improve their safety and soundness. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will periodically review the implementation of these policy measures and expects licensed banks to avail these measures in the best interest of the customers and the economy at large, while supporting the banking sector to remain resilient.

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CEAT official tyre supplier for locally assembled Tata Ace HT 

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CEAT Kelani Holdings has been appointed as the official tyre supplier for Tata Ace HT series compact trucks which are assembled in Sri Lanka by DIMO in collaboration with India’s largest automobile manufacturer TATA Motors.

 CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyres in the size of 155R12 8PR, manufactured at the CEAT Kelani plant in Kelaniya are used for the TATA Ace HT series vehicles, popularly known in Sri Lanka as “DIMO Batta” under this project. The locally manufactured CEAT RHINO PLUS TL tyre features a zig zag pattern on its circumference and ribs with lateral notches that contribute towards uniformity and better wear and tear on local roads.

 Commenting on this latest OEM agreement of the company, CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr. Ravi Dadlani said: “As a brand that has been at the forefront of local value addition in Sri Lanka, CEAT is excited to contribute further to the process through its association with this assembly operation. This is particularly relevant in the prevailing situation in the domestic market. We are able to provide high-quality tyres engineered for local conditions at competitive prices and ensure uninterrupted supply, while at the same time helping to conserve foreign exchange.”

In January this year, CEAT was appointed as an OEM for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India. In November 2021 the brand was chosen as the OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors.

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