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100 days to 100 years – CJS counts down to centenary celebrations

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Jacqueline Fernandez returns to CJS to shoot 100 year collection Otara, Asha and Yohani join CJS in the countdown

It’s just 100 days to celebrate 100 years of a tale of glitz, glamour, style and beauty. Colombo Jewellery Stores founded by Thaha Cassim in February 1922 weaves a fascinating tapestry that intertwines the lustre of stones with the multi-hued threads of this island’s history over an entire century. Into this work of art is woven the tale of a galaxy of women who have made CJS a part of their life story and some of these celebrity personalities joined CEO Akram Cassim at CJS Heritage Store at No 1 Alfred House Gardens Colombo 3 to celebrate the countdown of 100 days.

At the heart of multiple CJS collections since 2009 including Quite Simply Stunning, Hometown, Perpetual Grace, Unforgettable and Ocean Blues Collections is the multi-award winning Bollywood star CJS Brand Ambassador Jacqueline Fernandez who flew into Sri Lanka to kickstart the countdown. It is she who will showcase the legacy of the CJS 100 year collection to be unveiled in February. Akram’s favourite photographs featuring Jacqueline in the various campaigns over the years is featured on the Jacqueline Wall at the CJS Store.

Joining her at the countdown were Founder of Odel and Embark and legendary entrepreneur Otara Gunewardena and pioneer in blue whale research, multi-acclaimed marine biologist and Founder of Oceanswell Dr Asha de Vos. Sri Lanka’s youngest global singing sensation Yohani joined the fray of glamorous women, who each added their vignettes of style and elegance to the surrounds of the CJS Store.

“It was my grandfather Thaha Cassim who was 23 at the time, who ventured into the metropolis of Colombo from his hometown of the Fort in Galle to open the store of his dreams, selling fabulous gems and fashionable jewellery with quality being centric to everything he did,” says Akram. “From then on, CJS has been a part of every special moment in people’s lives, with the store being visited by royalty, business and political tycoons, the literati and the glitterati.”

Jacqueline called her return home after two years an emotional homecoming saying, “Throughout my 11 year relationship with CJS, I have travelled around the country, explored every facet and concept of different types of jewellery and been a part of the history being made. And what makes CJS so special is it’s not just about jewellery but about giving back to society and empowering communities.”

It is this element of passion for a cause and empowerment that attracted both Otara and Asha into being a part of the CJS story. Otara mentioned that her association with CJS since 2009 brought forth nine collections including the limited edition Otara and Hoola collections, while inspired by whales and dolphins, Akram & Asha designed two collections for Oceanswell with the primary aim of continuing the research mooted by Asha. “It is very heartening to have someone being absolutely committed to your cause,” said Asha of her partnership with CJS since 2018.

And today, while CJS follows the legacy of sparkling gems, glamorous jewellery and luxurious timepieces from TAG Heuer, Breitling and Hublot, what lies within the heart of the brand is its passion to give back including its most recent collaboration with the Emerge Lanka Foundation and the need to create a sustainable planet.



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CSE expected to maintain growth momentum in the wake of brighter IMF bailout hopes

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE will be able to maintain its growth momentum with IMF bailout prospects brightening this week. Consequently, foreign inflows to the CSE will improve in the future, Head-Market Development, CSE, Niroshan Wijesundara said.

“To date the CSE has been able to register a 14 per cent growth and with the IMF bailout approval we could expect more foreign inflows into the market, Wijesundera told the Island Financial Review.

Amidst these developments the market ended on a positive note at the end of yesterday. Initially there were mild profit- takings but this did not negatively impact the overall performance of the market.

Accordingly, shares edged up in mid-day trade yesterday while investors adopted a wait- and -see approach as the country looked forward to IMF approval on the Extended Fund Facility towards the end of this week.

“Investors are on a wait- and- see approach as the IMF is likely to approve the US$ 2.9 billion dollar loan, market analysts said.

“Selling pressures have eased and now buying sentiments are improving, analysts said.

The ASPI went up by 29.54 points, while the most liquid S&P SL20 index rose by 15.7 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.8 billion with three crossings. Those crossings were reported in Hemas Holdings, which crossed three million shares to the tune of Rs 199 million, its shares were quoted at Rs 65, Hayleys 738,000 shares crossed for Rs 59.8 million, its shares traded at Rs 31 and JKH 290,000 shares crossed for Rs 42 million, and its shares fetched Rs 141.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Browns Investments Rs 209 million (30.8 million shares traded), JKH Rs 84.6 million (584,000 shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 79.5 million (4.9 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 75.4 million (10.9 million shares traded), Union Bank Rs 62.9 million (6.7 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 60 million (420,000 shares traded) and SLT Rs 57.5 million (687,000 shares traded). During the day 98.7 million share volumes changed hands in 20000 transactions.

Top gainers during mid- hours were Commercial Bank, Browns Investment and Access Engineering. Access Engineering is an unusual top contributor and this is because interest had been generated in it after assurances had been given on the IMF deal and there is an assumption that multilateral projects are likely to begin with the IMF restructuring process coming to a close, market analysts said.

Sri Lanka’s growth will be contained at a negative 3 per cent in 2023 after a 12.4 per cent shrinkage in the fourth quarter of 2022 and is expected to turn positive from next year, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. Siyambalapitiya told reporters on March 18 that Sri Lanka can expect a “positive economy” in 2024.

Yesterday the rupee opened stronger and was quoted at around Rs 330/338 to the US dollar, stronger from Friday’s close of Rs 337/345 to the US dollar, dealers said.

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“Surfing Through the Crisis”

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EY Sri Lanka, is scheduled to host a discussion ‘Debt Restructuring Implications to the Financial Services Sector’, on March 22, from 08:45 am to 12:30 pm at The Kingsbury Colombo. The session branching under the theme, ‘Surfing through the Crisis’, is designed specifically for CEOs, CFOs, and CRO of the financial sector, as well as the chairpersons of the Audit Committee and the Board Integrated Risk Management Committee. The event hopes to create value for Sri Lanka’s financial sector amidst the prevailing economic challenges. As the largest service providers to the financial sector in terms of audits, tax, consultancy, and strategy & transaction, EY Sri Lanka feels compelled to assist the financial sector as they navigate the challenges of the economic crisis.

Despite the expected positive outcomes of debt restructuring, the process itself can be painful for the country, financial institutions, debtors and creditors. To the financial services sector specifically it could bring several challenges to capital management, financial reporting, Credit Risk and Liquidity Risk management strategies.

This session will explore these implications, under two technical segments, from Risk Management and Accounting lenses, and the mechanisms required for an effective transition. From a Risk Management perspective there will be several simulations on how it affects the financial institution’s capital and profitability whilst the accounting perspective will include discussions relating to how the debt restructuring process shall be accounted for in line with SLFRS 9 Financial Instruments.

The event will be conducted by Manil Jayesinghe, Country Managing Partner of EY Sri Lanka and Maldives, and Rajith Perera, Partner Financial Accounting Advisory Services EY Sri Lanka. To register for the session, or for further inquiries please contact Nurani Rajapaksha (Nurani.Rajapaksha@lk.ey.com)

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Participants of Raid Amazones 2023 arrive from Paris on SriLankan Airlines

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The participants of the adventure trail ‘Raid Amazones 2023’ arrived at Bandaranaike International Airport on SriLankan Airlines’ flight UL 564 from Paris. SriLankan Airlines is the Presenting Partner of Raid Amazones and extended a warm welcome with a traditional flare to the arriving group.

The group boarded the Udarata Menike train from the Gampaha Railway Station shortly thereafter for a scenic journey to Kandy, where the trail will unfold from 22 – 28 March.

Raid Amazones is the world’s only itinerant women’s adventure race. Nearly 250 female athletes will be participating in the 21st edition of the trail in Kandy.

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