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2020, a turnaround year for Stock Market in Sri Lanka

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* Benchmark ASPI recorded a growth of 10.5% in 2020

* 2020 market turnover highest since 2011

* Market Capitalization grown a trillion rupees since 12th May 2020

* Increasing interest among local youth a key feature

The Sri Lanka stock market ended 2020 on a positive note today, marking a year in which the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has seen indices indicate noteworthy resilience and attract record-breaking levels of trading activity.

 

Market Performance

The benchmark All share Price Index (ASPI) closed 2020 recording a growth of 10.5%, the highest annual increase the index has seen since 2014 and only the 12th occasion the index has seen a double digit percentage growth in CSE’s 35 year history. The ASPI ended 2020 on 6774.22 points. Sri Lanka’s ASPI was also recorded as the best performing stock market index for the month of September 2020, with the index recording a remarkable 12% growth during the month.

The ASPI on 12th May 2020 recorded its lowest point in over a decade but recovered from this to post a 59% gain by the end of the year. Although the S&P SL20 index, which features the CSE’s 20 largest and most liquid stocks has declined by 10.1% in 2020, the index has recovered substantially indicating a trend similar to the ASPI with 57% growth since 12th May, closing at 2638.10 points as of 31st December 2020.

The overall value of the stock market, which is represented by the Market capitalization, has also improved adding Rs. 109 Billion during 2020 and more substantially by Rs. 983 Billion since 12th May. The market recorded a daily average turnover of Rs. 1.9 Billion, this daily average turnover is the highest recorded for a year since 2011. The total turnover for the year was Rs. 397 Billion which was also the highest since 2011.

Overall market activity in terms of the average number of trades carried out during a trading day also increased significantly, ending double the average figure recorded in 2019 and triple the figure recorded in 2018. This indicates high investor participation.

Local Investor Interest a key Highlight

A significant increase in CDS account openings was observed in 2020 with 17,600 new investors entering the market which is 70% higher than the number of new investors in 2019 and 56% higher than 2018. Local investors have contributed to approx. 79% of the total market turnover in 2020 which is higher when compared to approx. 63% in 2019 and 55% the year prior to that.

The year 2020 has also seen a greater interest among younger investors in the retail segment, with 46% of the total accounts opened being attributed to the 18-30 age group. This marks an interesting development considering the fact that a large portion of retail stock market investors have traditionally been above 50 years of age.

 

A capital outflow trend in terms of foreign investors

On the foreign investment front, 2020 has recorded a net foreign outflow of Rs. 51 Billion, largely in line with the foreign fund outflow trend recorded in emerging and frontier markets. However it is noteworthy that Sri Lankan equities attracted purchases worth Rs. 53 Billion during 2020 by foreign investors, ending close to the Rs. 56 billion figure recorded in 2019. The stock market at present continues to indicate attractive valuations relative to other markets in the region.

Growth Initiatives

The Colombo Stock Exchange also introduced a number a progressive growth measures during the year to enhance operational efficiencies and the attractiveness of the Sri Lankan stock market in the perspective of both investors and issuers.

The Digitalization drive of the Sri Lankan stock market which was implemented in 2020 has enabled end-to-end connectivity electronically at all stakeholder touchpoints and was implemented as an industry-wide exercise, bringing substantial convince to investors and operational efficiencies to stakeholders.

During the year CSE also expanded the eligibility criteria for initial listing of shares on the Main Board and the Diri Savi Board to enable a wider spectrum of companies to qualify for a listing. Rule revisions, which were also carried out during the year brought about changes to the IPO timelines and the basis of allotting shares which were done to complement Sri Lanka’s rapidly developing commercial landscape comprising multiple business models and segments. The revisions were directed at improving the efficiency of the listing process while offering greater flexibility to companies listing on the CSE.

 

2021

Commenting on key developments to be expected in 2021 CSE Chairman Dumith Fernando Said “In 2021, major market infrastructure developments, Product Diversification, widening of the investor base, building a sustainable business model and more importantly working with the Government and the regulator to position the CSE as a pivotal point for capital raising are all on the cards. Increasing the number of companies listed on the exchange is one of the CSE’s key strategic objectives and we are making steady progress on this front. We look forward to enhancing the listing process and establishing a single window within the CSE for potential listings that would make a Public listing on the Exchange a smooth and efficient process.”

Dumith went onto say “Similar to the Real Estate investment Trusts frame work which was introduced in the final quarter of 2020, we are working on the creation of an OTC market for REPOs on Corporate Debt, trading of Gold-backed products and Stock borrowing and lending. On the Regulatory and Governance fronts, we believe the new SEC Act will be an important development covering regulatory changes required for continuing to safeguard investor rights, enabling the de-mutualization of the CSE, facilitating new product development and strengthening the effectiveness of market regulation And of course we see many of the value drivers which have supported strong market performance since May, continuing into the new year. Thus we are entering 2021 on a hopeful but positive note.”



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Next Meats, Purveyor of the World’s First Plant-based Yakiniku Meats, Is Now in Singapore

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The Tokyo-based startup makes its debut in the alt-protein hotspot of Singapore Next Meats has collaborated with Aburi-EN to deliver two new meal sets Made with soybean proteins, the Kalbi contains no chemical additives or animal ingredients

SINGAPORE –

 Media OutReach – 14 April 2021 – Next Meats, a purveyor of the world’s first plant-based yakiniku meats, is making its debut in the alternative protein hotspot, Singapore! The Japanese alternative meat company has collaborated this time with popular Japanese restaurant Aburi-EN, which will offer two types of set meals using the NEXT Kalbi (boneless short rib) for the very first time. Made largely from soy proteins, the NEXT Kalbi contains double the amount of protein and half the fats than that of regular meat and even more, it does not contain any chemical additives or cholesterol due to its lack of animal ingredients. Now, Singaporeans can enjoy yakiniku without the guilt! 

The two new menus available at Aburi-EN are the Kalbi Don Set (S$13.80) and the Stamina Teishoku (S$15.80) — which are available for a limited time only. Next Meats has specifically chosen to work with Aburi-EN as they are a Japanese grilled-meat specialist. The two menus are the culmination of many months of research and development, and they will also be Aburi-EN’s first-ever plant-based dishes.

For the Kalbi Don Set, Next Meat’s Kalbi is grilled and served atop a bowl of fragrant Japanese steamed rice. Equally indulgent, the Stamina Teishoku features the Kalbi stir-fried with cabbage along with egg imported from Okinawa. The meat is then served with fragrant Japanese steamed rice, salad, pickles and miso soup. For both dishes, the meats are glazed with a special homemade sauce that packs an irresistible umami punch.   

 Both the Kalbi Don Set and Stamina Teishoku will be available at all Aburi-EN stores from April to July 2021.

 An advocate of sustainable food production and better food security

 The NEXT Kalbi is one of Next Meats’ innovative offerings, which includes other plant-based delicacies such as the NEXT burger and NEXT gyudon (beef bowl). The company champions the importance of saving the planet and humanity through reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (which is produced from meat consumption and animal agriculture) and utilizing biotechnology to combat protein deficiency.

 Through extensive research and development, Next Meats has culminated the knowhow on using molecular binding to mould vegetable proteins from powder. Buoyed by state-of-the-art, proprietary technologies, the company has successfully created vegan substitutes that replicate the texture of real meat.

 

 

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Lanka Hospitals tops healthcare sector in LMD’s Most Awarded Entities

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Lanka hospitals, the internationally accredited multiple award-winning healthcare provider, topped the healthcare sector in the Most Awarded list compiled by LMD magazine for 2019/20.

Designed to rank the most awarded entities in Sri Lanka, LMD conducted the research, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, involving 204 corporate entities, based on the cumulative tally of awards received from 52 awarding bodies between January 2019 to September 2020.

With a total of five awards, securing the overall rank of 67, Lanka Hospitals came first in the healthcare sector.

Deepthi Lokuarachchi, Group CEO, Lanka Hospitals, said three factors contributed towards Lanka Hospitals’ award winning process; profound commitment to quality, service standard in healthcare and the accreditation of Joint Commission International (JCI).

“Our stringent standards for quality have earned accolades and accreditations from numerous national and international agencies. Lanka Hospitals has been in the forefront of healthcare providers since 2009 and, particularly, between 2019 and 2020, we were able to win seven national and international awards including one for environmental management systems”, he said.

As a result of superior facilities, customer care and quality of service Lanka Hospitals offers, a growth was experienced in terms of medical tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic even though the inbound international population was restricted. JCI, a US-based accreditation agency, rates healthcare services based on several criteria related to medical as well as non medical services”, he noted.

In terms of corporate responsibility, Lanka Hospitals focuses on skills development, medical care and donations. Every year, Lanka Hospitals’ nursing school enrolls batches from outside the Western province and upon the successful completion of the course they are offered employment, he added.

 

 

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AkzoNobel harnesses AI technology to introduce Dulux Preview Service

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AkzoNobel’s Dulux has harnessed the transformative power of machine learning technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to introduce for the first time in Sri Lanka, a new concept that allows customers to accurately visualise their dream space ahead of their next paint job. A first in the industry, the Dulux Preview Service is accessible from a desktop or mobile platform, and enables clients to experiment with different colours, combinations, and themes on the go; enabling informed decisions about what works best for their interiors, a company news release said.

“Gone are the days of lugging around multiple decks of colour cards in an attempt to envision what a new space will look like, or being disappointed on having discovered a better colour scheme right after the walls were painted. The Dulux Preview Service provides a detailed virtual picture of projected living spaces -allowing users to try out over 2000 Dulux colours and multiple instant colour scheming options-, also equipping customers with the confidence to commit to a colour scheme knowing it will transform their space as they envisioned,” it said.

“In just three steps, the revolutionary new feature reduces turnaround time to under 48 hours on working days; making it a no-fuss, no-frill, seamless and hassle-free platform. First, users upload an image of the room or house they want to recolour. Next, a reference image is uploaded, and a colour shade or theme is chosen. Then Dulux colour experts curate the generated results catering to the specific need, and finally, a preview is received for customers to either store or use as recommendations.”

With just a ‘Snap, Preview, and Paint’, the Dulux Preview Service provides clients with the following:

Real-time visualisation. Customers upload a photo onto the platform, and the feature will digitally project how the space will look with the new colours. This allows customers to plan their paint job while taking into account the other furniture or wall fixtures in the room.

Options for multiple colour combinations. The preview service serves up a variety of colour combinations based on the reference image uploaded. Customers can also select from various Dulux colour themes based on the ambience they are looking for, with recommendations even on what other colours would complement the room or energy they are aspiring for.

Personalized recommendations. The tool also takes into account global trends and advice from colour experts to equip users with the best, personalised design recommendations.

Instant accessibility. As an easy-to-use, online tool, the service completely eliminates wait times for assistance from service agents; getting customers to that recreated space much quicker.

For free and customised designs or colour recommendations on how to transform your walls at the click of a button, visit www.duluxpreviewservice.com.

 

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