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AIA recognised as Sri Lanka’s Best Life Insurance Company

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AIA Sri Lanka is proud to be recognised as Sri Lanka’s Best Life Insurance Company in 2019, by the internationally acclaimed Global Banking and Finance Review. This prestigious recognition followed a detailed assessment of key performance indicators by the UK-based media powerhouse, that analyses the financial industry and the global economy.

‘The award is testimony to the significant contribution made by AIA Sri Lanka to the life insurance industry in terms of outstanding products and services, enhancing customer experience and serving local communities, a press release said.

‘AIA Sri Lanka has always remained strong and maintained financial strength and stability. The recent COVID19 pandemic proved that AIA Sri Lanka has indeed been built strong and built to last. With the highest Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) in Sri Lanka’s life insurance industry (of more than 600% and 5 times the required CAR by the regulator), AIA Sri Lanka has an unmatched ability to absorb risks and withstand crisis. This is supported by the company’s prudent investment strategy and high quality of investments., the release adds.

AIA Sri Lanka’s focus is always on delighting the customer. With a track-record of paying better than promised policyholder dividends for the past 30 years, the company is constantly evolving to meet customer expectations. The company’s pioneering digitalisation efforts and focus on ease-of-doing business has strengthened its reputation of being a truly customer focused insurer.

AIA Sri Lanka was the first and only insurer to win the LIMRA International Quality Award (IQA) for Growth in the world (2018) and also boasts IQA qualifiers for 2019- not to forget topping the number of MDRT qualifiers in Sri Lanka for 5 consecutive years, to date.

(MDRT is internationally recognised as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.) This is a fitting acknowledgement of the relentless commitment and high level of professionalism shown by the company’s advisors in both the Agency Distribution and Bancassurance channels.

The company has also been recognised as a Great Place to Work® in Sri Lanka for eight consecutive years, in addition to being recognised as one of the ‘Best Workplaces for Women’ in Sri Lanka, in the inaugural awards presented by GPTW® Sri Lanka. These accolades demonstrate the company’s great workplace culture which encompasses equality, inclusivity and opportunity to grow.

Be it a donation to the Sri Lanka Heart Association, a partnership with the Sri Lanka Cancer Society, renovating underprivileged schools and hospitals around the island, saving lives during Poson or providing higher education scholarships, AIA Sri Lanka is a company with a big heart and giving back to the community has always been a priority. During the COVID pandemic, the company sprung to action in donating much needed PPE equipment to a hospital treating COVID patients, not to forget, providing free life insurance cover to all staff at three main hospitals dealing with the disease. The pandemic saw AIA Sri Lanka being the first insurer in the country to offer free COVID cover to all customers while also providing free telemedicine services to all customers during the curfew.

AIA Sri Lanka pursues its mission of helping people live healthier, longer, better lives through proactive efforts to promote health and wellness to all Sri Lankans, mainly through the AIA Vitality programme. This includes pioneering initiatives such as ‘Sri Lanka’s Healthiest Workplace Survey’ which aids workplace wellness.

Throughout it all, AIA Sri Lanka’s priority has been to help Sri Lankans become physically and financially strong, while enjoying life to the fullest, with those they love the most!



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Business

DFCC Bank facilitates the continued growth of Sri Lankan SMEs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

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The unprecedented surfacing of the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting scar on the global population and economy. With no precise warning on the horizon, businesses everywhere were thrown into the deep end, and survival seemed uncertain during the peak of the pandemic. In Sri Lanka, a nation where SMEs form the integral backbone of the economy, the ill effects have been taking a heavy toll on businesses both fiscally and mentally.

However, we as Sri Lankans are resilient at our core, and with the integral support of frontline workers, officials, and essential services such as our banking partners, we set forth on a journey to assess, adapt and survive. One such story about perseverance through a valuable relationship comes from K.S.K. Menan of Star Food Store (Pvt) Ltd, and his trusted banking partner, DFCC Bank.

Emerging from humble beginnings, Menan’s story is one that inspires patriotism, and reaffirms the importance of giving back to your motherland. As a self-made entrepreneur, Menan was successfully engaged with the departmental store industry in the United Kingdom, when one day, he decided to leave everything there and come back to his home, Sri Lanka. He was on a mission to give back to the country that had given him so much, and that led to the birth of ‘Star Food Store’ in Kokkuvil, a supermarket equipped with all the necessary household essentials. DFCC Bank had been by his side throughout the entire journey until the opening of his outlet, and even more when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“When Imoved back to Sri Lanka in 2016, the very first account I opened was with DFCC Bank, and with their support, I was able to open the first‘Star Food Store’ in November 2019. However, when COVID-19 struck, everything came to halt. When restrictions were relaxed, I faced multiple problems with bringing things back to how they were. DFCC Bank stepped in and gave me overdraft facilities, helped clear my cheques, and provided additional funds at a low interest rate”.

Today, Menan has been able to open a second Star Food Store outlet at Achchuveli in August 2020, and a third at Idaikkadu in February 2021. He states that expansion is the last thing most businesses consider during this turbulent time, however, the X factor that has allowed him to do this is his banking partner.

“The confidence an entrepreneur gains with the right banking partner is immeasurable, and I have been able to find that with DFCC Bank. They have always gone out of the way to ensure my venture’s continuity, from sending someone from the branch immediately if there is an issue with the card machine during business hours, or even understanding that loose change is important for a supermarket and sending bags of coins from the Colombo branch for business use. I now have plans of constructing a state-of-the-art shopping complex in Jaffna, and look forward to working with DFCC on this project”.

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Covid-19 third wave fears dampen stock market

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

The CSE witnessed a steep decline following worries over the possible outbreak of a  Covid 19 third wave in the country and the continuation of selling pressure for certain stocks in the market, stock market analysts said.

CSE investors worried over 52 new cases being detected in two retail stores at Pamunuwa and at a state bank in Colombo at the end of the April holidays. Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, market analysts said.

  Consequently, the All Share Price Index declined by 2.9 percent and S and P SL20 dropped by three percent. Major companies sought after by investors negatively contributed to both indices during the day. According to  market analysts,  these companies  were:  LOLC (27 negative points),  Expolanka (19 negative points), Vallibel One (12 negative points), Hayleys (11 negative points) and JKH (10 negative points).

All Share Price Index went down by 198.39 points and S and P SL20 down by 93.89 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.7 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Ceylon Cold Stores (CIS), which crossed 60000 shares to the tune of Rs. 35.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 594. 

In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were: Browns Investments Rs. 717.6 million (114 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 480 million (9.8 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 392 million (five million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 389 million (6.9 million shares traded) and LOLC Rs. 193 million (587,000 shares traded). During the day 197 million share volumes changed hands in 31305 transactions.  

Sri Lanka rupee quoted firmer around 192/194 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Tuesday, while bond yields slightly eased, dealers said. Sri Lanka rupee last closed at 194/198 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Monday. The Central Banks Telegraph Transfer rates stand at 187.93/191.97 levels below the spot rates on Monday.

Sri Lanka’s rupee has come under pressure amid money printing and low-interest rates, despite the worst import controls since the 1970s, observers said.

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SAT launches F5 portfolio to deliver secure digital experiences

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(At left) : Edgar Dias, Regional Vice President of Channels and Partnerships, Asia Pacific, F5. (At right) : Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.

South Asian Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, announces its appointment to be a distributor for F5 within Sri Lanka and Maldives to deliver secure digital experience to enterprises.

The cutting-edge technology is a portal for delivering applications and data with greater agility, security, availability, performance, and scalability.

F5’s portfolio of automation, security, performance, and insight capabilities empowers customers to create, secure, and operate adaptive applications that reduce costs, improve operations, and better protect users.

“With the increasing necessity for digitalisation in the workspace, now more than ever, organisations need proven solutions to help secure their businesses. Adding F5 to our existing portfolio gives South Asian Technologies, a more omniscient opportunity to equip our partners and customers with best-in-class application security and delivery solutions. As F5 enables adaptive applications, the SAT team is ecstatic at the prospect of securing our clientele with robust security offerings that have a proven history with Fortune 500 companies across the globe,” said Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.

Every company today is in the digital experience business. In the wake of COVID-19, customer expectations are higher than ever, as the experiences garnered are the primary way that people interact and transact with just about every organisation at present.

F5 helps organisations deliver and secure the premium digital facilities that customers demand by enabling adaptive applications which, like living organisms, will naturally adapt based on their environment – growing, shrinking, defending, and healing themselves.

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