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Auto Industry and thousands of jobs in peril, says CMTA

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The Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA), the only trade association in Sri Lanka that represents automotive manufacturers through their local importers, urged the Government to provide a clear direction on the period of the vehicle import suspension and emphasized the need to regulate automotive imports to legitimate importers that have been vetted by the Government.

Yasendra Amerasinghe, Chairman of the CMTA stated, “First and foremost, we appreciate the Government’s leadership and initiatives taken to control the spread of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka. Our situation is far better than most countries around the world thanks to the Government’s actions. However, the vehicle import ban has adversely impacted thousands of Sri Lankans and it is the responsibility of the Government to communicate clearly to us as to when it will be lifted so that businesses and citizens can plan ahead. In addition to the lifting of the ban, the other key issue is for the Government to introduce proper regulations to take the industry to the next level.” He added that the CMTA plays a significant role in the transportation sector by acting as the bridge between Sri Lanka and automotive manufacturers worldwide. In 2019, the CMTA commenced development of a policy recommendations document detailing a Future Mobility Plan for Sri Lanka. The CMTA is working with international applied research agencies and international partners to create this proposal, which the association will present to the Government upon its completion.”

The CMTA consists of all the franchise holders of global automotive brands that import and market cars, commercial vehicles, 2-wheelers and 3-wheelers, as well as tyres and lubricants, with substantial investments into island-wide infrastructure to providing direct & indirect employment to over 20,000 individuals across the island. The association reiterates that the complete suspension of all vehicle imports has caused great hardship to the entire industry. It requests the Government to provide a firm timeline on when it plans to recommence imports and if the expected date is several months into the future, requests the Government to provide support to the industry so that it can sustain its employees and overheads as importers will soon have no stocks and no vehicle sales income. “We would very much like to have a constructive dialogue with the relevant Government authorities to try to work out a mutually viable way forward” Mr. Amerasinghe added.

 

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SLT & Mobitel successfully conclude digitization of Lankagama Village

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Fulfilling its role as the nation’s pioneer in Telecommunication Services, the SLT Group successfully completed the President’s directive of providing high-speed connectivity solutions to the Lankagama Village recently.

An event was held to mark this proud achievement on 20th September 2020 in the presence of Oshada Senanayake – Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), Lalith Seneviratne – Group CEO of SLT & Mobitel, Kiththi Perera- Chief Executive Officer of SLT, M.B.P. Fernandez – Chief Operations Officer of SLT, Prabath Dahanayake – Chief Marketing Officer of SLT, Sudarshana Geeganage – Chief Financial Officer of Mobitel, Shashika Senerath – Chief Marketing Officer of Mobitel, Rasantha Hettithanthrige – Senior General Manager, Engineering & Operations at Mobitel along with SLT & Mobitel technology partners Huawei, ZTE and the community.

The SLT Group provided high-speed 4G/LTE broadband and enhanced voice services within record-time despite the fact that the Lankagama Village is located at the southern boundary of the Sinharaja Rain Forest, in the Neluwa Divisional Secretariat, Galle District; posing severe logistical challenges. Further, the SLT Group also offered SMART classroom solutions consisting of tabs, laptops and school supplies including stationery thereby opening up a world of possibilities for the students in the remote village. (SLT)

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A ‘phygital’ experience at HSBC Premier Centre in Pelawatte

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With the demographic equation changing and the mass affluent customers now also choosing to live in the suburbs, HSBC is gearing its branches of the periphery of the city to service customers in this segment.

Pelawatte has become the latest HSBC branch to be upgraded to be an exclusive Premier Banking Centre to meet the growing demand of the affluent population in the residential hub of the Colombo metro region.

The newly refurbished Premier Centre was declared open by Mark Prothero, CEO for HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives. Also present was Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking, together with senior management and staff.

Nadeesha Senaratne, said, “HSBC has established a long history of 128 years in Sri Lanka, and in the past few years we have seen the value of strategically expanding to meet the specific needs of our customers.”

HSBC’s Pelawatte branch was opened in 1998 and is conveniently located at no 418B Battaramulla – Pannipitiya Road, Battaramulla which currently serves a diverse portfolio of retail banking customers. With the new improvements undertaken, HSBC hopes to provide customers with an inclusive banking service, and attract potential new customers with its Premier banking proposition and worldwide banking service, within the expanding residential neighborhood.

The Premier Centre in Pelawatte models HSBC’s flagship Premier Centre located in Flower road- Colombo 7, with an expansive ‘open’ space concept for casual open dialog with customers. The space has been optimized to enhance the customer experience by providing a ‘phygital’ banking experience with private meeting rooms specially designed to give customers an exclusive banking service with the assistance of a dedicated Relationship Manager. It also features video conferencing facility, which enables customers to connect with their Premier RM’s internationally, while enjoying the highest standards of privacy. Customers can walk out of the branch with the ‘Bank in their pocket’ by opening an account in less than an hour and begin transacting digitally, almost instantly.

(HSBC)

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Low valued companies’ stocks in demand

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

Share price increases of low valued stocks were a highligh of CSE trading yesterday, market analysts said.

It is said that HNB Finance, which featured one of the smallest Initial Public Offerings (IPO) in February this year, witnessed more than a 75 percent share price increase, thus adding 21 index points to the All Share Price Index. According to stock-brokers,  when the HNB Finance shares started trading, it stood at Rs. 8.80 and at the end of the day it  shot up to Rs. 15.50, which was a Rs. 6.60 or 75 percent increase.

At the IPO  in February it is said that the  number of issued shares reported 10 million  at Rs. 5.70 per share. However, during the day  more than 1.9 million  shares or close to 20 percent  traded, which was an unusual occurrence, brokers said. 

Further, there was a significant price  increase in the stocks of several low valued companies, including Pan Asia Power, Mackwoods Energy, Laugfs Power, Vallibal Power Erathna, Vidula Lanka, Lotus Power, National Lanka Finance and many more. These listed companies’ share prices noticeably increased and traded well. Those companies’ share prices are all below Rs. 10, market analysts said.  

Amid those developments profit taking was noted since it is near to the month end and both indices showed mixed reactions. All Share Price Index was up by 18.23 points and  S and P SL20 went down by 16.06 points. The slight drop in the banking sector resulted in indicating a downward trend in S and P SL20, market sources said.

Yesterday, turnover stood at Rs. 2.53 billion with three crossings. Those crossings were reported in JKH, which crossed 540,000 shares to the tune of Rs. 73.44 million; its share price traded at Rs. 136, HNB 250,000 shares crossed for Rs. 32 million, its share price traded at Rs. 128 and Sampath Bank 150,000 shares crossed for Rs. 20.3 million, its share trading at Rs. 135.

In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the day’s turnover were,  Kelani Tyre Rs. 151.5 million (91.9 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs. 130 million (1.15 million shares traded), Hemas Holdings Rs118.3 million (1.68 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 112.6 million (11.8 million shares traded) and Richard Pieris Holdings Rs. 93.2 million (6.2 million shares traded). During the day  134.2 million share volumes changed hands in 26024 transactions. Sanasa Development Bank is going for a right issue, which was conveyed to the CSE yesterday

On the previous day, Hayleys PLC dominated turnover  at the CSE with 2 million of its shares trading for Rs. 467.3 million, accounting for 13 percent  of the total.  Finco had bought the shares (amounting to a 2.6 percent stake) done via two crossings at Rs. 230 per share. 

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