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Bairaha recognized for reaching visually disabled with braille chicken recipe book

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Bairaha Farms PLC, the pioneer chicken processor in Sri Lanka for over four decades, shone bright at the FMCG Asia Awards, being honored as the winner of the Environmental Social Governance Initiative of the Year in Sri Lanka for 2021, a company news release said.

“For the first time in Sri Lanka, a recipe book of chicken recipes written in braille was launched to help the blind people in the country enjoy a zest for reading and cooking in a format they can understand,” it said. “Through promoting the book and its mission to reach the blind, the company achieved great results during this campaign. Their social media pages also gained considerable attention from the local market.”

The release explained, apart from being the first braille recipe book launched in the country, it boasts of being able to promote the joys of cooking in a more inclusive way. This initiative was a success since its launch in Sri Lanka.

Bairaha Farms PLC also went the extra mile by donating braille books to all 18 schools for the blind across the country.

Due to the pandemic, it was not able to personally deliver the books. Instead, it was sent via courier in branded gift-wrapped boxes with notes written in braille.

The project focused on how to ensure that the entire country’s population enjoyed the benefit of making tasty meals with its products—and that included people who cannot see.

For this remarkable effort, Bairaha Farms PLC received the ESG Initiative of the Year – Sri Lanka award in the recently concluded FMCG Asia Awards hosted by Retail Asia.

The awards programme celebrates the most outstanding companies in Asia Pacific’s FMCG industry that have shown exemplary performance with their innovative products and initiatives.

The first highlighted achievement noted by the judging panel was that a total of 96,000 people were reached by the social media campaign. In addition, it was able to tally a total of 97,000 video views during the campaign and attained 53,842 post clicks from its social media sites.

“Lastly, the company sealed the award by being able to reach 0.5% of the total population of Sri Lanka,” the release concluded.



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Business

Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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