BOC’s Deputy General Manager (International, Treasury & Investment), R. M. N. Jeewantha, recently discussed BOC’s lead role in foreign remittances in Sri Lanka amid the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the bank’s role in offering uninterrupted banking services at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
The following are some excerpts from his presentation.
“The importance of foreign worker remittances to the national economy cannot be overstated. Remittance-generated income has become even more crucial currently, owing to the ongoing health crisis.”
With over 2 million Sri Lankans residing and working in foreign countries, they amount to approximately 10% of the country’s population and 25% of the local workforce. In the year 2019, a total of USD 6.7 Billion was generated in foreign currency remittances, corresponding to 8.03% of our total GDP. This is indicative of the significance of the contributions by migrant workers, particularly in Middle Eastern, East Asian and Western countries, to our national economy.”
“Of the above stated total in 2019, a notable 40% market share of foreign currency remittances was garnered by Bank of Ceylon, which the bank has consistently maintained over numerous years. An institution that has formed a reputation as Bankers to the Nation, BOC has helped Sri Lankans send money home reliably, safely, and promptly for many decades. The impact that the ability to securely transfer money has on our citizen’s social well-being, is incalculable.”
“Despite remittances being hard hit in the months of April and May by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, and extended periods of lockdown as a result, foreign remittances in Sri Lanka reached a high of USD 703 Million in September 2020. BOC has maintained market leadership position in foreign remittances in 2020 as well, while managing to retain 40% market share once more.”
“Additionally, for conversion of remittances to rupees plus for foreign currency deposits, BOC provides the most attractive exchange rates market-wide. These benefits feature heavily when Sri Lankans working abroad opt for BOC to facilitate their money transfers.”
“BOC also maintains over 100 direct relationships with exchange houses worldwide. These partnerships are facilitated by BOC business promotion officers across the world in countries such as Qatar, South Korea, Oman, UAE, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Kuwait, and Israel. It is important to note that even amidst the current global pandemic, these BOC business promotion officers have not requested to come back home, and they continue to serve Sri Lankans in those countries and the country as a whole.”
“The bank’s resolve to continue serving the nation even in times of adversity, ensured state corporations, private entities and the country as a whole could operate and continue as before. This fully captures the spirit of Bank of Ceylon, and its determination to lead the country forward.”
Galadari Colombo awarded ‘SLIM People’s Hotel Brand of the Year 2021’
The Galadari Colombo was given a thumbs up from the people as the People’s Hotel Brand of the Year for the second time running at the recently concluded SLIM (Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing) People’s Awards 2021.
The uniqueness of the SLIM People’s Awards is the fact that it is awarded by the public which shows the popular choice of the Sri Lankan people.
This is the 15th successful running of the much-anticipated event conducted by SLIM in association with Nielsen which is globally renowned for its measurement and consumer insights.
Having stood the test time of time in the hospitality industry for more than 3 decades the Galadari Colombo is hopeful to remain in the hearts of its people as a brand that is trustworthy and dedicated to service.
Expatriates’ organization painting competition for Sri Lankan children from care homes highlights close India-Sri Lanka ties
Celebrating 75 years of India’s independence in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan children from care homes converged in Colombo from all across Sri Lanka over 10-11 April 2021 for the final round of the nationwide painting competition organized by Colombo Expatriates Cultural Association (CECA) – a voluntary organization of expatriates consisting of mainly Indians – with support of the High Commission of India, Ministry of Education of government of Sri Lanka and several other partners.
Prof. G.L Peiris, Minister of Education was the Chief Guest and Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India was the Guest of Honour at the final round. Several other dignitaries including State Minister Piyal Nishantha were also present. The dignitaries lauded the effort as a shining example of strong people-to-people ties between India and Sri Lanka and stressed the enormous significance of the enriching experience for the children.
The competition was held in three categories – Sub Junior, Junior and Senior. The first round of the competition had seen enthusiastic participation of 4,375 students from child care homes across Sri Lanka. Contestants from all provinces who had produced sixty best paintings were invited along with one care-giver for the final round held in Colombo on April 10 at Hotel Taj Samudra. While top three winners in all the three categories were awarded SLR 100,000, SLR 75,000 and SLR 50,000 respectively in addition to various other gifts, certificates and medals, all the 60 finalists received cash awards, desktop computers, and other gifts contributed by various sponsors.
The event also formed part of ‘India @ 75’ celebrations in Sri Lanka which comprise events and activities in the run up to completion of 75 years of India’s Independence in August 2022. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had launched these celebrations in India on March 12 2021, 75 weeks before the 75th Anniversary of Independence. In Sri Lanka, formal launch of these celebrations had taken place on April 9 2021 with the inauguration of ‘India Corner’ at the Nagananda Institute for Buddhist Studies.
Chrissworld to raise Rs. 56.25 million through IPO
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Chrissworld Ltd. (CWL), an SME company engaged in the provision of third-party logistics (3PL) services, is gearing to raise up to Rs. 56.25 million via an initial public offering (IPO) on the Colombo Stock Exchange, sources said.
The company plans to offer 7,500,000 Ordinary Voting Shares for subscription at Rs. 7.50 per share. The subscription will open on April 27, with Atara Capital Partners representing the company as managers to the issue.
Meanwhile, the CSE noted in a statement that it has approved an application submitted by Chrissworld Ltd. for the listing of its Ordinary Voting Shares by way of an offer for subscription on the Empower Board of the CSE.
The company, starting off with Rs. 6 million capital in 2019, expanded its capital to Rs. 22.5 million and projects to obtain Rs. 79 million after the IPO.
Chrissworld will be earmarking milestones with the IPO as the first to be listed on the Empower Board, CSE’s newest listing platform, dedicated to SMEs. Further, Central Depository Systems (Pvt.) Ltd., a subsidiary company of CSE, will step in for the first time as the registrar to the issue.
Amid those developments the CSE started on a bullish note yesterday and during the latter part of the day with heavy retail investor participation the CSE witnessed a bullish trend. It is said that manufacturing sector counters became the most popular stocks during the day. Notable price appreciation was reported in Hayleys Group, Royal Ceramic Group and Distilleries.
Both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 100.10 points and S and P SL20 rose by 49.18 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.51 billion with a crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 1.32 million shares to the tune of Rs. 199.3 million and its share price was Rs. 151.
In the retail market, companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Royal Ceramic Rs. 511.2 million (1.46 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded), Hayleys Group Rs. 359.9 million (4.5 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 321 million (5.5 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 290 million (1.9 million shares traded), and Haycarb Rs. 177 million (1.5 million shares traded). During the day 87.8 million share volumes changed hands in 23900 transactions.
Hayleys shares appreciated by Rs. 6 or eight percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 75.90 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 82. Royal Ceramic shares appreciated by Rs. 13.5 or nine percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 328.25 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 358.75. Expolanka shares appreciated by Rs. 2.70 or five percent. Its shares started trading at Rs. 49.70 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs. 52.40 and Distilleries shares appreciated by 70 cent or 3 percent from Rs. 20.20 to Rs. 20.90
Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted steady at 202.00/203 to the one month US dollar Monday, while gilt yields remained unchanged, dealers said.
The rupee last closed in the one-week forward market at 202/203 to the US dollar on Friday. Sri Lanka markets were dull as seasonal bliss kicks in.
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