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Browns Heavy Machinery joins hands with Maga Engineering to strengthen Sri Lanka’s infrastructure development



(L-R): Piyadasa Madarasingha, Chief Executive Director, Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd; Milinda Nawarathne -Head of Heavy Machinery, Browns; Sanjaya Nissanka, Chief Operating Officer, Agriculture & Machinery Cluster, Browns and Sanakan Thamotharampillai, Group Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer, Browns

The Heavy Machinery arm of Browns Group recently joined hands with Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd by providing ten units of TATA Hitachi 220LC Excavators to power the development of the Ruwanpura Expressway. The product handover ceremony was graced by the presence of the senior management of both companies, including Sanakan Thamotharampillai, Group Chief Operating Officer/Financial Officer, Browns and Piyadasa Madarasinghe, Chief Executive Director, Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd.

Powered by Japanese technology, TATA Hitachi epitomises the synergy between two giants in the construction industry—TATA and Hitachi. With its rugged structure, fuel efficient design and remarkable performance, TATA Hitachi is perfect for the operational conditions in Sri Lanka. A testament to the brand’s superior performance, TATA Hitachi has been recognised as a Super Brand in India multiple times.

Construction and physical infrastructure are among the largest sectors of the Sri Lankan economy. Some of the structures under construction in Sri Lanka are the region’s largest and best. In collaboration with the world’s leading brands such as Hitachi, Sakai, Hitachi, Sumitomo, Mahindra, and Okada, Browns Heavy Machinery provides an unmatched range of heavy machinery reputed for trusted technology, advanced functionality, versatility and energy efficiency. Browns Heavy Machinery is well ahead of the competition with its acclaimed 24-hour support service, highly-trained and experienced technical team and its state-of-the-art service facilities. Browns is the Sri Lankan home for many leading global brands as building global brands into local market dominance is a skill Browns has mastered over one-and-a-half-centuries.

The total distance of the Ruwanpura Expressway from Kahathuduwa to Pelmadulla is 73.9km and the first phase of the proposed section is 24.3km. The total project has been awarded to Maga Engineering and the estimated cost of the project is Rs.54.7 billion. The first phase of the road is scheduled to be completed within 36 months (by 2024). The Proposed Ruwanpura Expressway from Kahathuduwa to Pelmadulla via Ratnapura is connecting the Western Province with Sabaragmauwa. The first phase will be divided into four sections and the design speed of this phase will be 110km/h. Moreover, it will be a four-lane two-way expressway.

Commenting about the partnership, Sanakan Thamotharampillai, Group Chief Operating Officer/Financial Officer, Browns stated, “Browns provides a wide array of heavy machinery and tools from renowned brands around the world. We always ensure that our customers receive a fast and reliable aftersales service as we aim to inculcate long-term partnerships. Browns maintains sufficient stocks of machines, spare parts and accessories — despite various challenges in the external environment — to cater to the growing demand.

Sharing his thoughts, G.V.S.K. Kumarasiri, Director – Highways and Bridges, Maga Engineering (Pvt) Ltd said, “Choosing Browns to supply TATA Hitachi 220LC excavators is a wise decision. A clear reflection of the proven performance of TATA Hitachi, the aforementioned machines are very efficient and well facilitate the development of the Ruwanpura Expressway. Moreover, we are delighted with the aftersales service provided by Browns as well.”

Browns is one of Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerates, which manages a fast-growing and valuable portfolio of brands across several key industry sectors, such as power generation, agriculture and plantation, pharmaceuticals, investments, marine and manufacturing, as well as leisure. (Browns)

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Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review



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



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



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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