Connect with us


CBD Business Centre in Fort, hosts official opening; ready for new tenants in 2021



CBD Business Centre, the landmark corporate edifice in Colombo Fort is set to welcome new tenants at the start of the new year following an extensive Rs 609 million renovation by its owner Cargo Boat Development Company PLC (CBD), a company news release said.

“The iconic 38-year-old building, is now ready for occupancy by companies looking for contemporary office spaces centrally located in Colombo’s business district at an affordable rent,” it said.

Long-standing director of the CBD Company Merrill J. Fernando, Founder of Dilmah Tea, declared the building recently. Those present included CDB Chairman Ravi Thambiayah, Deputy Chairman Nirmalie Thambiayah, Managing Director Niruja Thambiayah, Managing Director of International Distillers Lanka Mohan Tissanayagam, Joint Managing Directors of Renuka Hotel and Renuka City Hotel Arnila Thambiayah and Shibani Thambiayah, Maya Jayawardena and Thiyagarajah Dharmarajah.

Dilith Jayaweera, Chairman of George Steuart & Co., and the first tenant of CBD Business Tower, Dharshan Munidasa, Director of Crab Corp (and co-founder of Ministry of Crab alongside Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara). The Consultants from Avant Garde Urban Design Partnership and the Contractor for the Project, Sanken Construction (Pvt) Ltd were also present.

“This building was first built and opened by our chairman Ravi Thambiayah in 1982. It was the first UDA approved project in Fort and one of the first high rise buildings in Fort,” said MD Niruja Thambiayah at the event. “ABN bank was the first tenant to sign a lease in April 1980, one and a half years before the building was even ready. Bankers Trust, Swiss Air, Julius & Creasy, the Central Bank, and other prestigious tenants including the Presidential Secretariat and Ministry of Defence were quick to follow.

“This building was initially constructed in 1982 on the land which housed the offices of CBD’s original parent company – Cargo Boat Despatch Company, a Greek Shipping company (formed in 1866), which was acquired by my grandfather, Alfred Leo Thambiayah in 1939, which he grew into one of the leading shipping companies on the island, responsible for most of the functions of the port of Colombo at the time of nationalization of cargo operations in 1958.” A. L. Thambiayah was also a MP for Kayts from 1947 to 1956.

“We have now re-launched the CBD Business Centre with a contemporary look and an upgraded suite of facilities and services,” she added. “At a time when potential tenants are becoming increasingly discerning about their office spaces, we wanted to ensure that with this refurbishment, we tick all the boxes with respect to design, sustainability, functionality, and convenience.”

Slated to be among Colombo’s best commercial addresses, the newly-renovated CBD Business Centre holds its prime Fort location at 41 Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 01, with building access from both Hospital Street and Janadhipathi Mawatha. Located right opposite the Central Bank and within walking distance of the World Trade Centre and Port City, this flagship development of the CBD company (an associate company of the Renuka Hotels Group) currently houses a total of 54,400 sq. ft. of newly refurbished, modern, rentable office space, spread over 11 floors with panoramic views of Colombo city, Port City, Colombo harbour and ocean.

For companies looking to rent out smaller spaces, every 5,700 sq. ft. office floor can be subdivided into two separate office areas of 2,800 sq. ft. each. The rent is currently being offered at special introductory rates of Rs.195 per sq. ft. (+ taxes) for office floors 1 to 9, and Rs.220 per sq. ft. (+ taxes) for the ground floor.

The CBD Business Centre has already secured its second tenant, Hoist Global SL (Pvt) Ltd., the Sri Lankan arm of Canadian-based IT company Hoist Global Tech Solutions Inc.

In addition to superior new masonry and cutting-edge electrical & plumbing infrastructure outfitted throughout the entire building, the CBD Business Centre also boasts energy efficient central air-conditioning and LED lighting systems, with separate electricity, water, and BTU meters for each office.

With a brand-new entrance lobby with reception, newly-installed passenger and service elevators, upgraded fire detection and protection system, 100% backup generator, new sanitary facilities and pantries, the tower also affords additional services including an on-site building management service, 24-hour security, and CCTV in the common areas and a basement car park.


Webinar on ‘Security of Information Assets: What the Board Needs to Know’



The Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) together with EY organized a webinar, moderated by Manil Jayasinghe-Partner, EY on “Security of Information Assets: What the Board Needs to Know” recently to update the knowledge and understanding of Board members on the increasing cyber security risks and threats to information assets of an organization brought about by the rapid wave of digitalization and resulting changes in the way organizations work in response to the on-going pandemic.

The webinar also discussed strategies and best practices on how best to mitigate these risks in securing information assets while ensuring business continuity, loss minimization and quick, safe recovery in the event of a breach. The keynote address was delivered by Dileepa Lathsara-CEO, TechCert and the panel comprised of eminent tech and business leaders Madu Ratnayake-Executive Vice President, CIO/GM Virtusa and D. Soosaipillai-INED of Listed Companies.

“It is important to define what information assets are so that security can be provided to those assets. Contrary to the misconception that information assets are only the application systems or the systems where staff work on and the data that resides on those systems, information assets include supporting infrastructure such as switches, patch panels, routers, servers and all other equipment, and application systems including confidential corporate information in those systems. It is also important to identify where corporate information is stored and who has access to it” said Dileepa Lathsara-CEO, TechCert.

“Boards should get involved in handling cyber security risk by firstly setting a security tone for the organization so that everyone takes security seriously and also ensure that the required resources are made available. Boards can focus on the actual requirements of information security by adopting and adhering to security frameworks, standards, acts and directives such as NIST and ISO27000 series, PCI-DSS rather than having the IT security team re-invent the wheel” he added.

He further stated that cyber security should be incorporated into the digital transformation chain and should not be a mere afterthought to be plugged in at the end. Cyber accountability is also important in that it is the organization’s ability to demonstrate that they have good cyber hygiene to ensure, in case of an eventual attack, the ability to track back to a unique event/person or group responsible with admissible evidence which also aids in quick rectification and recovery. Dileepa also emphasized that it is important to make informed and optimal investments in cyber security mitigation which can be calculated preferably as Annualized Loss Expectancy (ALE) as against ROI since security is about loss prevention and not about earnings where ALE is calculated as the cost of a security incident x chance that the incident will occur in a year.

Panelist Madu Ratnayake said that it is essential and fundamental to have the right people in the security team led by a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) and that cyber security is a journey and not a destination as security is evolving. The Boards should comprise of members who have expertise on security given that most companies are going digital and the risk becomes crucial.

Panelist D. Soosaipillai said that the first thing is to find a security standard to be adopted in the organization without which there will be limitless spending on security without knowing what the benefits are. The organization should have a security vertical such as a CISO or IT Security, which is where the Boards will look at to establish ownership for IT security. He also suggested that Board does regular, if not half yearly Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) by external 3rd parties into the systems/security matrix of the organization.

Continue Reading


Sampath Bank further simplifies cash management for businesses with launch of Visa Business Debit Card



Sampath Bank recently announced the launch of Sri Lanka’s first Visa powered business debit card linked to a corporate account – the Sampath Bank Visa Business Debit Card – to help businesses of all sizes gain more control over their expenses.

The Bank’s business customers will now be able to move away from cash and provide separate debit cards to their employees for day-to-day expenditure. They can set monthly transaction limits to each individual card and link the cards to their preferred company account with Sampath Bank. The chosen account will be directly debited each time an employee makes a payment using the card. Businesses can consolidate all spending information using the detailed electronic reports it offers and simplify their payments, bookkeeping, reporting and monitoring processes.

Offering greater convenience and security, this new business debit card from Sampath Bank is set to encourage more businesses to go digital with their expenses, in line with the government and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s efforts to drive the adoption of cashless payments in the country.

Commenting on this, Tharaka Ranwala, Senior Deputy General Manager – Operations and Group Chief Marketing Officer, Sampath Bank PLC, said, “We are delighted to help businesses of all sizes go digital with their daily expenses with the launch of the Sampath Bank Visa Business Debit Card. Moving away from cumbersome cash transactions, businesses can now provide staff members with individual debit cards to be used for company expenses. The cards are linked to the customers’ preferred Sampath Bank accounts which get debited every time a transaction is made using these cards. We look forward to seeing our business customers experience the convenience and security offered by this solution to simplify their cash flow management as well as accounting, reporting and monitoring.”



Continue Reading


CSE indices dip below average turnover



By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

CSE saw the bear run persist for the third consecutive day with both indices dipping sharply below average turnover. The market was negative and at one point it declined to 200 points and subsequently started recovering  but not up to a steady level, stock market analysts said.

The market saw heavy foreign selling worth Rs. 700 million, up from Rs. 53.5 million, thereby pushing the year-to-date figure up. Foreigners continue to exit from some blue chip companies.

As result, both indices moved downwards. All Share Price Index went down by 131.94 points and S and P SL20 went down by 56.09 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 2.43 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Lion Brewery, which crossed 673,000 shares to the tune of Rs. 363 million, its shares traded at Rs. 540.

In the retail market five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Vallibel One Rs 290 (5.7 million shares traded), LOLC Rs. 243 million (736,000 shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 197 million (4.4 million shares traded), Browns Investment Rs. 170 million (1.1 million shares traded) and Dipped Products Rs. 127 million (2.9 million shares traded). During the day 141 million share volumes changed hands 23199 transactions.

During the day, top turnover companies, LOLC,  JKH, Browns Investments, Melstacorp and Expolnka contributed negatively to the Index. LOLC  being one of the top listed companies in the stock market  contributed 21 negative points to the All Share Price Index.  Other companies were, JKH 7 negative points, Browns, Melstacorp and Expolanka contributed six negative points each during the day.

It is said that CTC and Carsons Cumberbatch contributed positively to the All Share Price Index.  CTC contributed the highest number of points to the Index which was 10 points.

It is said that even though the market’s recent downward trend is disappointing, it is believed that the bourse will gradually reverse course in line with the expectation of an upward biased long term trajectory.’Consequently, investors are advised to take advantage of the current weakness and focus on accumulating fundamentally robust and liquid stocks in high growth sectors with a long term investment horizon, stock brokers said. 

Sri Lanka’s rupee opened weaker at 195/199 levels to the US dollar in the one-week forwards market on Wednesday while bond yields were slightly up, dealers said. The rupee last closed in the one- week forward market at 196.50/197.50 to the dollar on Tuesday.



Continue Reading