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CBSL launches Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy

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Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe

 

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka launched the Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy at the John Exter International Conference Hall of the Central Bank on 06 May 2022. The Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy is a classification system, which defines and categorizes economic activities that are environmentally sustainable, and is a key action item outlined in the Roadmap for Sustainable Finance of Sri Lanka introduced by the Central Bank in 2019.The Taxonomy has been prepared in line with the international best practices, while harmonizing for local context, hence it is expected to enable financial market participants to raise low-cost funding for green activities through both domestic and foreign markets.

The Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy would be applicable to all domestic and foreign market participants offering financial products (such as bank lending, debt instruments, portfolio management, and investment funds), large corporations, as well as national and local government bodies. It can also be used as a reference by the industrial planning authorities and served as the basis for local governments to support green industries covering a range of economic activities such as Forest and Logging, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Electric power generation, Transmission and distribution, Gas, steam and air conditioning supply, Water supply, sewerage and waste management.

Construction, Transportation and storage, Financial services and Tourism and recreation. The Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy was developed with the technical and financial assistance of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the process was facilitated through the Sustainable Banking and Finance Network (SBFN) and the IFC Green Bond Technical Assistance Program (GB- TAP). A panel of international technical experts with the help of local experts namely Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala of University of Moratuwa and Dr. Madurika Nanayakkara of University of Kelaniya and the officials of the Central Bank contributed in devising the Taxonomy. Drafting of the Taxonomy involved an extensive consultation process with multiple stakeholders, including various government ministries, financial institutions, financial industry associations, other financial sector regulators, and professional service provider firms.

The launch of the Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy was attended by Ms. Lisa Kaestner, Country Manager of the IFC for Sri Lanka and Maldives and the officials of the IFC, secretaries of ministries and senior officials of government institutions, international and local experts, representatives of international institutions and partner agencies, representatives of financial institutions, and the officials of the Central Bank. Delivering the keynote address of the launch, Dr. P Nandalal Weerasinghe, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, highlighted the importance of promoting and developing a holistic strategy to integrate sustainability into the country’s financial system, particularly in the context of the current economic challenges faced by the country and during the recovery in the aftermath of the COVID – 19 pandemic. The Governor also highlighted the fact that the Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy would be a critical tool to guide financial institutions, investors, corporates and green-bond issuers to navigate the transition to a low-carbon, climate- resilient, and resource efficient economy.
The keynote address was followed by a hybrid session to provide an overview of the Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy and a virtual panel discussion on ‘Accelerating Green Finance in Sri Lanka with the Green Finance Taxonomy’. The session on the Taxonomy was contributed by Wei Yuan of the IFC, Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala as well as Bolu Wang and Bridget Boulle, international experts who contributed to Taxonomy development. The virtual panel discussion was moderated by Rong Zhang,SBFN Global Coordinator of the IFC focusing on how the taxonomy can support financial institutions to expand green financing opportunities. Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman, China Green Finance Committee and the Co-Chair of G20 Sustainable Finance Study Group, Pushkala Lakshmi Ratan, Senior Industry Specialist of IFC, Sean Kidney of Climate Bond Initiative and Chaoni Huang, Head of Sustainable Capital Market APAC, BNP Paribas contributed to the panel discussion.

The Sri Lanka Green Finance Taxonomy can be accessed using the following link: https://www.cbsl.gov.lk/sl-green-finance-taxonomy 3 Selected Photographs 4



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Seylan Bank takes the lead to promote LANKA QR beyond Western Province

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Seylan Bank, the Bank with a Heart, organized the ‘Seylan Pay QR Carnival’ in Kurunegala to promote the LANKAQR programme introduced by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to strengthen digital transactions in Sri Lanka. The special programme, focusing on encouraging local merchants and SMEs to join the national QR transaction system, took place at the Vehera Sports Ground in Kurunegala recently. Officials from the Central bank of Sri Lanka, the Lanka QR Committee and partner banks were present at the event.

Organised as the 14th leg of the LankaQR national rollout campaign, the Seylan Pay QR Carnival set a firm footprint with the highest number of merchants at the event. Seylan Bank alone on boarded over 100 merchants for the SeylanPay payment solutions from the Kurunegala area. Over a thousand customers walked in during the event which benefitted many merchants accepting LankaQR, to process transactions on the day and generate great traction in the district since then.

As the key feature of the event, Seylan Bank educated their customers on the use of the Bank’s QR payment system, the SeylanPay Mobile App, and assisted customers in making payments to merchants. Over 50 stalls selling clothes and accessories, gift items, food, sweets, electronics and electrical equipment, plants, beauty care, cosmetic items and automobile parts were set up for the benefit of consumers, with attractive added discounts for customers using QR payment systems to purchase items, thereby encouraging and familiarizing the use of it among them. This marked a record high number of merchants participating among many LankaQR nationwide rollout campaigns that were organised to date. A Seylan Bank Mobile ATM was deployed at the premises, ensuring that customers had easy access to carry out cash withdrawals if required and check their account balances at any given time. In addition, a special fun zone was set up for children at the event premises, whilst a musical evening entertained the adults present at the Seylan Pay QR Carnival.

“Seylan Bank’s commitment to develop the banking and finance network together with the industry led to us hosting the 14th leg of the Lanka QR national rollout campaign. We also realize the potential this system brings to the SME sector in the country, in terms of transaction efficiency and savings. As a bank that has continued to support SMEs in the country in a wide spectrum, the alliance with Lanka QR helps in developing the entire transaction ecosystem of the country,” commented Chaminda Senewiratne, Head of Digital Banking Channels, Seylan Bank.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka introduced the LANKAQR service in October 2020 with the aim of moving towards a cash-less society while increasing financial inclusion in Sri Lanka, and was supported in this endeavour by Banks, licensed financial institutions and Lanka Clear (Pvt.) Ltd. It has already stood out as an attractive option with notable benefits for small and medium enterprises.

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Stylish Garments unveils its latest export-oriented BOI factory in Ambalangoda 

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With the Board of Investment (BOI) widening its projects, Stylish Garments (Pvt) Ltd, unveiled its sixth BOI approved factory in Ambalangoda which manufactures children’s wear, jerseys including school uniforms exclusively targeting the international market. The Stylish Garments is a renowned a garment manufacturer and exporter of jersey knit and lighter woven apparel products.

The latest project, which is a USD 3.5 million investment, is to generate 500 employment opportunities for people living in the south and other parts of the country. Moreover, the products are slated to be exported to the UK and Europe. The agreement in this regard was signed recently at the BOI Head Office in the presence of BOI Director General Renuka M Weerakone.

The Director General said “A project of this nature should be recognized owing to the fact that it depicts the vibrant and vivid expansion of BOI projects, which has now started to reach the rural areas, The new venture will uplift the livelihood of the people living in the Ambalangoda area plus become a crucial source of bringing dollars to the country in a situation where the country isin dire need of dollars,” she underscored.

Founder and incumbent Chairman of the Stylish Garments (Pvt) Ltd Leelaratne Hattanarachchi said,” we were determined to launch the project irrespective of current challenges because such new projects would bring dollars to the country. That’s the very reason why I ventured to start operations at this new factory by turning the advantage of this crisis to ourselves. At the same time, we do appreciate the support rendered by the BOI at this critical juncture and look forward their support in future too.”

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Browns Investments solar power plant deal dominates CSE trading

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By Hiran H. Senewiratne

CSE’s leading listed company, Browns Investments, disposed of 50.1 per cent of its stake in Sagasolar Power Power (Private) Limited to another leading company, Aitken Spence Pvt. Ltd. yesterday, market sources said.

The total value of the company was Rs 1.4 billion and under this deal Browns Investments sold the stake for Rs 700 million. The capacity of the solar power plant is 10 megawatts, stock market analysts said.

Sagasolar Power built the solar PV facility on 45 acres (18.2 ha) of land within a dedicated energy development area in Baruthankanda, Hambantota district, Southern province. The country’s previous largest solar plant is a 1.3-MW facility also located in Hambantota.

Amid those developments, the trading activities in the stock market turned negative due to macro and micro economic uncertainties. Accordingly, stocks slipped over 1 per cent at mid-day trade yesterday for the third consecutive day, market analysis said.

The All- Share Price Index fell by 121 points and S and P SL20 went down by 50.8 points. Turnover stood at Rs 982 million without any crossings. Top seven companies that that contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 274 million (3.5 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 185 million (1.2 million shares traded), JKH Rs 77 million (626,000 shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 59.8 million (9.9 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 58.9 million (8.9 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 32.6 million (89,000 shares traded) and Commercial Bank Rs 15.4 million (309,000 shares traded). During the day 51.5 million share volumes changed hands in 14000 share transactions.

Yesterday the Central Bank announced US dollar buying rate was Rs 356.04 and the selling price Rs 367.33.

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