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Co-operative Insurance set to open Initial Public Offering on December 20



Leading Sri Lankan insurer Co-operative Insurance, recently announced the date of their Initial Public Offering (IPO), which is set to take place on the 20th of December, 2021. The IPO will be managed by the Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka.

Affirming its financial strength, the company, which secured a strong financial performance for the past year, was able to grow their Net Earned Premium (NEP) by an impressive 5% in a challenging, economically-crippling environment impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to post a profit of Rs. 695 million for the fiscal year 2020, up by a commendable 155% from the year before. This enabled it to make an indelible mark as one among the top 10 insurance companies in the country, affirming the success of the company’s vision of delivering unparalleled insurance solutions and services to all Sri Lankans across the island.

“This IPO is an important milestone for Co-operative Insurance, and is a firm testament to the continued dedication and passion of our staff and the firm loyalty of our clientele. Our steady, undeterred performance continued to demonstrate stability and resilience during a period that was characterized by numerous restrictions forced into play by the global pandemic. Right now, we are bullish of what Co-operative Insurance can achieve during our IPO, and in turn how it will help elevate our portfolio in 2022,” Co-operative Insurance Chairman Susil Weerasekera said.

The past year, Co-operative Insurance’s (general) market share has increased to 4.42%, in comparison to 4.27% as in 2019.[ CITATION irc20 \l 1033 ] Compared to the general insurance industry GWP growth, which was -2.24% during the past year, the company recorded GWP growth of 2%. The company reported a 05-year Average Annual GWP Growth Rate of 21% of GWP, while the general insurance industry 05-year GWP Average Annual growth was at 8.95%. Co-operative Insurance also notes that its contribution to increasing general insurance penetration in the country has increased during 2020 with 945,743 policies issued by CICL. Profit after tax (PAT) for 2020 rose to Rs. 695 million, an increase of 155% YoY. Profit before tax (PBT) grew by 120 % compared to previous year to stand at Rs. 940 million.

“We are delighted to announce that our Initial Public Offering will take place on the 20th of December, 2021 following a strong financial performance this past year. Our robust cost management initiatives, proactive drive to innovate, digital-first process re-engineering efforts, and most importantly the strength of our passionate and deeply dedicated team have helped propel Co-operative Insurance to an elite league of top insurance providers within the country. I believe these traits have helped prepare us for this IPO and continue to offer unparalleled standards of insurance to people from all different backgrounds across Sri Lanka,” remarked Co-operative Insurance Managing Director Wasantha Ranasinghe.

Established in 1999 with the aim of taking the concept of insurance beyond the borders of urban and suburban Sri Lanka, Co-operative Insurance operates the third largest branch network amongst all local insurance company today. Rooted in a strong foundation of excellence in customer service, progressive work culture, enriched experience, consistent commitment to innovation and an equal measure of heart, the company was the first in the country to introduce flexible insurance solutions to suit the large portion of motorcycle and three-wheeler owners located across rural Sri Lanka.

Further affirming its financial strength, the company was awarded a Fitch Rating of BBB+ Positive outlook over the past few years. The strategic expertise of its management and its proven financial stability has enabled the company to continue to deliver dividends higher than the general Weighed Average Treasure Bill Rate.

One of the major factors influencing the company’s resilience since 2015, was its significant investment in technology to both upgrade and streamline processes to better equip its employees and customers to access the Co-operative Insurance’s diverse portfolio. As a result, customers were afforded the convenient opportunity to obtain motor insurance policies by visiting our website. This not only fortified the company’s service portfolio to outperform its competitors but strengthened its positioning as an insurance company of the people.

Co-operative Insurance also lead the establishment of the country’s first training academy installed by an insurance company for its over 1500 employees, naming it the Coopinsu Training Academy. Through this, the company’s employees are given access to powerful local and foreign training programmers and high quality educational facilities to fortify their skillset and further their horizons on a regular basis, a strategy that directly impacts the quality of service provided to its customers. Also this academy is registered institute for Chartered Insurance Institute in UK (CII) Exam in Sri Lanka.

As one of the foremost insurers in the country and one of the biggest claims provider, Cooperative Insurance works to offer affordable premiums to match the requirements of a wider proportion of customers across the nation. With this ethos, Co-operative Insurance forges ahead to continue to change the viewpoint of rural and urban communities on insurance, while providing affordable solutions to customers by working hard to understand and cater to their rapidly evolving needs.

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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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