Colombo Stock Market launches second phase of digitalisation
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) along with the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) continue to drive digital advancement in Sri Lanka’s capital market with the launch of the second phase of the digitalisation of the Stock Market on 07TH July 2021 under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat.
The event was attended by Dr. P.B Jayasundara , Secretary to President, Viraj Dayaratne PC, Chairman SEC, Dumith Fernando, Chairman CSE, Manil Jayesinghe, Commission Member SEC, Naresh Abeyesekera, Chairman of the Digitalization Committee and Commission Member SEC, Chinthaka Mendis, Director General SEC, Jayantha Fernando, Director CSE, Rajeeva Bandaranaike, Chief Executive Officer CSE, Prabash Wanigatunge, Director, Surveillance and Acting Director Capital Market Development SEC and Chandrakanth Jayasinghe, Chief Information Officer, CSE.
Following the Covid-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka in March 2020, the need to further digitize the operations of the stock market to ensure uninterrupted access, increase investor participation, enhance operational efficiencies and service standards became a top priority. The digitalisation initiative is expected to be completed in three phases and is a collaborative effort of a joint committee comprising of both the SEC and the CSE members appointed by the Chairman of the SEC.
On 17th September 2020, a special ceremony was held under the auspices of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to launch the first phase, which included customer onboarding to trade confirmation and execution of corporate actions.
Since the completion of the first phase of digitalization and the launch of the Mobile Application, total app downloads exceeded 65,000 and approximately 17,000 new Central Depository System (CDS) accounts were opened via the mobile app. Moreover, 97% of the total local individual accounts opened were through the app and 84% of the total accounts opened were by those aged between 18 to 40. The app has become one of the fastest growing in Sri Lanka, reaching 21 million smartphones nation-wide. This sharp rise in retail investor participation implies that digitalization of the stock market operations has been able to reach a large section of the more technologically savvy investors.
Dulux colours Architect 2023 exhibition with vibrant and engaging presence
Dulux -Sri Lanka’s, a leading manufacturer of paints and coatings – is celebrating the successful close of its participation at Architect 2023, also taking home an award for the ‘Best Trade Stall with Innovative Use of Colour’.
Organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects -and now in its 41st year- this year’s edition of the Architect 2023 annual trade fair took place from February 24-26 at the BMICH, and witnessed greater participation from leading companies and entrepreneurs actively involved in the various construction and architecture sectors; both locally and internationally, a company news release said.
“Dulux established a strong presence at the event with a spectacular exhibit themed Colour Futures ’23, featuring its 2023 Colour of the Year: Wild Wonder. Visitors to the stand were able to explore the four colour palettes, Lush, Buzz, Raw and Flow, inspired by the nature-influenced theme, with Dulux colour experts on hand providing unique trade insight, and also advising visitors on how best the shades can be implemented into their own work and living spaces,” it said.
“The popular mascot, “Dulux Dog” was also present to playfully engage with exhibition attendees and brighten up the vibrant Dulux stall even further. The Dulux exhibit proved widely popular among attendees to Architect 2023, due to its powerful display of colour in both interior & Exterior spaces. “
“Architect 2023 was a great opportunity for Dulux to learn from fellow trade professionals, and also to introduce visitors to the latest trends and insights from the global paints and coatings landscape,” said Upendra Gunawardhana, Head of Marketing at AkzoNobel Paints Sri Lanka. “We’ve maintained a strong long-standing relationship with the SLIA, and have every intention of being back again next year as well.”
ACCA reaffirms ComBank as Best among Sri Lankan banks for Sustainable Reporting
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was declared the best among all Sri Lankan banks in sustainability reporting at the Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards for 2022 presented by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Sri Lanka.
As the winner in the ‘Banking’ category Commercial Bank was recognised for being one of the most transparent, accountable, and responsible entities in the country. The award was presented for the Bank’s 2021 Annual Report titled ‘Beyond a shape, beyond a colour’ which among other aspects, explores the Bank’s evolving operating context in which social and environmental concerns are brought to the centre of its corporate agenda.
Prepared in line with the International <IR> framework, this Annual Report also presents the Bank’s social and environmental impacts as per the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards: Core option. Additionally, it reports on the Bank’s contribution towards the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals.
The Report also features a dedicated section on ‘Business model for sustainable value creation’ and discloses information on loans screened through the Bank’s Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS), paper reduction and recycling initiatives, increased usage of renewable energy, and switching to energy-efficient appliances under the section on ‘Natural Capital.’ Indicators of value derived in this category include reduced energy consumption in gigajoules, number of facilities subjected to SEMS screening, number of new solar panel installation locations, number of internet banking and mobile banking users, and solar power generated as a percentage of energy consumption.
Commercial Bank’s high standards in comprehensive reporting area result of the Bank’s commitment to being a responsible financial entity and shaping its work ethics around sustainable business practices, the Bank said. Last year too, Commercial Bank topped the ACCA awards in the Banking category, in addition to winning the overall award for the Best Sustainability Report of 2020.
Notably, Commercial Bank’s 2021 Annual Report also won four awards including a Gold for ‘Interior Design,’ and a Bronze for ‘Interactive Annual Report’ at the 2022 edition of the MerComm ARC Awards which is the world’s largest annual report competition.
The Bank’s sustainability initiatives include lending to support sustainable and green operations, migrating customers to paperless banking, improving efficiency in the use of energy, water and other resources in its own operations and supporting community initiatives that help conserve habitats and the environment. Its support to a mangrove restoration project in Koggala and marine turtle conservation initiative in Panama are examples of its commitment to environmental conservation.
The Bank pioneered a mandatory social and environmental screening process for its project lending activities and was the first bank in Sri Lanka to venture into Green Financing. It also revolutionised digital banking by introducing features in its ‘Flash’ mobile application to measure and offset customer impact on the environment.
Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC prioritizes psychological wellbeing in view of Women’s Day
In view of the marking the International Women’s Day, Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC held an insightful event at their state-of-the-art factory premises in Kelaniya, highlighting the importance of psychological wellbeing and how Ex-Pack is taking up measures in ensuring an enabling environment for its 300 strong workforce, based on its wider DEI policies.
Various global studies have shown that women are impacted at much higher rates than men when it comes to mental illnesses. The session celebrated their achievements and life stories, and shared some eye-opening tips, facts, know how’s, to-dos, and various other influential factors including the dire need to change our perspectives on women’s roles, health and wellness. This also touched upon the emotional and social aspects of wellbeing too.
This year’s theme is centered on #EmbraceEquity, and Ex-Pack is no stranger when it comes to pursuing gender equality in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by male. As one of leading corrugated cartons manufacturer in Sri Lanka delivering end-to-end packaging solutions to both local and international clientele, and a subsidiary of Aberdeen Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Ex-Pack actively encourages more female participation.
‘With this year’s theme being #EmbraceEquity, we take great pride in being an ambassador and role model in our industry. We go beyond just equal opportunities to pro-actively collaborate with everyone, to ensure that our talented women have every possible resource at their disposal and are given all the required support to succeed both professionally and personally,’ said M. Zulficar Ghouse, Managing Director- Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC
Ex-Pack has long been engaged with providing equal career opportunities, and both men and women
are respected, rewarded and compensated equally. The company also has an open-door policy for all employees. Women empowerment stems directly from the top leadership, recognizing that women and their strengths are crucial to both the company and the overall economy.
Showers in Western, Sabaragamuwa and North-Western provinces and in Galle and Matara districts during the afternoon
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