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ComBank honoured with six awards by Indian Chamber of Commerce



Commercial Bank’s AGM Personal Banking Ms Mithila Shamini receiving one of the awards on behalf of the Bank.

The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) recently honoured the Commercial Bank of Ceylon with six prestigious awards, two in respect of Sri Lanka and four for the Bank’s Bangladesh operation, joining the many international bodies that have recognised the country’s leading private sector bank with accolades this year.

The ICC recognised Commercial Bank as the ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ and for ‘Best Performance on Risk Management’ among Sri Lankan banks, and presented Commercial Bank Bangladesh the awards for ‘Best Performance on Asset Quality,’ ‘Best Performance on Growth,’ ‘Best Performance on Risk Management’ and ‘Best Performance on Profitability.’

These awards were presented at the ICC’s Emerging Asia Banking Conclave and Awards in Goa, India in July, to recognise and reward banks in the seven countries that belong to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) for extraordinary steps in the growth and spread of emerging Asian banking. The awards were presented on the basis of applications assessed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). Commercial Bank was the only Sri Lankan Bank to be honored at the awards ceremony.

Commenting on the recognition accorded to Commercial Bank by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, the Bank’s Chief Operating Officer S. Prabagar said: “The challenges faced by banks in the BIMSTEC countries as well as the expectations of customers and regulators, are fairly similar. Being assessed by a panel of eminent banking industry personalities from the region is therefore of particular value, and we are extremely pleased to win the award for Best Bank in Sri Lanka as well as five Best Performance awards for our operations in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.”

Focusing on the stellar role played by banks in promoting economic growth and using monetary policy as an engine of growth during the times of the pandemic and the post-pandemic war in Europe, the awards considered the best practices and innovative steps taken by banks to overcome the myriad challenges they faced in their operations. Innovation in payment systems, digital asset management, anti-money laundering, big data analytics, cyber compliance and regulatory compliance, empathy, financial health and guidance of their clientele were among the aspects assessed for the awards.

The awards jury comprised of stalwarts from the banking industry, and some of the quantitative factors considered for the awards presented to Commercial Bank included key financial indicators such as Total assets, Gross and net advances, Deposits, Total investments, Total interest earned, Profits, Operating expenses, Gross non-performing assets, Yield on investments, Liquidity coverage ratio and Capital adequacy ratio. Other aspects such as advances made towards renewable energy projects, energy efficiency improvement projects, pollution control projects, water conservation and treatment projects, waste management projects and forest regeneration projects, and CSR expenditure were also assessed.

Founded in 1925 and headquartered in Kolkata, the Indian Chamber of Commerce is one of the most proactive and forward-looking Chambers in India today. Its membership spans some of the most prominent and major industrial groups in India. Set up by a group of pioneering industrialists led by Mr G. D. Birla, the Indian Chamber of Commerce was closely associated with the Indian freedom movement, as the first organised voice of indigenous Indian industry.

Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 12 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 271 branches and 957 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 20 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

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Train services on coastal line delayed




The Railway Department has announced that train services on the coastal line will be delayed due a derailment between Kollupitiya and Colombo Fort this morning (27).

It also said that trains bound to Colombo will be given priority and requested South bound passengers to make use of alternate modes of transportation until the situation is rectified.


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Chinese ship visit: Sabry contradicts Defence Ministry



India consulted, concerns raised by US

Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC, has denied that the government granted permission for Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 6 to visit the Colombo port late next month.

Sabry told the media in New York on Monday (26) that Colombo had not given permission for the Chinese vessel to dock. He said India’s security concerns were important for Sri Lanka.

The Defence Ministry on 27 August announced that approval for the Chinese ship to dock in Colombo had been granted

The media quoted Sabry as having said there was a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and the government consulted many friends including India.

“That’s a conversation going on for some period of time. India has expressed its concerns over a long time, but we have come out with the SOP. When we were making it, we consulted many of our friends, including India. So, as long as it complies with the SOP, we have no problem. But if it doesn’t comply with the SOP, we have a problem,” Ali Sabry told ANI.

“So, therefore, as far as I know, we have not given permission for the vessel to come to Sri Lanka during October. Negotiations are going on. Indian security concerns, which are legitimate, are very, very important to us. We have always said that because we want to keep our region a zone of peace,” said Ali Sabry.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, too, has said that an SPO was worked out for foreign vessels.

The Chinese research vessel was expected in Sri Lanka in October to conduct research along with the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA).

US Under Secretary Victoria Nuland, during her meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, had raised concerns regarding Shi Yan 6’s visit.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Victoria Nuland stated, “The US supports a strong and prosperous Sri Lanka. Our work together continues at #UNGA. I met with @MFA SriLanka Minister Ali Sabry to discuss U.S. economic assistance, human rights, and our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Sabry told Nuland that Sri Lanka had worked out the SOP to be followed by foreign ships and aircraft in carrying out any activity in Sri Lankan territory, according to a Daily Mirror report.

Last year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while commenting on Chinese vessel Yuan Wang-5 which had docked in Sri Lanka, said that any developments that have a bearing on India’s security are “obviously of an interest to us”.

“What happens in our neighbourhood, any developments which have a bearing on our security obviously are of an interest to us,” Mr. Jaishankar said at a joint press conference after the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting.

India had expressed its security concerns over the docking of the vessel at the Sri Lankan port as it was shown as a research vessel with the capability of mapping the ocean bed, which is critical to anti-submarine operations of the Chinese Navy. The Chinese research ship had docked at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port.

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Court bans Thileepan commemorations in Trinco



The Trincomalee Magistrate’s Court yesterday (26) prohibited the commemoration of LTTE cadre ‘Thileepan’ who died on 26 Sept., 1987, during a fast against the IPKF. The court order came as several events were scheduled to be held in Trincomalee yesterday.

The Trincomalee Court banned any sort of celebrations, demonstrations, parades or protests commemorating Thileepan in the Kulakottan Hall and the Gandhi Roundabout within the Trincomalee Harbour Police division, and within the Trincomalee police division.

The relevant order was issued against several activists, including

President of the Trincomalee District Tamil People’s Forum R. F. Jerome, Ramesh Nicholas, Suhirdha Priya, Krishna Pillai Sri Prasath, Kandaiyya Kandeepan alias ‘Pamaparasan’, Karthik Kalkiriyan and others.

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