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CSE closes 26 minutes before ending time as S&P SL20 plunges



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE closed 26 minutes before its official ending time yesterday after the S&P SL20 index plunged more than 5 per cent, led by stock market heavyweights, stock market analysts said.

The main reason for the plunge was because two major index- weighted companies, namely, Expolanka Holdings and Lanka IOC, witnessed heavy profit- takings.

Meanwhile, two major global banks, Swiss Bank in Switzerland and Deutsche Bank AG, a German multinational investment bank and financial services company, are facing a risk of collapsing, which is known as “Credit Suisse Risk”. Market analysts predict something worse than the 2008 global recession. There the trigger factor was the “Layman Brothers” issue, stock market analysts said.

Apart from that, the UK economy is also going through a major crisis. Its new Prime Minister Liz Truss has reversed a widely criticized plan to abolish the 45 per cent top rate of income tax following a backlash from her own Conservative Party.

UK media reported yesterday morning that mere hours after insisting that the plan would go ahead, Truss had conceded that it could not go through the House of Commons.

Expolanka, being a company which has a significant presence in Europe and USA, consequently, created some panic among investors. They were worried that the issues in Europe would badly impact Expolanka’s business. As a result, heavy profit- takings were witnessed in Expolanka Holdings and its share price plummeted by Rs 20.25 or more than nine per cent. Its share price dropped to Rs 197.25 from Rs 217.50 at the end of the day.

Lanka IOC also witnessed some profit- takings due to the government reducing the fuel price by Rs 20. Still, Lanka IOC has profits because they are selling at a high range when the global fuel prices are declining, stock analysts observed.

The CSE said in a statement that the market had been halted due to the S&P SL20 index dropping over 5 per cent from the previous close, in keeping with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) directive dated April 30, 2020. Accordingly, the market had been halted for the rest of the day.

Amid those developments CSE heavyweight Expolanka fell 9.3 per cent, while Lanka IOC slipped 5.2 per cent, leading the index fall. The main All- Share Price Index (ASPI) fell 3.8 percent or 281 points, while the more liquid S&P SL20 dropped 4.9 per cent or 156.0 points when the market halted.

The turnover stood at Rs 2.5 billion without a single crossing/arranged transactions. In the retail market top seven companies that were mainly contributed to the turnover were, Lanka IOC Rs 570 million (two million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 503.2 million (2.5 million shares traded), ACL Cables Rs 115 million (1.1 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 105.7 million (2.7 million shares traded), Chevron Lubricants Rs 92.6 million (840,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 77.6 million (10.5 million shares traded) and Lanka Wall Tiles Rs 65.5 million (814,000 shares traded). During the day 125 million share volumes changed hands in 29000 transactions.

The CSE is enjoying a record net foreign inflow. In September net foreign buying was Rs. 14.7 billion, propelling the year to date figure to Rs. 15.2 billion. This is largely on account of parent SG Holdings buying into Sri Lanka’s number one listed entity Expolanka Holdings PLC.

Last year the net foreign outflow was Rs. 53 billion and in the preceding three years the outflow was Rs. 51 billion, Rs. 11.7 billion and Rs. 23 billion respectively. The previous net inflow was in 2017 at Rs. 17.6 billion.

Yesterday, the Central Bank- announced the US dollar buying rate was Rs 399.16 and selling rate Rs 369.91.

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New building extension for William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT



The William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT, a joint venture between William Angliss Institute, Melbourne and the SLIIT campus, Malabe, recently expanded their footprint in Sri Lanka by declaring open a new building extension with the participation of six Australian Board Members of the William Angliss Institute. Chairman and board members of the Sri Lankan franchise and other distinguished invitees too were present at the event. Judith Slevison – Board Secretary, William Angliss Institute, Australia declared open the building by cutting the ribbon, following which the distinguished guests were ushered to the Hot Kitchen, situated at the third floor of the institute where they lit the traditional oil lamp in accordance with the local customs.

Addressing the students at the Institute, Nicholas Hunt – Chief Executive Officer, William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT and Anuk Weerasinghe – Managing Director spoke of the exciting opportunities before them as tourism across the world rapidly recovers from the pandemic. The contributions of Chairman Errol Weerasinghe, Management and Staff of the William Angliss Institute @ SLIIT were also lauded by Hunt and Weerasinghe. Following the opening ceremony, the guests were taken to the second floor Patisserie Kitchen where they were served with Sri Lankan morning tea. The event concluded with a celebratory lunch for all guests, that followed a tour of the building. The new Building Extension contains two kitchens (Hot Kitchen and Patisserie) that are equipped with latest European culinary equipment.

Other facilities include three classrooms, larger food stores, and modern washrooms/ changerooms. The institute is currently putting the last touches to a Roof Top Training Bar/ Student Recreation area. The new facilities enhance the teaching capacity of this center dedicated for Hospitality, Culinary Arts, Tourism Studies, and Events, as well as the quality of student life, which in turn helps the institute reach its objective of creating career ready graduates.

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Dialog enables Digital Stock Trading on CSE via its Genie Fintech



=First platform in Sri Lanka to enable end-to-end digital onboarding and trading

Sri Lanka’s premier fintech app, genie, powered by Dialog, has launched an innovative feature that allows its users to set up a Central Depository Systems (CDS) account, add money, place orders to buy and sell stocks on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and withdraw funds from their trading account maintained with the broker, and manage their stock portfolio, all from the convenience of their mobile phone. Softlogic Stockbrokers Pvt Ltd [SSB] is the first broker to partner with genie in providing these brokering services within the app.

Customers can trade in shares listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) by using the buying and selling features on the Genie app during market hours and also they can place orders during off-market hours. Any trades input to genie after the market is closed will be placed on the CSE order book on the next trading day. Genie provides customers with simple and easy input screens to place the orders to buy and sell stocks by entering the price and quantity of each trade.

“As Sri Lanka’s premier Fintech app, we are pleased to have contributed to the widening of the retail investor base in Sri Lanka and to enable investors to gain access to the stock market and start investing and trade in stocks.” Renuka Fernando, Group Chief Digital Services Officer of Dialog Axiata PLC said. “We are confident that as we widen access, there will be better understanding and participation in our Capital markets. We will continue to foster good investment habits and educate our customers with easy access to market information. Self-directed investing is the logical extension of the genie platform which aims to democratize financial products and wealth management”, she further stated.

“We are pleased to have partnered with genie, Sri Lanka’s premier Fintech app, where customers can experience end to end digital journey from opening a CDS account to trading. We look forward to work with Genie in expanding our reach in the digital economy of Sri Lanka, whilst providing the best customer experience.” Dihan Dedigama, Director / Chief Executive Officer, Softlogic Stockbrokers said.

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Unilever Sri Lanka wins Youth Focus Corporate Award



Recognized for its commitment to empower Sri Lankan youth at the New Generation Awards 2022

Colombo, November 25, 2022: Unilever Sri Lanka was recently honoured with the Youth Focus Corporate Award at the New Generation Awards 2022, for making the biggest youth impact in the country during 2021-2022, as a corporate entity. The event was organised by the New Generation Chapter of Women in Management (WIM), in partnership with the National Youth Services Council in Sri Lanka. This was the only corporate award category presented at the event.

The New Generation Awards aim to identify, nurture and groom young, talented Sri Lankans and celebrate their contribution to the nation. The event comprised of over 50 Awards being presented across 20 award categories, including awards for schoolchildren, young entrepreneurs, schools, institutions and corporates.

Commenting on the award, Ananya Sabharwal, HR Director of Unilever Sri Lanka said “We are truly humbled to receive this award in recognition of our efforts to upskill the youth of the country. At Unilever, we offer flexible and short-term youth initiatives that cater to undergraduates. So, by the time they graduate, they have already gained vital skills and corporate exposure that are necessary to lay a strong foundation for their career. Our talent scouts who are our own employees collectively contribute to Unilever’s youth investment by volunteering their time to conduct campus sessions and share experiences with undergraduates. This kind of real-time industry experience sharing, really enables youth in deciding the kind of career they want to have”.

Unilever Sri Lanka has committed to empower and equip 100,000 Sri Lankan youth with essential skills by 2025 and has already enabled 30,000+ local youth to become more employable over the last five years through its campus engagements, strategic industry – academic student partnerships and career opportunities. Some of its youth initiatives include its SPARKS Student Ambassador Programme which invites undergraduates from top Sri Lankan universities to become Unilever ambassadors within their universities; the Unilever Challenge which is a real time brand centered case study competition that gives first-hand experience in working with leading brands and building disruptive thinking; the Unilever Leadership Internship Programme which offers internship opportunities to undergraduates across all functions; and many others. It is noteworthy to mention that this year, 48% of the company’s contractual employees were absorbed into the management cadre.

The company has also partnered with John Keels Holdings and London Stock Exchange to launch ‘Fast-Track’, a cross-industry Summer Internship for Sri Lankan students studying locally and abroad; and has partnered with CIMA, the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University (KDU), AIESEC Sri Lanka and Gavel clubs, to help support dynamic capability building in Sri Lankan youth. (Company news release)

About Unilever

Since its inception in 1938, Unilever Sri Lanka has established itself as one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in Sri Lanka. Its current product portfolio includes 30 market leading brands in categories such as Home Care, Personal Care, Beauty & Wellbeing and Nutrition. 96% of its products are manufactured locally, in compliance with the strictest manufacturing standards.Over the past 84 years, Unilever has been deeply rooted in Sri Lankan society, curating a landscape that preserves and nurtures the true Sri Lankan way of life. Enhancing the livelihoods of the communities it operates in, will continue to be at the forefront of this effort as it continues to set industry standards.

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