The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has launched an action plan to address key areas relating to the process of listing a company on the CSE with the objective of enhancing its efficiency thereby better serving the funding requirements of companies belonging to both state and private sectors. The action plan will further simplify the process, eliminate any redundant approval steps, reduce documentation and improve the time to market for companies’ new and follow-on offerings of equity and debt.
Measures have already been taken to change listing criteria by offering a wider choice of listing options for companies, further amend the listing rules to enable a simplified process in addition to carrying out changes to internal infrastructure of the CSE to ensure a smoother process workflow.
Commenting on the new plan to streamline the listing process, CSE Chairman Dumith Fernando said “Increasing the number of companies listed on the exchange is one of the CSE’s key strategic objectives. We have to make exponential progress on this front. As businesses approach the post-COVID period, it is likely that funding will be a top priority and we have versatile options available to address the different funding requirements of corporates. We have put in place systems and processes to cater to an ever-evolving business landscape in Sri Lanka and we stand ready to meet the requirements of our corporate stakeholders. We strongly believe that the steps we are taking to simplify the listing process would attract more companies to raise capital through the CSE helping them unlock value and create wealth for their shareholder.”The CSE has already commenced stakeholder engagement to obtain feedback to carry out further improvements to the CSE’s overall Listing process.
Improvements expected from this new CSE plan include the reduction of documentation that have to be submitted with the Listing Application and the removal of certain disclosures in the Prospectus/Introductory Document. In this connection, the CSE would commence discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) to streamline the current dual approval process.
Another significant change by the CSE is the introduction of a ‘Single Window’ customer relationship unit that will be set up within the CSE to identify potential listing candidate companies, work with such companies and assist them through the listing process. This will make it easier for companies and their advisors to understand and address any problems faced in the process through a single point of contact.
With the objective of further enhancing the transparency of the listing process, an online tracking tool for all listing applications that have been submitted to the CSE will also be introduced, which would provide Issuers with more transparency in tracking the status of their respective applications and understanding which parties hold primary responsibility at each step of the process.
The CSE now offers equity or debt based fundraising options for companies of all sizes, from large conglomerates to SMEs, through versatile listing platforms such as the Main, Diri Savi and Empower Boards.
INSEE Cement continues investment in mason development across Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s leading cement manufacturer INSEE Cement is driving transformation across the local construction industry with significant investments in empowering one of the sector’s key stakeholder groups; the mason.
‘INSEE Sathkara’, a multifaceted initiative to develop local masons powered by INSEE Cement is shaping the mason of the future – a professionally, socially and financially empowered individual contributing significantly to the advancement of both the local construction industry and Sri Lanka’s economy.
“The INSEE Sathkara initiative facilitates empowerment and development through up-skilling, social recognition and financial stability, an all-round approach that has successfully nurtured a new generation of masons that are fast adaptable to industry demands through newly developed skillsets, knowledge and capacities,” says Jan Kunigk, Executive Vice President, INSEE Cement.
INSEE Cement’s approach is to build a certified and skilled workforce with recognized credentials to bridge a gaping skill gap in the construction industry. The program ensures sustainable capacity development for masons backed by National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) in collaboration with the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) of Sri Lanka.
INSEE Cement also launched a Mason Apprenticeship Program to provide 120-day training opportunities for masons to learn on the job, preparing them to enter the workforce with specialized skillsets.
For Ajith Kumara Dissanayaka from Ambathenna, a mason for nearly 16 years, receiving all-round advancement through INSEE Sathkara has been truly life changing. “Five years ago, I was able to complete a course conducted by INSEE Cement and NAITA and received a Level 3 NVQ certification – my first professional credentials as a mason. This training gave me knowledge and insight that I had not received in over a decade of working as a mason, and it made me look at my profession differently. I improved my tile work skills, which also increased my income,” Dissanayaka stated.
This professional up-skilling has enabled INSEE Cement to create much needed social recognition and acceptance for Masons across Sri Lanka as a crucial link in the construction industry value chain. Mason Chats, Mason Meets and exclusive membership to the INSEE Concrete Society (ICS) has provided local masons industry inclusivity as well as recognition and rewards to encourage new avenues of income and entrepreneurship. Long-established ICS-member masons are also rewarded for their contribution to the local construction industry through ‘INSEE Garu Sara’.
To secure a stronger financial future for masons, INSEE Cement has introduced a comprehensive life insurance policy with disability, medical and accidental cover. This comes in addition to the pension scheme introduced to masons in partnership with the Employee Trust Fund Board (ETFB) of Sri Lanka.
“I joined the INSEE programme five years ago, and have benefited in ways I never imagined. The knowledge I gained about the industry, Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLS) standards and safety requirements have made me a better professional, and my clients respect me more because of it,” stated Ratna Ravindara, a mason based in Kandy with over two decades of industry experience.
European ride-hail Bolt enters Sri Lanka
Bolt, the leading European transportation platform committed to making urban travel easier, quicker and more reliable; announced its entry to the Sri Lankan market, with a pilot launch of its service in Colombo, on November 25, 2020 with over 2000 drivers ready to start accepting rides. Bolt pilots its services in South Asia for the first time with the launch of operations in Sri Lanka.
Committed to affordable trips and happy drivers, the company has announced that it will be charging drivers no commission for using the platform and offer fares 20% lower than other competitors, for a minimum of six months. It builds on being smart about how to grow the company, and focusing operations on efficiency, allowing Bolt to pass the savings on to customers, passengers and drivers.
Bolt has chosen to enter Sri Lanka during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis with the firm belief that people still need to move around in the city and doing its best to fulfil the mission to help them do so. Currently available only within Colombo, Bolt services can be accessed by passengers by downloading the secure and free Bolt app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store and setting up a user profile. Any person with their own Car who wishes to join Bolt as a driver, can easily register with the company through https://partners.bolt.eu/driver-signup by completing the relevant formalities or through the Bolt Driver App available on Apple App store or Google Play Store.
Mobisec marks 6th anniversary as its future outlook remains strong
International footprint with branch office in Melbourne
Mobisec (Pvt) Ltd, an innovator in the mobile application sector in Sri Lanka is celebrating its 6thanniversary since its inception in November 2014.
Over the years it has served hundreds of thousands of customers across Sri Lanka through its telco and mobile applications. Starting with humble beginnings as a start-up, Ashen Gomez, Founder & Managing Director of Mobisec has worked diligently over the years alongside his wife Sumudu, the Co-founder of Mobisec to build the company and expand its services in different verticals.
The company marked its first international expansion in the beginning of this year by establishing a new branch office in Melbourne, Australia. Today, the company is home to a dynamic team of over 30 software development experts.
Founder & Managing Director of Mobisec Ashen Gomez said; “since inception, we have continued to create applications that revolutionize the way people connect with the technology. Our prime focus is to provide smart and reliable solutions for modern problems our customers are facing and help them improve the quality of their lifestyle.”
Company’s product portfolio expanded further during this year along with the three brand new products that were launched into the Market. “Baby’s Diary” is one of the Android Apps that was added to Mobisec’s product portfolio in the mid of this year and currently the App has crossed over 10,000 downloads. It’s an all-in-one parenting solution, which contains a variety of options to keep track on the baby’s activities while shopping for all the baby essentials. Since its launch, the App has gained widespread attention and it’s shaping to be a game changer for all new parents in Sri Lanka.
“We are pleased to say that the Baby’s Diary App is the first and only Parenting App developed in Sri Lanka exclusively for parents of new-borns.The challenges and struggles for a new parent have never been addressed through out the past and that’s where we strongly believed that the concept of Smart Parenting needs be introduced to the Sri Lankan market”, said PrasannaDahanayake, Product Manager/ Business Analyst of Mobisec.
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