By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE activities witnessed selling pressure throughout yesterday due to fears of a wide spread of the Covid 19 Delta variant throughout the country. The market had not picked up despite the government completing the groundwork towards the settlement of the US $ 1 billion worth International Sovereign Bonds (ISB) which matured yesterday, stock market analysts said.
The market was somewhat worried that if the government opted to go for another lockdown in the event of the spreading of the Covid 19 new variant, it would mainly affect tourism and other major sectors in the country. As a result, the market expressed some negative sentiments, market analysts said.
The CSE turned negative indices-wise, but investor activity remained high with Rs. 2.31 billion in turnover being realized without a single crossing. Foreign selling was visible and yesterday net foreign outflow hit Rs. 34.2 billion and during the last two to three sessions more than Rs. 4 billion net foreign selling was reported, analysts said.
Exit of LF Ruffer Pacific and Emerging Markets Fund from Asiri Holdings PLC accounted for a bulk of the foreign selling the previous day. Asiri Hospital Holdings saw Rs. 40.3 million of its shares traded for Rs. 1.3 billion. Its share price closed at Rs. 29.40, up by 30 cents on Monday.
Both indices moved downwards. The All Share Price Index was down by 29.75 points and S and P SL20 declined by 7.06 points. Turnover stood at Rs 2.31 billion. On the retail market front, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 685.6 million (10.4 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 161.7 million (2.8 million shares traded), LOLC Rs. 132.4 million (249,000 shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs. 76.1 million (1.97 million shares traded), and Browns Investments Rs. 74.1 million (11.7 million shares traded).
People’s Leasing had announced a debenture issue to raise Rs. 10 billion. This debenture issue has four types. Two are three year tenures and the balance two and five year tenures. During the day 146.6 million share volumes changed hands in 22409 transactions.
SLTMobitel-PEOTV and DP Education launch ‘Videsa DP Education’
SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider has teamed up with DP Education, to launch ‘Videsa DP Education’, a dedicated educational channel on CH.215 of SLTMobitel–PEOTV, ensuring school children from Grade Five to Advanced Level have access to a high-quality learning experience with Rewind TV.
The revolutionary services of SLTMobitel-PEOTV includes ‘Videsa’ a series of educational channels hosted on the platform, that comprise of 06 TV channels dedicated to individual grades covering grades 06 to 11, that enhance the knowledge sharing with curriculum-centered lessons from a panel of reputed teachers. DP Education, a unique online learning platform, leverages digital solutions to deliver quality education to empower students. Together, Videsa and DP Education, enrich the educational arena further with the ‘Videsa DP Education’ channel, a dedicated television space for the students at home.
This path-breaking partnership is a commitment by SLTMobitel–PEOTV to support the education of children, whose options are limited due to the challenges convergence posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will use the home TV screen and mobile devices as a ubiquitous medium to impart knowledge providing access to quality education for students across the country.
Commenting on the initiative, Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT said, “We understand that parents are now faced with the challenge of keeping their children safe during the pandemic as well as having to deal with the ongoing disturbances to their children’s education. As a solution to ensure that their learning remains uninterrupted, we have already introduced six different channels for Grade 6 to Grade 11 students through our Videsa digital platform. Our latest initiative and partnership with DP Education has now enabled us to launch a dedicated channel with unique learning experiences in key subjects such as Mathematics, Science and English for students from Grade 5 to Advanced Level with the Rewind TV facility. We are appreciative of the exceptional efforts extended by Mr. Dammika Perera and his team at DP Education and are grateful for the opportunity to connect the two learning platforms together in unison to create a revolutionary learning experience for our children”.
Thornton and Dane’s combined projects portfolio tops Rs 5.9 billion
Thornton Engineering, the Nextventures owned civil engineering company, has announced the acquisition of a 100% stake in Dane Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. for Rs 350 million, creating a construction business with a combined portfolio of Rs 5.9 billion.
The new entity, Thornton and Dane Engineering, expects to add new construction projects with a cumulative value of Rs 5 billion within the current financial year, nearly doubling its projects portfolio, the Company said in its announcement.
“We are excited at the post-acquisition prospects for the new company, because we strongly believe that it is a good example for the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” said Thornton and Dane Director Dinesh Schaffter. “The combined strengths of Thornton and Dane create a formidable as well as extremely flexible engineering company that is capable of executing projects of varying scope and scale.”
Capacity-building programs for SMEs
Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries (SLCSMI), the apex body for SMEs in Sri Lanka has been at the forefront in supporting the SMEs during the pandemic. The chamber took several measures since the pandemic first hit the country in the first quarter of 2020. The Webinar series “Way Forward for SMEs” was a grand success among other initiatives, which was conducted with the participation of prominent scholars, leading business personalities as well as top rankers of state and private sector organizations.
The president of SLCSMI, Prof. Rohan De Silva said: “We are always there to represent and support the SMEs in the country and that’s our prime duty. During the first wave, we understood the need to share the knowledge and provide psychological support for the business owners to withstand the difficult times and that’s how the webinar series was born. Our initiative was well received by the businesses and our audience was not limited to Sri Lanka alone, as we witnessed participants from around 12 countries.”
Prof. Rohan further said that the chamber has looked at the possibilities of providing sustainable solutions to the SMEs beyond merely conducting knowledge sharing sessions and the Executive Committee has decided to introduce a range of Capacity Building programs to develop the SMEs. These programs include different solutions to address various gaps among the SMEs and the chamber intends to issue a valuable certificate for the participants of these programs.
The chamber has partnered with the Asia Pacific Institute of Money and Entrepreneurship Development (iMED) to design and deliver the programs and the details of the Programs will be unveiled at the launching event scheduled to be held on the 25th of September.
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