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Dharma Dheerasinghe to chair committee examining revival options for failed finance firms

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The Monetary Board of the Central Bank has established an Advisory Committee to examine the possible revival options for the failed finance companies.

The committee comprises four eminent experts from the business sector and is chaired by Dharma Dheerasinghe, Chairman of CBC Finance Ltd, former Chairman of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The other members are Sujeewa Mudalige, Managing Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Tishan Subasinghe, Managing Director of Moore Stephens Consulting (Pvt.) Ltd and Thiyagarajah Dharmarajah, Senior Partner Audit and Assurance of Amerasekera & Company, Chartered Accountants.

Dr. Ranee Jayamaha, Appointed Member of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, will serve as Advisor to the committee while J.P.R. Karunaratne, Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, would serve as Secretary to the committee.

The Monetary Board has vested the committee with the responsibility of recommending possible revival options for five failed finance companies, of which the licences have been either suspended or cancelled as to date.

Those companies are Central Investment & Finance Ltd, ETI Finance Ltd, TKS Finance Ltd, The Finance Company PLC and The Standard Credit Finance Ltd.

The committee is expected to conduct an independent assessment of the present financial condition of the five distressed companies, conduct due diligence covering financial, legal, tax and other important areas of operations, assess the financial conditions of the entities after incorporating the necessary adjustments as per the findings of due diligence and also examine possible revival options for each entity, indicating advantages and disadvantages. If, however reviving a particular entity does not seem feasible, the committee may recommend liquidation of the said entity.



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Samsung reaches up to better connectivity enabling 5G smartphones on Dialog’s 5G trial network

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Samsung, Sri Lanka’s No. 1 smartphone brand, recently announced that it has enabled 5G bands on several of its Galaxy smartphones in partnership with Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider. Samsung users are now armed with the capability of using their 5G compatible device on Dialog’s 5G trial network to experience the power of 5G.

This follows the tech giants recent enabling of 5G for the Samsung Galaxy S21 series including the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra. Currently, 5G has been enabled for Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Flip3 5G, Samsung Galaxy F42 5G, Galaxy A225G and Galaxy Z Fold2.

“We are pumped to finally introduce 5G to many of our wide array of smartphones, along with the immense support by Dialog. Bringing convenience, style and premium technology to your hand, Samsung is now Future Ready as it is equipped with the latest benefits brought to you by 5G,” said Mr. Kevin SungSu YOU, Managing Director, Samsung Sri Lanka.

Commenting, Lasantha Theverapperuma, Group Chief Operating Officer of Dialog Axiata PLC said, “We are pleased to partner with Samsung to facilitate all Galaxy Z Fold3 and Flip3 users to experience the boundlesspossibilities of 5G as part of our efforts to Power Sri Lanka’s Digital Future. Today. We openly invite customers to experience the power of 5G via Dialog’s 5G trial network across over 80 locations island-wide, including Kandy, Ampara, Galle, Negombo, Katunayake,Peliyagoda, Biyagama, Moratuwa, Beruwala, Wattala, Nugegoda, Boralsagamuwa, and many more. At Dialog, we are continuously looking for ways to deliver exceptional experiences to our customers as we have the potential to make lives smarter and more efficientwith the power of 5G.”

Whether you Flip or Fold, both the novelty Galaxy Z foldable devices offer our most durable, 5G connected, and expansive foldable experiences ever. Building on a legacy of impeccable craftsmanship, they are equipped with water-resistance, Corning Gorilla GlassVictus, Armor Aluminium, an optimised panel layer, and an improved protective film.

Meanwhile, with a host of stunning features such as 64MP triple camera with night mode, segment-leading 6.6″ FHD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate and 12 bands 5G support, Galaxy F42 5G has been designed to raise the bar and take the game a notch higher.

The other 5G-enabled device, Galaxy A22 5G, sports a stunning 6.6″ FHD+ Infinity-V display with high 90Hz refresh rate for real smooth scrolling and gaming. It offers immersive viewing experience and is a delight for binge-watchers to enjoy their favourite content on the go. Galaxy A22 5G also features Dolby Atmos support on wired and Bluetooth headsets and gives excellent audio and cinematic viewing experience. The dark mode minimizes eye strain during extended usage and conserves power, making the battery last longer.

With 5G starting to roll out across Sri Lanka, it won’t be long before the whole country is connected to a better mobile network. If you have a 5G phone, you’ll be able to enjoy faster downloads, instant streaming, and much more. But 5G is more than a mereboost in speed; it’s literally the foundation of autonomous cars, augmented reality, and other new and exciting wireless technology.

Samsung brings meaningful innovation to consumers and the newly-launched Galaxy 5G smartphones open up endless possibilities allowing our consumers to Be Future Ready. The recently-launched Galaxy devices are a testament to Samsung’s commitment towards bringing meaningful technology and product.

Samsung Galaxy smartphones are 5G devices that come with support for 12 5G bands. This means as the 5G network is rolled out in Sri Lanka by Dialog, they will support the premium 5G technology. Even before the commercialisation of the 5G network in Sri Lanka, Samsung has leaped ahead to ensure that its consumers are future ready by offering smartphones with up to 12 5G bands support – N1, N3, N5, N7, N8, N20, N28, N38, N40, N41, N66 and N78.

With Galaxy 5G, users will get assured 5G connectivity no matter what the 5G band in Sri Lanka is and will get access to uninterrupted nationwide access to any 5G network (subject to operator network availability). The seamless 5G support will help download, share and stream content at blazing fast speeds.

Samsung has pioneered 5G technology development since 2009 and took the leading role in standardising 5G technology. Having launched the world’s first 5G smartphone Galaxy S10 in 2019, Samsung has the widest portfolio of 5G devices globally and has pioneered the successful delivery of end-to-end 5G solutions including chipsets, radios and core.

While other smartphone makers may offer one or two 5G phones to pick from, Samsung lets you choose from the widest portfolio of 5G devices on the market (more than a dozen!)—from hyper fast 5G tablets to refreshingly affordable 5G smartphones.

Whether you need to brainstorm with coworkers from the comfort of home, game on the go, or create wherever inspiration strikes, Samsung has the perfect 5G device for every need and every budget. Galaxy 5G devices are ready to take you hyper fast, right now. With more than a decade of 5G experience, no one crafts more 5G devices than us.

Customers can visit www.dialog.lk/5g to stay updated as Dialog expands its 5G trial network to more areas. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, Z Flip3 5G, S21 Series, F42 5G , A22 5G and Z Fold2 customers simply need to update their devices to the latest software in the ‘Software Update’ tab in ‘Settings’ to be able to connect to Dialog’s 5G trial network. Once they do so, they will be automatically connected to Dialog’s 5G trial network.

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German Navy ship ‘BAYERN’ drops anchor in Colombo amid intense geopolitical competition

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One of the helicopters on board the "BAYERN"

By Sanath Nanayakkare

The German frigate “BAYERN” which arrived in Sri Lanka on January 15, will leave today after completing its business in the country for the time being, looking forward to making more trips to Colombo in the future.

“Sri Lankan authorities including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L Peiris and Foreign Secretary, Admiral Jayanath Colombage have made the German Navy feel welcome to return to Sri Lanka for our increased engagement in the Indo-Pacific aimed at maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, while building strong and lasting partnerships, Tilo Kalski, the commanding officer of the “BAYERN” told The Island Financial Review (IFR) yesterday.

German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Holger Seubert told the IFR that Sri Lankan authorities showed great enthusiasm in the EU and Germany broadening their footprint in the Indo-Pacific region.

“The fact that a German frigate drops anchor at Colombo port testifies the outstandingly high quality of Germany’s bilateral relations with Sri Lanka. The visit gives expression to Germany’s determination to broaden its footprint in the Indo-Pacific region. Germany with its ‘Policy Guidelines for the Indo-Pacific’ as well as the EU with its ‘European Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific’, follow an inclusive and rules-based approach that relies on consultation, not confrontation,” he emphasised.

“I contently take note that Sri Lanka shares our desire to preserve the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific, including the freedom of navigation,” the Ambassador observed.

“We are not naïve not to notice that current dynamics in the Indo-Pacific have given rise to intense geopolitical competition adding to increasing tensions on trade and supply chains as well as in technological, political and security areas. This is the reason why the EU has decided to step up its strategic engagement with the Indo-Pacific region,” the Ambassador opined.

“The Indo-Pacific region is increasingly becoming strategically important for the EU. Sri Lanka is well positioned in that region. The region’s growing economic, demographic, and political weight makes it a key player in shaping the international order and in addressing global challenges.

The EU and the Indo-Pacific are highly interconnected. The EU is already the top investor, the leading development cooperation partner and one of the biggest trading partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

“The basic message is that the EU will deepen its engagement with partners in the Indo-Pacific to respond to emerging dynamics that are affecting regional stability,” the German Ambassador reiterated.

Together, the Indo-Pacific and Europe hold over 70% of the global trade in goods and services, as well as over 60% of foreign direct investment flows.

The Sri Lankan and German Navies will carry out a joint naval exercise today before the ‘BAYERN’ starts sailing for Haifa port city in Israel.

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Methodology revision of All Share Price Index

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Nishantha Hewavithana Head of Research and Strategy

Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is planning to revise the calculation methodology of All Share Price Index (ASPI) by changing the constituent weighting method from full Market Capitalization to free float-adjusted Market Capitalization. The following interview intends to provide some essential information in this regard.

1. What is a stock market index and the purpose of it?

A stock market index is a statistical measure which shows changes taking place in the stock market. Hence, an index reflects overall market sentiment and direction of price movements of the stock market. These indices can be calculated for the whole market (broad market index), a select segment (sector indices) or based on any other theme (eg; Dividend Index, ESG Index etc.). Indices are mainly useful in determining the return of the market segment, understanding the overall market direction.

2. What are the different types of calculation methodologies?

There are various types of calculation methodologies based on different aspects. One such aspect is the weighting of index constituents. Two major weighting schemers are weighting index constituents on full market capitalization of each constituent and weighting index constituents on float adjusted market capitalization of each constituent.

3. What is float adjusted market capitalization?

Simply, this means total market capitalization multiplied by the public holding percentage. Public holding is the portion of the issued quantity of shares readily available for investors to trade and expressed as a percentage. This is calculated by companies and disclosed in interim financial statements. The definition of public holding can be found in ‘Contents Definitions and Introduction’ under Listing Rules that can be accessed at https://cdn.cse.lk/pdf/cse-rules/listing-rules/Contents-Updated-as-at-22-06-2021.pdf

For example, in a given company the public holding percentage is 19% means that only 19% of the issued quantity of shares are readily available to go hand in hand among investors in general. The balance 81% is held by strategic investors which we cannot expect to be traded in the market in general. Accordingly, 19% of the market capitalization (known as float adjusted market capitalization) is ready to go hand in hand- on daily basis.

4. What is the ASPI methodology revision of 2022?

The ASPI has been calculated based on full market capitalization which means the index constituents are weighted based on the full market capitalization of each security. Alternatively, it could be weighed on float adjusted market capitalization. The revision is to change the weighting scheme from full market capitalization to float adjusted market capitalization.

Since companies disclose public holding quarterly in their interim financial statements the index weights would be revised quarterly (known as Index Rebalancing).

5. What is capping and why capped at 5%?

Capping is the technique use in index calculation to address the issue of over representation of one of few securities in an index. Index is capped at 5% level to address the issue of over representation of one of few securities in an index. Once capped the excess weight is distributed proportionately among the remaining securities in the index. The same procedure is repeated until no security is exceeding 5% cap rate.

We back calculate Float ASPI index and capped at different cap rates. Based on return per unit of risk, 5% capping level has been the best.

6. What makes CSE to move for this kind of change?

Indices based on float adjusted market capitalization are better able to generate realistic market returns than those based on total market capitalization because they are based on tradable quantities.

Since the introduction of this idea in early 2000, most of the markets have adopted this in their index calculation methodologies. All the index service providers such as S&P Dow Jones, FTSE are using this method and is considered as a best practice in index calculation methodologies.

7. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this move?

The main advantages of the revised index would be that it will generate more realistic returns and the index methodology would be in par with generally accepted best practices of index calculations. There are no disadvantages such.

8. Will the ASPI index value change suddenly due to the implementation this change itself?

No. On the effective date of the methodology revision the ASPI will start moving from the same value that it closed on the day immediately prior to the revision. When this methodology revision is implemented, the serial continuity of the index will be maintained and there will be no sudden shift of the index level solely due to the launch of the new index.

9. How will it affect the ASTRI index (All Share Total Return Index)?

All share Total Return Index (ASTRI) measures the total return (Price Return + Dividend Return). The ASTRI reflects returns due to both price changes and dividend income. After the implementation of the methodology revision of ASPI, the price return component will be based on float adjusted market capitalization. This means that ASTRI is also calculated based on float adjusted market capitalization

10. Is the index methodology of CSE publicly available?

Yes. It is available on CSE website. https://cdn.cse.lk/pdf/Index-Methodologies-of-Colombo-Stock-Exchanhge.pdf

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