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Fifty per cent tax incentive prompting more and more companies to go for IPOs



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The government’s 50 percent tax incentive for new companies to be listed in the CSE will come to an end on December 31 this year. Therefore, several companies are using that opportunity to enter the capital market by way of Initial Public Offerings (IPO), CSE- Head of Marketing Niroshan Wijesundera said.

Wijesundera said that to promote the listing of local companies with the CSE, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had proposed a 50 per cent tax concession for the years 2021/2022 to be availed of before December 31, 2021, and to maintain a corporate tax rate of 14 per cent for the subsequent three years of these opting entities.

Amid those developments, trading activities at the CSE were positive at the beginning yesterday but later the market turned negative. But considerable buying interest was witnessed in plantations, manufacturing and consumer related sectors in the market, stock market analysts said.

Due to price increase in retail and consumer items in the market, the consumer sector witnessed profitability. Further, manufacturing sector entities, such as tile sector counters, also witnessed price appreciation in the stock market. Plantation sector was exceptional yesterday and its prices appreciated in a notable manner.

During the day both indices moved downwards. All Share Price Index went down by 18.54 points and S and P SL20 declined by 0.23 points. Turnover stood at Rs 7.5 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Renuka Holdings. which crossed two million shares to the tune of Rs 36.2 million and its shares traded at Rs 17.60 and Kelani Valley Plantations 350,000 shares crossed for Rs 20.3 million and its shares traded at Rs 58.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Browns Investments Rs 1.3 billion (106 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 693 million (746,000 shares traded), Sunshine Holdings Rs 584 million (15.2 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 562 million (2.4 million shares traded), Agalawatte Plantations Rs 414 million (8.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 397 million (1.6 million shares traded) and LOLC Finance Rs 359 million (14.4 million shares traded).

During the day plantation sector companies made considerable gains. Agalawatte Plantations share price appreciated by 24 percent or Rs 9.50. Its shares started trading at Rs 40.20 and at the end of the day they shot up to Rs 49.70, Watawala Plantations share price appreciated by 11 percent or Rs 11.75. Its shares shot up to Rs 121.25 from Rs 109.50 and Kelani Valley Plantations share prices appreciated by 11 percent or Rs 5. Its shares increased to Rs 59.70 from Rs 54.10.

It is said that high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Brown & Company and LOLC Holdings. Mixed interest was observed in Bogala Graphite Lanka, Expolanka Holdings and ACL Cables, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Sierra Cables. During the day 516 million share volumes changed hands in 54000 share transactions.

Meanwhile, Capital Alliance Limited (CALT) will list its equity shares on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) via an Initial Public Offering tomorrow. The CALT IPO has gained significant traction and is highly anticipated by investors.

CALT offers 41,177,236 ordinary shares for a 12.5 per cent stake to the public, priced at Rs 10 per share. The IPO price per share provides a discount of 18.64 per cent to an incoming investor compared to the Rs.12.29 price per share derived by the Independent Valuer, Ernst and Young Transaction Advisory Services.

Yesterday, the US dollar rate was quoted at Rs 200.77, which was the Central Bank controlled rate. The actual market rate is more than the Rs 140 level.

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‘Rekindle Happiness with New Experiences’ this Season with Nations Trust Bank American Express



The season of joy comes early for Nations Trust Bank American Express Cardmembers, with the ‘Rekindle Happiness with New Experiences’ campaign. Cardmembers will receive amazing benefits and savings from over 300 merchants island-wide, across all categories online and offline, all the way to 31st December 2021.

The time spent with loved ones during this season of togetherness and sharing will be a gift in itself. Nations Trust Bank American Express launched the seasonal campaign with the hope of bringing new life to the season of happiness and merriment. With the countless benefits and privileges, the campaign will allow loyal Cardmembers to celebrate this season in style with memories for the ages.

The offers for Cardmembers come from a wide range of categories including but not limited to Clothing, Gifting, Hampers, Dining, Hotel stays, Supermarkets, and Automobiles.  Niluka Gunatilake, Head of Cards at Nations Trust Bank stated, “It’s that time of the year when everybody looks forward to the year-end cheer and festivities. Particularly, after coming out of several lockdowns, we are all excited for the upcoming festive season. Nations Trust Bank American Express is delighted to present seasonal benefits and privileges for our Cardmembers to celebrate this season of giving, sharing and joy! They can look forward to a rewarding season with a plethora of offers as we partner with leading retail establishments, dining partners, hotels & resorts. We invite our Cardmembers make use of the benefits and privileges and have a wonderful season to rekindle happiness with new experiences.”

Nations Trust Bank American Express invites cardmembers to enjoy the festivities and find out more about the benefits and privileges offered this season by visiting The Bank strongly advises Cardmembers to adhere to all health and safety guidelines issued by the Government whilst they enjoy their seasonal shopping, dining and lodging.

Nations Trust Bank PLC is among the top 15 business establishments in Sri Lanka as ranked by Business Today. Stemming from its vision of “helping people and businesses by providing financial services and information to achieve their goals and aspirations in a sustainable way”, the Bank serves a diverse range of customers across both individual and corporate, with an enviable portfolio of banking and financial products and services. Strongly focused on digital empowerment through cutting-edge digital banking technologies, the Bank is a pioneer in many innovative customer centric banking solutions such as extended banking hours, and FriMi – Sri Lanka’s first digital banking experience. Delivering premium value, service and connecting its Card Members to rewarding experiences and opportunities Nations Trust Bank PLC is an issuer and sole acquirer of American Express Cards in Sri Lanka. The Bank operates 96 branches across the country and has an ATM network covering 127 locations and 48 Cash Deposit & Withdrawal Machines, plus more than 3,700 ATMs on the Lanka Pay Network.

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Airtel’s network expansion to amplify island-wide 4G coverage



Airtel Lanka, a subsidiary of international telecom giant Bharti Airtel Limited, recently revealed its plans to strategically expand its new 4G network across the island.

As such, over 400 new 4G sites are being commissioned across the country, which is in addition to the 2,000 plus 4G sites Airtel added during the launch of its 4G.

The new 4G sites are mapped out to ensure enhanced capacity in highly populated areas and coverage penetration into rural regions. Airtel’s 4G network is built on a triple layer network, which gives it a solid combination of coverage and capacity to deliver a superior experience with drastically improved indoor coverage with stronger signal penetration.

Having already completed over a third of the newly planned 4G sites, the finished sites are estimated to cover over an additional one million of the population. A prominent cause for the company to expedite its expansion drive was the two-fold increase in data usage since the pandemic brought along a new normal.

“I am certain that our rapid expansion strategy will directly benefit our consumers across the island, giving them a refreshed and enhanced network experience through our world-class 4G capabilities. Until adequate or even excess coverage is obtained, we will continue our 4G expansion drive, with every location also being 5G-ready to seamlessly accommodate the next generation of network when the time comes,” commented Airtel Lanka CEO/MD Ashish Chandra.

Through this drive, Airtel users will be given the opportunity to enjoy a network experience unlike ever before. As Airtel is also equipped with a refreshed prepaid and postpaid model with the recent launch of ‘Freedom Packs’, the launch of Airtel 4G is the telco’s single largest investment in Sri Lanka since its entry into the island in 2009. The purpose-built 4G network promises users a superior user experience including 99% buffer-free streaming, noticeably quicker loading times and improved indoor coverage with 4G signals that never fail.

From online learning to work-from-home to virtual socialising, every user from children to adults will be able to benefit from not having to face any more call drops, interruptions or coverage issues.

In addition to the company led expansion of amplifying coverage island wide, Airtel’s joint venture with the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka’s (TRCSL) Gamata Sanniwedanaya aims to achieve 100% island wide coverage by 2022 by bridging the digital gap in rural districts with poor network coverage, by providing equal access to mobile connectivity for all Sri Lankans.

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HNB hails Sri Lanka Paralympic heroes as an inspiration to new generation of athletes



(front row) HNB DGM –Retail & SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne (third from left), HNB MD/CEO, Jonathan Alles (fifth from left), HNB Chief Transformation Officer /DGM, L. Chiranthi Cooray (fifth from right) and HNB AGM and HNB Sports Club President Hisham Ally (second from right) with Paralympic Bronze medallist, Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku (second from right) and Paralympic Gold medallist, Dinesh Herath (fourth from left) and National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Sri Lanka Honorary President, Lieutenant Colonel Deepal Herath (fourth from right) together with the Sri Lankan Paralympic team, coaches and officials.

Sri Lanka’s very first Olympic Gold Medallist together with the Bronze medallist and participant delegation to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, resonated a vibrant and inspirational example to new generation athletes and youth of the country, at a felicitation ceremony organized by the country’s leading private bank, HNB.

Recognising their outstanding performances – which included securing Gold and Bronze medals and establishing a new world record – HNB’s Sustainability Foundation presented plaques and cash rewards to the award winning athletes, coaches and officials who were part of the delegation.

The felicitation ceremony, held at HNB Towers, the Bank’s head office was attended by HNB Managing Director /CEO – Jonathan Alles, Chief Transformation Officer/DGM – L Chiranthi Cooray, Deputy General Manager –Retail & SME Banking – Sanjay Wijemanne and HNB Sports Club President/AGM Hisham Ally, as well as National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Sri Lanka Honorary President, Lieutenant Colonel Deepal Herath and other officials.

“You have scaled mountains that others only dream of conquering,” HNB Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles said, congratulating the members of the delegation. “We, at HNB draw inspiration from your achievements and hope that the country’s youth and new generation of athletes too will do the same. Sports can help develop qualities which are essential for organizations, particularly teamwork and the country will benefit from youth taking a greater interest in sports activities.”

The highlight of the event was the felicitation of Dinesh Herath – who won Gold in Men’s Javelin Throw F46 – and Samitha Dulan Kodithuwakku – the Bronze medallist in the Men’s Javelin Throw F64. Herath is also the first Sri Lankan to win an Olympic or Paralympic Gold and set a new world record in his event.

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