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Financial literacy among undergraduates – research findings of concern

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Sri Lanka has shown a high literacy rate of about 92% compared to other south Asian countries, and is on par with other developed countries. However, there is a noted dearth of surveys and studies that assesses the financial literacy level in the Sri Lankan context. It is observed that people with low levels of financial literacy suffer from that lack of knowledge at every stage of their lives and studies also assert that people with a high degree of financial literacy are more likely to plan for retirement, and that people who plan for retirement have more than doubled the wealth of people who don’t. On the other hand, the quite alarming fact noted is that even some educated professionals had fallen prey to financial scams in Sri Lanka, questioning the financial literacy of such intellectuals.

Thus, a study was carried out involving the undergraduates in the Sri Lankan state universities (due to being one of the major sources of future leaders) to find the level of financial literacy and how different specializations impact financial literacy levels. In the research conducted by the authors, the undergraduates were tested on their fundamental financial knowledge on dimensions of general finance, saving & borrowings (i.e., banking products), insurance and investment, and nearly 653 students from the five main state universities in ten main disciplines (business and non-business disciplines) were selected, where the data was collected over a period of 1 1/2 years. Undergraduates of the business discipline included undergraduates from accountancy and business management and non-business discipline included undergraduates from the fields of engineering, physical sciences, humanities and social sciences and information technology.

The findings indicate that the overall financial literacy level was on average 69.58% out of 100% of undergraduates in the business discipline. In terms of the sub-dimensions of financial literacy, these undergraduates scored the highest of 74.51% in the savings and borrowing sub-category, while they scored the lowest of 59.08% in the investment sub-dimension. When compared with the general literacy rate of 92% of this country, the findings of this study indicate that their overall average is quite low as well as knowledge in the investment sub-dimension is even lower.

The alarming finding is related to the undergraduates coming from the non-business majors, where the average financial literacy level was only 42.83% out of 100%, which is even lower than 50%. This we see as a major concern. Their knowledge in the investment related sub-dimension was just 28.16% out of 100%.

When considering these findings of the research conducted by the authors, it is clear that the undergraduates coming from the business management discipline had a better knowledge than students from non-business management disciplines. Although the students coming from the non-business disciplines may be conversant in their own areas of study, they were lacking an awareness in fundamental financial aspects that any citizen should possess to continue normal day-to-day life.

The authors observe that there is a systematic deficiency of personal finance education in our local education system. Introduction of subjects related to financial literacy for all students (regardless their discipline) in their formative stages as well as introducing course components related to accounting and finance in the curricula of non-business majors at universities (and other tertiary institutions) could be suggested to remedy this dire situation.

Authors– S.S. Edirisinghe (surathse1978@gmail.com) and S.S. Samarakkody,

Senior Lecturer,

Department of Accounting, Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education, Sri Lanka,

Senior Prof. DBPH Dissa Bandara and Dr. AR Ajward,. Senior Lecturer

Department of Accounting, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka



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Business

Newly developed Sathosa Motors Service Complex to service all vehicle brands

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Sathosa Motors PLC and its new state-of-the-art vehicle service complex, is now serving not just Isuzu but also any brand of vehicle.

Pioneering automotive specialist, Sathosa Motors is the sole authorized agent for the world-renowned Isuzu brand, but the newly developed service complex will now undertake all kinds of services required for any brand of vehicle.

 The internationally trained specialists are ready to serve you at the Sathosa Motors Service Complex now on weekdays from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm and on Saturday from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm at No 25, Vauxhall Street, Colombo 02.

Sathosa Motors PLC guarantees its customers reliable and convenient service and will undertake vehicle inspections, periodic maintenance, body and under carriage washing, interior cleaning and beautification, engine tuning, error diagnosis, accident repairs, air condition repairs, and many more at a highly affordable rate.

In addition, genuine spare parts, as well as lubricants and industrial services are available at discounted prices at the Service Complex.

Sathosa Motors PLC aims to provide high quality services at all times and all services are carried out strictly under health guidelines due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Sathosa Motors announces that it has decided to keep all branches of the Sathosa Motors service network open to continue to serve its customers.

 

(Sathosa Motors)

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CSE trading bullish despite rupee hitting historic low against dollar

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

CSE trading activities were bullish despite Sri Lanka’s rupee registering a historic slump against the US dollar   at 202/205 to the one month dollar in mid morning trade yesterday, after opening at around 200/203.The stock market moved up, though, anticipating March quarterly results to be exceptional. This is expected to be particularly true of the Hayleys Group and Expolanka. Accordingly, investors seem to be re-entering the market after January, stock market analysts said.

Further, approval of the US $ 500 million Chinese loan and the fact that the Port City Bill has been tabled in parliament have lifted investor sentiment in a significant direction of the stock market, market analysts said. Amid those developments, both indices moved upwards, especially the All Share Price Index went up by 1.22 percent. The All Share Price Index rose by 92.35 points and S and P SL20 went up by 19.21 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 4.72 billion with four crossings. 

Those crossings were reported in JKH, which crossed 922,000 shares to the tune of Rs. 137.8 million, its shares traded at Rs. 149.25, Commercial Bank 950,000 shares crossed for Rs. 82.7 million, its shares traded at Rs. 87, HNB 155,000 shares crossed for Rs. 26.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 132 and Ceylon Cold Stores 33,500 shares crossed for Rs. 20.1 million, its shares fetching Rs. 600.

In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were, Browns Investments Rs. 793.6 million (123.1 million shares traded), LOLC Rs. 463.4 million (1.32 million shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs. 442 million (1.2 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 442 million (five million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 372.3 million (6.2 million shares traded). During the day 197.3 million share volumes changed hands in 30480 transactions. 

The market was quite bullish from the beginning and LOLC Group companies led the market. It is said that LOLC contributed 25.5 points to the All Share Price Index. Browns Investments 9.8 points and Vallibel One contributed 8 points to the All Share Price Price Index while Commercial Leasing contributed six points.    

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‘Embark on that long-awaited getaway with Emirates and enjoy special fares’

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Emirates is launching seasonal fares that enable aspiring globetrotters to plan exciting adventures around the world as well as for students preparing to travel overseas. With Emirates’ generous booking policies, customers have the option to lock in these special fares and extend ticket validity for up to three years, enjoying greater flexibility and confidence when planning travel during unprecedented times.

Travellers in Sri Lanka can look forward to flight deals on all routes in Emirates’ global network, with return fares starting at only Rs 68,700 in Economy Class or Rs 257,500 in Business Class. These special seasonal fares are available for bookings made from 13 to 26 April 2021, and are valid for travel between 16 April and 30 September 2021*.

Featured destinations and starting Economy Class fares include: US$ 342 (about Rs 68,700 at current exchange rates) to Dubai, US$ 654 (about Rs 131,300) to Milan, US$ 644 (about Rs 129,300) to Paris, US$ 1,117 (about Rs 224,200) to New York, US$ 1,303 (about Rs 261,500) to Toronto and US$ 966 (about Rs 193,900) to Nairobi.

Special Business Class fares start at US$ 1,283 (approximately Rs 257,500) to Dubai, from US$ 3,127 (about Rs 627,600) to Milan, US$ 2,860 (about Rs 574,000) to Paris, US$ 3,618 (about Rs 726,100) to New York, US$ 3,654 (about Rs 733,300) to Toronto and US$ 2,179 (about Rs 437,300) to Nairobi. All fares in Rupees are subject to the rate of exchange on the day of purchase.

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