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Global recognition for Sri Lanka’s LOLC Al-Falaah



Reaffirming yet again its status as the most decorated Alternate Financial services brand in Sri Lanka, LOLC Al-Falaah bagged multiple accolades once again in the global arena, namely the 6th Islamic Finance Forum South Asia (IFFSA) Awards 2020/21 and the Islamic Finance News Best Non-Bank Financial Institutes (IFN-NBFI) Global Poll Awards 2021.

At the IFFSA awards, the much-awaited annual event by the Islamic Banking & Finance (IBF) fraternity in the South Asian region, LOLC Al-Falaah was crowned the IBF Leasing Company of the year and the IBF Window of the Year for the financial year ended 2019/2020. The company also won the Silver award for IBF Entity of the Year for the financial year ended 2019/20. The annual IFFSA Awards recognise high achievers particularly in the South Asian region for their contributions and efforts to the industry. It is organised by UTO EduConsult and all award applications are stringently adjudicated by KPMG.

Meanwhile, competing against some of the global industry giants at the IFN-NBFI Global Poll Awards 2021, LOLC Al-Falaah emerged as the Best Islamic Leasing Provider, bringing glory and honour to Sri Lanka, once again. This is the 3rd consecutive year that LOLC Al-Falaah has secured this top-position. IFN readers and market players from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America participated in the poll which is part of the prestigious IFN Awards which is known for their impartiality, independence and inclusiveness in honouring the most outstanding leaders in the global Islamic finance industry.

Expressing his views on the multiple achievements at both awards, Shiraz Refai, Deputy General Manager of LOLC Al-Falaah said, “Concentration on constant innovation, providing tailor-made financial solutions, commitment to develop the IBF industry and our stability built on prudent best-practices has developed a strong trust in us by our stakeholders over the years. As a result, these awards and recognitions compliment the dedication and commitment of our staff towards offering international service standards to our valued Customers”.

Speaking of these international accolades, Conrad Dias, Director/CEO of LOLC Finance PLC said, “I am extremely pleased because LOLC Al-Falaah has been consistent with its growth and performance even during the pandemic. Even during these trying times our staff has worked tirelessly and they have continued to achieve the company objectives whilst offering service excellence to our customers who are based across the nation. LOLC Al-Falaah is committed to progress further with this drive and passion for growth”.

LOLC Al-Falaah posted a Profit before Tax of Rs. 413.92 Mn from Rs. 318.45 Mn in the previous year, which marks a colossal 30% growth – an outstanding achievement recorded during a disruptive year. The company maintained a Non-performing loan (NPL) level of 3.9% against an industry average amongst finance companies which was of over 15%. Furthermore, LOLC Al-Falaah continues to leverage on the technological expertise of the parent company LOLC Finance PLC to provide uninterrupted services to its customer base.

LOLC Al-Falaah, with over 14 years of experience in the Alternate Finance landscape of Sri Lanka, functions directly under the auspices of LOLC Finance PLC, which is Sri Lanka’s largest non-banking financial institution (NBFI). LOLC Finance which is a regulated Finance Company of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is rated [SL] A with stable outlook by ICRA Lanka Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICRA Ltd.

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Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review



by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets



Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO



Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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