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Green Energy Innovation at Demo Day 2022

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(From Left to Right) Eyas Fazul – Founder of Rhoda; Sahan Ranasinghe – Founder of Sanota; Balachandran Ramesh and Rathypriya Ramesh – Founders of Ecosteem; Christiane Einfeldt – Country Director of GIZ Sri Lanka; Holger Seubert – Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and the Maldives; Ranjith Sepala – Chairman of Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority; Sriyani Wijethilaka and Rohitha Ananda – Founders of Eco Tech Base; and Chamara Gomes – CEO of Route Sonar.

The fourth edition of the Green Energy Champion (GEC) competition has moved into its final phase with the launch of the ‘Demo Day’ where the winning five green energy innovators – namely Ecosteem, Sanota, Rhoda, Route Sonar and Eco Tech Base – presented their solutions to an audience comprising local and international industry leaders, investors, business executives, and several other dignitaries.

The Green Energy Champion competition is set to identify the most promising ideas and innovations from the thriving Sri Lankan start-ups and small and medium enterprises. The winning innovations ranged from smart mobility solutions like route optimization and the first Sri-Lankan e-bike, affordable solar powered rooftiles and hot water systems to a household-based organic fertilizer and biogas solution.

GEC’s Demo Day was livestreamed on 3rd February 2022. After the welcome by Country Director of GIZ Sri Lanka, Christiane Einfeldt, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Holger Seubert, and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority, Ranjith Sepala, addressed the gathering as guests of honour.

In his keynote address, Sepala, highlighted the ambitious goals Sri Lanka has set: “Sri Lanka has begun an important journey towards completing carbon neutrality by 2050. In this journey, we have set a goal to realize 70% of electricity generated by renewable energy sources by 2030. We are delighted that the Federal Foreign Office of Germany joined hands with us by commissioning the Green Energy Champions initiative which is certainly a timely landmark project for Sri Lanka. I congratulate the five green energy startup innovators and their renewable energy ideas and solutions towards a greener Sri Lanka.”

Ambassador Seubert in his address pointed out that the new German government has put climate change action at the forefront of their agenda. Congratulating the five winners, he added: “Green Energy Champion shows us every year that there is huge, untapped potential for creative ideas in the renewable energy sector here in Sri Lanka. Entrepreneurs and private sector are vital in the shift towards a greener economy. It is the innovations driven by companies which – enabled by the right policy frameworks – can scale sustainable solutions within very short timeframes.”

The founders of Ecosteem, Sanota, Rhoda, Route Sonar and Eco Tech Base pitched their business solutions to the investor and partner network gathered at the event, concluding Demo Day with a networking session aimed at facilitating alliances and partnerships among key green energy stakeholders.

During 2021, the five local green energy innovators had participated in a six-month accelerator programme with Hatch and Good Life X (GLX), which helped them fine-tune their business model, develop their products and build strong local and international business relationships in the Green Energy ecosystem.

After intensive capacity building and mentoring by renowned industry experts, the five teams are equipped with the knowledge and skills to develop their businesses further while simultaneously creating a positive impact on the environment, the community, as well as the economy.

The ‘Green Energy Champion’ is a programme that supports innovators who are driven to lead the Green Energy revolution. The project is commissioned by the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH together with the State Ministry of Solar, Wind and Hydro Power Generation Projects Development, the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka.

For more information, please visit www.greenenergychampion.lk & follow us on facebook.com/greenenergychampion and instagram.com/greenenergychampion



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SL’s hard default status impacts CSE negatively

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By Hiran H. Senewiratne

The CSE slipped in the first hour of trading yesterday after opening over 2.0 per cent up due to SJB lawmaker Dr Harsha de Silva informing that Sri Lanka has now become a hard default country with the failure to pay loans raised from other countries, stock market analysts said.

Sri Lanka’s impending default on US $12.6 billion of overseas bonds is flashing a warning sign to investors in other developing nations. Besides surging inflation is set to take a painful toll. The current petrol crisis has driven the CSE to negative territory, analysts said.

Following the previous day’s momentum, the market opened the day gaining over 2.28 per cent or 192.88 points. Amid those developments, the All- Share Price Index slipped 0.39 per cent or 40.44 points and S and P SL20 went down by 7.76 points. Turnover stood at Rs 3.5 billion without a crossing.

In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 1.1 billion (8.86 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 585 million (66.7 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 527 million (49.5 million shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 169 million (2.3 million shares traded), Softlogic Holdings Rs 145 million (16.3 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 116 million (210,000 shares traded) and Lanka IOC Rs 87.1 million (21 million shares traded). During the day 268 million share volumes changed hands in 33659 transactions.

The country’s manufacturing and services sectors suffered a sharp dip in April as per the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) compiled by the Central Bank.

The manufacturing PMI decreased by 21.4 points as against March whilst the Services PMI was down by 7.5 points. CBSL said the Manufacturing PMI declined significantly in April 2022, following the seasonal pattern and indicating a contraction in manufacturing activities on a month-on-month basis. This would impact the manufacturing and services sector counters in the stock market, analysts said

Sri Lanka’s commercial banks quoted Rs 364 for the dollar against telegraphic transfers yesterday while the Central Bank set a daily guidance rate for interbank spot trade for Rs 359.65 plus or minus Rs 2.50.

Banks could quote Rs 2.50 plus or minus under the new direction and the rate is set below the market rates. The kerb rate has also eased after spiking last week.

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ComBank’s ‘Anagi’ partners with insurance companies to offer affordable insurance to female customers

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The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced it has partnered with several insurance companies to offer special Life and General insurance products with unmatched low premium rates exclusively for women customers, under the Bank’s ‘Anagi Women’s Banking’ portfolio.

Extending the scope of the Bank’s services to support this segment, the insurance cover comprises of Life insurance, Business insurance, and Home insurance options, the Bank said.

Besides the special premium rates that apply, the insurance can be obtained via an extremely simplified process, and can be extended to the spouses of women customers. The Bank said the scheme is expected to promote financial inclusion, one of the primary objectives of the Anagi Women’s Banking portfolio, through insurance protection.

The policy value of the Life insurance cover provided under this scheme ranges from Rs 1 million to Rs 5 million and covers eventualities of ‘natural and accidental death’ of the life assured during the policy period.

Under this Life insurance facility, a female customer of Commercial Bank between the age of 18 and 45 can sign up for a Rs 1 million policy by just paying an annual premium of Rs 1,100. The spouse can obtain the same policy for Rs 1,500. Women between ages 46 and 65 can opt for the same sum assured with an annual premium of Rs 2,200, if the policy is taken for themselves, or Rs 2,750, if the policy is taken to cover the spouse. The cover can be purchased at multiples of the unit rates of Rs 1,100 or Rs 2,200.

Quoting the 2020 report of the Insurance Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (IRCSL), the Bank said these are incredibly affordable life insurance policies for women, considering that the average sum assured in Sri Lanka is only Rs 1.4 million for which long term insurance policyholders pay an average annual premium of Rs 28,655.

Commercial Bank’s female customers who become life insurance policyholders under this scheme are also entitled to value added services such as access to free fitness classes conducted by leading online fitness provider Fitzky, and a 15% discount on consultations at any ‘My Dentist’ clinic, the largest dental clinic chain in Sri Lanka.

In addition to the life cover, business women can also benefit from a Business Insurance under ‘Anagi.’ It offers protection against fire or lightning, explosions, malicious or aircraft damages, a series of natural disasters, burglary, acts of terrorism and commotions among other incidents. The policy covers losses to buildings including permanent fixtures, fittings, machinery, stocks, cash, and personal property of the policyholder and the cost of workmen’s compensation, hospitalisation, loss of rent, removal of debris, architect’s, surveyor’s, and engineer’s fees due to damage or accidents, and damage to service lines, to name a few. It also includes Personal Accident cover for employers and employees in the event of death or permanent disability, as well as legal liability cover.

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LOLC General Insurance named Best General Insurance Company of the Year

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Ushan Goonawardane, Chief Strategy Manager, LOLC General Insurance accepting the award in Kolkata, India from Sudhin Roy Chowdhury, a Jury Member.

The 3rd Emerging Asia Insurance Awards 2021, recognized LOLC General Insurance PLC as the ‘Best General Insurance Company of the Year’ amongst the top Insurance companies nominated from South-East Asia. The evaluations were done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the multinational professional service network and the event was held ceremonially on the 30th of April 2022 in Kolkata, India.

The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) initiated the Emerging Asia Insurance Awards to acknowledge, honour and to recognise the efforts made by the emerging Asian Insurance companies while creating a platform for them to discuss their common challenges and its ramifications effecting the Insurance sector.

PwC performed the groundwork for the awarding body in reviewing and assessing the applicant profiles. The selection of awards comprised of several criteria and PwC has evaluated the audited financial data (for the last three financial years) of the applicants. Performance on Technical Reserve to Net Premium Ratio, Combined Ratio, Top Line Growth, Shareholder Capital, Number of complaints received, Claim Settlement Ratio and Investment on Training were assessed in gauging the winners.

LOLC General Insurance PLC is a subsidiary of LOLC Holdings PLC, which is one of Sri Lanka’s largest and most diversified conglomerates with operations in 20 countries in Asia and Africa. LOLC General Insurance PLC is currently one of the fastest growing Insurance companies in Sri Lanka and owns 45% of Serendib Micro Insurance PLC in Cambodia. The company has evolved into one of the country’s leading insurance providers of today, in a relatively short period of time.

During the last few years the company continuously streamlined their processes and achieved greater coordination between different units of the company to implement a customer centric approach. The organisation is committed to continuously improve its overall processes, efficiency and relationships to serve the customers better.

During 2021, LOLC General Insurance recorded a premium income growth of 19.2% which was the highest growth recorded by a mid/large sized company in the General Insurance industry and reported paid claims to the tune of Rs. 2.5 billion. LOLC General Insurance has always maintained an undisputed and unsurpassed reputation for speedy settlement of claims. The amount of money provided in lieu of claim reimbursements during the last financial year itself, reflects the company’s commitment to timely claim settlements.

Commenting on the remarkable achievement Chief Executive Officer of LOLC General Insurance, Mr. Kithsiri Gunawardena said “It’s indeed an honour to be adjudged by PwC as the Best General Insurance Company of the Year at the Emerging Asia Insurance Awards 2021 organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce. Winning the award among Pan-Asian giants this year is all the more precious to us due to all the challenges faced globally as well as within our island nation. I wish to take this opportunity to thank our untiring staff who are key in the success of the organisation and of course our invaluable customers who we strive to give the best service at all times. We will continue to provide innovative risk solutions and create value to our customers, employees and stakeholders!”

LOLC General Insurance aims to help the customers understand and to manage the risks they face, be it individual, family or business. The company works hard to offer the customers a range of products and services coupled with expert support. The solutions assure protection against numerous risks and support all classes of products in the General Insurance space. The organization is supported by Swiss Re, one of the largest reinsurers in the world.

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