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Gulf Oil lubricants officially launched in Sri Lanka by Ideal First Choice

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The launch of Gulf Lubricants in Sri Lanka at JAIC Hilton Colombo Residencies. From left: Sanjeewa Kasthuriratne, Head of Business, Ideal First Choice, Danushka Walpola, Deputy General Manager, Ideal First Choice, Nalin Welgama, Founder and chairman, Ideal group, Chaminda Wanigaratne, Director, Ideal Motors, Ideal First Choice, Gagan Mathur, Head - Business Development-Cluster Markets, Gulf Lubricants India and Vipin Ohri, Deputy General Manager, Lanka Ashok Leyland. Pic by Thushara Athapaththu

Ideal First Choice (Pvt) Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of the Ideal Group, one of country’s leading business conglomerates, has introduced Gulf Oil lubricants to the Sri Lankan market.

Chaminda Wanigaratne, Director Ideal First Choice and Ideal Motors, commenting on the partnership said,  “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ideal First Choice as Sri Lanka’s national distributor for Gulf Oil. As a part of our association with Gulf Oil, we look forward to providing a unique lubricant brand to all of our clients.”

“In 2008, the government in order to introduce lubricants to the local market, liberalised the market place giving opportunities to the private sector to introduce various lubricant brands to Sri Lanka. Subsequently in 2010, the automotive industry was re-energised and the availability of hybrid vehicles in the market also attracted a large number of customers. Due to this, over the years, the demand for lubricants increased and accordingly we have introduced Gulf Oil which can provide high quality performance to customers at an affordable price.”

“We have also begun the process of appointing local dealers for Gulf lubricants covering all districts across the country. Moreover, arrangements have been made to provide technical knowledge and awareness about the brand and its products to all our dealers and sales teams. This initiative ensures that we are able to provide customers the highest quality product at an affordable price,” Wanigaratne added.

Ravi Chawla, President – APAC, Gulf Oil and MD & CEO, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd said, “Sri Lanka consumes about 64,000 kilo liters of lubricants annually. 68% of this is used for automobiles and the remainder for industrial lubricants and greases. We aim to provide consumers with high quality lubricants for the automotive and industrial sectors. I am sure this partnership will grow to benefit the industry.”

Gagan Mathur, Head – Business Development-Cluster Markets, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd, commented on the new collaboration, ” We are certain that the Gulf Oil brand will achieve new heights under the expert guidance and leadership of Nalin Welgama, one of Sri Lanka’s leading entrepreneur. With the support of Ideal Group, we will provide a great choice that will allow consumers to edge ahead with high performance oriented products,” he said.

The strategic partnership with the Gulf Oil Lubricants India is the latest addition to Ideal First Choice’s expansion of its global brand offerings and thereby, continue to provide a world-class service experience.

Gulf Oil is a well-established player in the global lubricant industry with a strong presence in over 100 countries.

A celebratory event marking this momentous milestone was held at the JAIC Hilton, Colombo recently.

 Gulf Oil is a part of the Hinduja Group, one of the largest diversified groups in the world spanning across continents. Gulf Oil enjoys a respectable market share in Asian countries given its strong distribution network across the SAARC region including Bangladesh and Nepal.



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Business

Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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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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Business

Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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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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Business

Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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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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