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Historic SME IPO expected to take Chrissworld’s success to next level



Christopher Perera, Managing Director Chrisslogix greets Rohan Senewiratne – MD Atarah Capital Partners, after announcing the Chrissworld SME IPO to be issued by CSE’s SME Board on April 27, 2021. Chrissworld Director Suraj Suraweera and Atarah Cpital partners’s Vice President Chandana Wijesundara are also in the picture.


by Sanath Nanayakkare

Clearing the collateral -driven capital raising barriers for Sri Lanka’s dynamic small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are deeply woven into Sri Lanka’’s economic and social fabric, country’s maiden SME IPO is to be issued by warehousing/logistics solutions company Chrissworld Ltd, on April 27, 2021, to raise capital to enhance its operational capacity and profitability.

Chrissworld’s maiden listing on the SME-specific Empower Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) has been endorsed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after ‘strenuously’ engaging for seven months with Atarah Capital Partners (Pvt) Limited, – manager to the Issue of the maiden SME IPO.

The Empower SME Board of the Colombo Stock Exchange is a crucial platform designed to help smaller companies attract investment, and also for investors looking to invest in companies that are in their initial growth stages and are governed properly.

Christopher A.M. Perera, MD at Chrissworld said,” SMEs are the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy accounting for a majority of enterprises providing half of national employment and contributing to over 50% of the GDP of the country. The logistics business which we are in, requires a lot of capital for machinery, rental deposits and even for putting up our own fully fledged warehouses. We realized that we were supporting the banks to be on top of the business ratings when we borrow from them. Banks are making so much money from interest payments. And we are contributors to their big profits.. This opportunity that has been given by the SME Empower Board of the CSE for SMEs to go public has been very encouraging as we can raise capital at lower cost. Thus the initial thinking that we will never go public and we will always be a public company has changed. We are confident of the potential and the sustainabilty of the warehousing business. Warehousing segment is very sustainable because clients don’t easily change. The IPO will enable us to take Chrissworld to a different level. We can implement a lot of plans we have in our minds upon the successful conclusion of the IPO.There is a lot of potential in the warehousing side and professional storage solutions.

‘Our parent company Chrisslogix covers international trade, customs clearance, transportation and together with Chrissworld which offers warehousing services, we can offer total solutions to customers across the board. Then we want to look at sustainable business verticles like pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and food and beverage industry. Chrissworld will also invest in advanced technology, high tech solutions to deliver its services at an optimum level. We are a profit making company and we are a making a value proposition to the investors through this IPO,” he said.

Suraj Suraweera , Director- Chrissworld said,.”We not only want to raise capital without paying bank interest, we also want to consolidate our good governance practices in the process because that will help us atttract more customers and increase our business.”

Details of the offer

Offer for Subscription of Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand (7,500,000) Ordinary Voting Shares at LKR 7.50 per Share to raise a total sum of Sri Lankan Rupees Fifty Six Million Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand (LKR 56,250,000)




DFCC Bank facilitates the continued growth of Sri Lankan SMEs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic



The unprecedented surfacing of the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting scar on the global population and economy. With no precise warning on the horizon, businesses everywhere were thrown into the deep end, and survival seemed uncertain during the peak of the pandemic. In Sri Lanka, a nation where SMEs form the integral backbone of the economy, the ill effects have been taking a heavy toll on businesses both fiscally and mentally.

However, we as Sri Lankans are resilient at our core, and with the integral support of frontline workers, officials, and essential services such as our banking partners, we set forth on a journey to assess, adapt and survive. One such story about perseverance through a valuable relationship comes from K.S.K. Menan of Star Food Store (Pvt) Ltd, and his trusted banking partner, DFCC Bank.

Emerging from humble beginnings, Menan’s story is one that inspires patriotism, and reaffirms the importance of giving back to your motherland. As a self-made entrepreneur, Menan was successfully engaged with the departmental store industry in the United Kingdom, when one day, he decided to leave everything there and come back to his home, Sri Lanka. He was on a mission to give back to the country that had given him so much, and that led to the birth of ‘Star Food Store’ in Kokkuvil, a supermarket equipped with all the necessary household essentials. DFCC Bank had been by his side throughout the entire journey until the opening of his outlet, and even more when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“When Imoved back to Sri Lanka in 2016, the very first account I opened was with DFCC Bank, and with their support, I was able to open the first‘Star Food Store’ in November 2019. However, when COVID-19 struck, everything came to halt. When restrictions were relaxed, I faced multiple problems with bringing things back to how they were. DFCC Bank stepped in and gave me overdraft facilities, helped clear my cheques, and provided additional funds at a low interest rate”.

Today, Menan has been able to open a second Star Food Store outlet at Achchuveli in August 2020, and a third at Idaikkadu in February 2021. He states that expansion is the last thing most businesses consider during this turbulent time, however, the X factor that has allowed him to do this is his banking partner.

“The confidence an entrepreneur gains with the right banking partner is immeasurable, and I have been able to find that with DFCC Bank. They have always gone out of the way to ensure my venture’s continuity, from sending someone from the branch immediately if there is an issue with the card machine during business hours, or even understanding that loose change is important for a supermarket and sending bags of coins from the Colombo branch for business use. I now have plans of constructing a state-of-the-art shopping complex in Jaffna, and look forward to working with DFCC on this project”.

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Covid-19 third wave fears dampen stock market



By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

The CSE witnessed a steep decline following worries over the possible outbreak of a  Covid 19 third wave in the country and the continuation of selling pressure for certain stocks in the market, stock market analysts said.

CSE investors worried over 52 new cases being detected in two retail stores at Pamunuwa and at a state bank in Colombo at the end of the April holidays. Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, market analysts said.

  Consequently, the All Share Price Index declined by 2.9 percent and S and P SL20 dropped by three percent. Major companies sought after by investors negatively contributed to both indices during the day. According to  market analysts,  these companies  were:  LOLC (27 negative points),  Expolanka (19 negative points), Vallibel One (12 negative points), Hayleys (11 negative points) and JKH (10 negative points).

All Share Price Index went down by 198.39 points and S and P SL20 down by 93.89 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.7 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Ceylon Cold Stores (CIS), which crossed 60000 shares to the tune of Rs. 35.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 594. 

In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were: Browns Investments Rs. 717.6 million (114 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 480 million (9.8 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 392 million (five million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 389 million (6.9 million shares traded) and LOLC Rs. 193 million (587,000 shares traded). During the day 197 million share volumes changed hands in 31305 transactions.  

Sri Lanka rupee quoted firmer around 192/194 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Tuesday, while bond yields slightly eased, dealers said. Sri Lanka rupee last closed at 194/198 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Monday. The Central Banks Telegraph Transfer rates stand at 187.93/191.97 levels below the spot rates on Monday.

Sri Lanka’s rupee has come under pressure amid money printing and low-interest rates, despite the worst import controls since the 1970s, observers said.

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SAT launches F5 portfolio to deliver secure digital experiences



(At left) : Edgar Dias, Regional Vice President of Channels and Partnerships, Asia Pacific, F5. (At right) : Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.

South Asian Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, announces its appointment to be a distributor for F5 within Sri Lanka and Maldives to deliver secure digital experience to enterprises.

The cutting-edge technology is a portal for delivering applications and data with greater agility, security, availability, performance, and scalability.

F5’s portfolio of automation, security, performance, and insight capabilities empowers customers to create, secure, and operate adaptive applications that reduce costs, improve operations, and better protect users.

“With the increasing necessity for digitalisation in the workspace, now more than ever, organisations need proven solutions to help secure their businesses. Adding F5 to our existing portfolio gives South Asian Technologies, a more omniscient opportunity to equip our partners and customers with best-in-class application security and delivery solutions. As F5 enables adaptive applications, the SAT team is ecstatic at the prospect of securing our clientele with robust security offerings that have a proven history with Fortune 500 companies across the globe,” said Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.

Every company today is in the digital experience business. In the wake of COVID-19, customer expectations are higher than ever, as the experiences garnered are the primary way that people interact and transact with just about every organisation at present.

F5 helps organisations deliver and secure the premium digital facilities that customers demand by enabling adaptive applications which, like living organisms, will naturally adapt based on their environment – growing, shrinking, defending, and healing themselves.

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