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HNB – Singer Sri Lanka partnership accelerates digitalisation of payment ecosystem

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CBSL Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal (center) with HNB MD/CEO, Jonathan Alles (third from left) and Singer Sri Lanka Chairman, Mohan Pandithage (third from right) with (from left) HNB DGM- Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne, CBSL Assistant Governor, Dharmasiri Kumarathunga, Singer Group CEO/ Director, Mahesh Wijewardene and Singer Board Director, Sarath Ganegoda at the ceremony.

Pioneering the nation’s evolution in cashless and contactless payments, HNB PLC, partnered with Singer Sri Lanka to launch the Dynamic QR facility for the latter’s PoS (Point of Sales) terminals across the island.

Joining a list of growing tier-one merchants adopting the new technology, Singer will now offer its customers the facility of making a direct payment for their goods via Dynamic QR, in which a unique code is generated for each transaction. Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Ajith Nivard Cabraal graced the ceremony held to launch the facility together with CBSL Assistant Governor, Dharmasiri Kumarathunga,HNB Managing Director /CEO, Jonathan Alles, Singer Sri Lanka Chairman Mohan Pandithage, Singer Group CEO/ Director Mahesh Wijewardene and Singer Board Director Sarath Ganegoda.

“It is imperative that we make digital payments fast, effective, easy and secure in order to maintain the momentum we have built up to now in Sri Lanka’s digitalization journey across all spheres of the economy. The Dynamic QR code facility is the next step in our journey, and we are delighted to see these bold new initiatives supported by the banking industry,” CBSL Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said, addressing the gathering.

The new tech eliminates the need to manually enter the payment value, increasing customer convenience and avoiding errors. This allows customers using an app linked with the LANKAQR initiative to make contactless purchases at stores by simply scanning the Dynamic QR, which appears on the display screen of the Point of Sale (PoS) machine.

“Even though the pandemic drove the initial conversion to QR based payments, we have experienced a new wave of customers coming on board for the added convenience and reliability offered by platforms like HNB SOLO. Digital wallets connected to LANKAQR have opened up new market segments which are rapidly gaining traction. HNB is uniquely positioned to drive this expansion given our robust tech infrastructure. Dynamic QR is another milestone in our digital transformation journey, and we are delighted to launch this partnership with an organization of the caliber of Singer Sri Lanka with the patronage of the CBSL,” HNB Managing Director /CEO Jonathan Alles said.

“The challenging conditions brought on by the pandemic has tested us all in unique ways, and each of us has had to find ways to adapt to the new normal. As Sri Lanka’s undisputed leader in consumer durables, we understand the value of providing our customers with every convenience possible. The addition of Dynamic QR codes represents the latest in a long series of innovations introduced by Singer, that leverage technology in order to make the lives of our customers easier and better,” Singer Sri Lanka Chairman Mohan Pandithage said.



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Teejay achieves milestone US$ 250 million in sales in 2021-22

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Teejay Lanka PLC has reported a revenue milestone of Rs 50 billion at Group level for FY 2021-22, achieving its first annual sales of a quarter of a billion in US Dollar terms at the rates of exchange that prevailed during the year.A strong fourth quarter during which revenue grew 38% to Rs 13.5 billion, the highest quarter revenue since the Company’s inception, enabled Sri Lanka’s largest textile manufacturer to achieve 12-month sales growth of Rs 17.8 billion or 56% to end what was a challenging year for businesses in general, on a high note.

The Group posted profit before tax of Rs 2.887 billion and net profit of Rs 2.517 billion for the year ending 31st March 2022, recording healthy growth of 11% and 18% respectively. Net profit for the fourth quarter was Rs 826.2 million, reflecting an improvement of 9%.At company level, Teejay Lanka increased revenue by 40% to Rs 29.4 billion for the year, and reported pre-tax profit of Rs 2.6 billion and net profit of Rs 2.4 billion, achieving growth of 23% and 24% respectively.

Elaborating on the Group’s performance, Teejay Lanka Chairman Mr Ajit Gunewardene said the revenue increase was the result of increased demand from the region. The enhanced volumes were delivered with the increased capacity within the Group and the support of outsourced partners, he said.Gunewardene said, however, that margins had been impacted during the year because of the upsurges in the prices of cotton, oil, freight, dyes, chemicals, and auxiliaries. “The increase in the costs of inputs has been the biggest challenge during the year,” he said, disclosing that enhancing efficiency within the Group and increasing prices to customers were the key strategies to counter the challenge.

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Nippon Paint Lanka accredited by Great Place to Work®

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Nemantha Abeysinghe, General Manager – Nippon Paints Lanka (Pvt) Ltd receiving the accreditation from Ms. Hasini Abeywardena, Project Manager – Great Place to Work Sri Lanka

Nippon Paint Lanka (Pvt) Limited has been certified as one of the best workplaces in the country. The Japanese coatings company in Sri Lanka has received this recognition in the manufacturing and production industry category by the globally famed Great Place to Work®.

“We embarked on this to understand employee perceptions of the company. We are proud to have received this honor in our journey towards building and sustaining a high-work ethic, and performance culture,” said General Manager of Nippon Paint Lanka, Nemantha Abeysinghe. “Being recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work-Certified’ organization is an honor and a tribute to the hard work, pride, and dedication put in by every member of Nippon Paint Lanka. We went the extra mile during the COVID period to extend to our employees, special working hours, perks and annual bonuses despite a countrywide lockdown. As a result, the company saw everyone dedicating their efforts more than two hundred percent to uplifting the business.”

“Being certified as a Great workplace indicates that we have differentiated ourselves by creating a great place to work for employees and established Nippon Paint Lanka as an employer of choice. It has passed the rigorous measurement through analysis of results of the Great Place to Work® Trust Index© survey,” Abeysinghe added. Great Place to Work® research is backed by data compiled by assessing over 100 million employees around the globe. Every year, they conduct the world’s largest study of workplace culture and hold the gold standard benchmarks for each country, industry, location and more. Companies that want to be on a Best Workplace list start by getting Great Place to Work-Certified™. Through the Certification process, they capture employee feedback and details about the programs and practices that make a workplace unique.

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Clarification on default status helps boost share market

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Business confidence will likely build up in the wake of Central Bank Governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe telling the media yesterday that Sri Lanka was not facing a hard default but a pre-emptive default, which entailed informing about the payment of funds beforehand until the IMF debt restructure plan comes into play.Further, JP Morgan, a leading investment bank in the United States is on record that with the recent political changes, the current political crisis in Sri Lanka will stand defused and the value of bonds will rise. This would also create some impetus for the stock market, analysts said.

They point out that political stability will lead to a rise in the value of bonds above current lows. The Bank predicts that this will facilitate discussions with the International Monetary Fund as well as the process of appointing legal and financial advisors.

“We think this stability should result in both IMF discussions and the process of appointing legal and financial advisors moving forward,” Reuters said quoting JPMorgan analysts.

“Political stability should pave the way for bonds to move higher from near all-time lows,” JPMorgan analysts added.

Amid those developments stock market trading activities started on a positive note and later moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 243 points down and S and P SL20 declined by 94.9 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.5 billion minus a crossing.In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs 777 million (3.7 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 204 million (24.8 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 130 million (13.9 million shares traded), LOLC Holdings Rs 70.7 million (127,000 shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 56.8 million (914,000 shares traded), Royal Ceramic Rs 33 million (one million shares traded) and Lanka IOC Rs 30.3 million (752,000 shares traded). During the day 69 million share volumes changed hands in 17000 transactions.

It is said that following four sessions of sharp gains recorded in the CSE soon after the appointing of Ranil Wickramasinghe Prime Minister, indices edged down due to profit-taking in heavyweight stocks across sectors due to faulty speculation on the market. However, activity picked up to stronger levels with turnover surpassing Rs. 3 billion for the first time in nine weeks, largely boosting blue- chips, market analysts said.Yesterday, the Central Bank announced the US dollar buying rate as Rs 354.56 and the selling rate as Rs 364.53. The rupee rate has appreciated as against the dollar as certain policy measures have been adopted to bridge the gap between the Central Bank rate and the kerb market rate.

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