Fight against COVID-19
As part of its wide-ranging, empathetic response to the Covid-19 crisis, Ideal Motors (Pvt) Ltd has donated a Mahindra Ambulance valued at approximately Rs. Ten million to the Madura Vithana Foundation on 5th September 2021.
The fully-equipped ambulance was handed over by Nalin Welgama, the Founder and Chairman of the Ideal Group to Member of Parliament, Madura Vithana, Founder of the Foundation. The vehicle was donated primarily to enable the Foundation to support the vaccination of persons over 60 years of age and the disabled in the Colombo District.
The donation also coincided with the company’s Founders’ Day, the birthday of Nalin Welgama, the Founder and Chairman of the Ideal Group which was commemorated on 5th September. This ambulance will also support the country’s efforts in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and provide health services to affected citizens expeditiously.
As a company deeply committed and recognized for its series of corporate social welfare initiatives, Ideal Motors (Pvt) Ltd has relentlessly provided assistance during these unprecedented times, supporting vulnerable segments of the population and donating vital equipment.
Ideal Motors (Pvt) Ltd’s relief programme for Covid-19 included donating washing machines and waste bins to the Base Hospital Mulleriyawa which was an urgent requirement, presenting six laptops to the Cardiology Unit of the Colombo National Hospital which were crucial for recording patients’ data, and also providing the Ministry of Health a stock of personal protective clothing and accessories required for health service frontline staff which was handed over by Nalin Welgama to Ministry officials at the Gangarama Temple in Colombo.
In addition, among the social welfare programmes implemented by Ideal Motors are a drinking water project for 1500 severely affected families in the Namalpura area located in the Anuradhapura District, providing drinking water facilities to the school the Thalgaswewa Vidyaravinda Vidyalaya, Nonchchiyagama, in addition to presenting the students with school stationary such as books, bags, shoes and other necessities, constructing the courtyard for the Bo Tree of the Diyapattugama Temple in Kevitiyagala, and offering a Buddha statue while also donating necessary computers to the Diyapaththugama S.A. Welgama Junior School. Furthermore, Mahindra Electric three-wheelers were presented to the Kataragama Temple and the Atamasthanadhipati Thero of the Anuradhapura Temple. To-date, Ideal Motors has spent over Rs 30 million towards their social welfare projects in supporting communities across the island.
Commenting on the company’s social welfare programmes, Nalin Welgama, said, “Founders Day is a special event in the calendar of our company as September 5th marks the inauguration of our business. Over the years the company has engaged in countless social service programmes, however, we have not sought any publicity for our work.”
He added, “The pandemic has affected not only our country but has caused catastrophic results for the whole world. I believe, business leaders need to come forward and support the nation during these challenging times. I request all corporates and their leaders to come together and instead of blaming the government look inwards to see what we can do for our nation. This is our motherland and it is our duty to support the country, especially at this time. We are aware there are several companies that have made vast profits in the last two to three quarters this year due to coronavirus. My humble request is to come forward and dutifully work towards the development of the country.”
Commenting on receiving the ambulance for the Foundation, MP Madura Vithanage said, “We are extremely thankful to Ideal Motors and Nalin Welgama, in providing an ambulance to the Vithana Foundation. Our country is facing a severe shortage of ambulances due to the current corona epidemic. This noble deed will help transport all Public Health Inspection Officers in the Colombo District. We aim to coordinate with the police and the local authorities and ensure that those over 60 years and unable to go to vaccination centers can be visited at home and vaccinated.”
SLT-MOBITEL donates fourth PCR machine to Matara District Hospital
Recognising the importance to enhance Sri Lanka’s PCR testing capacity to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and to protect citizens, SLT-MOBITEL continues its support by donating yet another vital PCR machine to the District General Hospital in Matara recently.
The donation of the PCR machine valued at over Rs. 5.7 million is part of SLT-MOBITEL’s ‘Sabandiyawe Sathakaraya’ CSR initiative in further strengthening the nation’s healthcare systems and assisting communities in need.
The equipment was handed over to the Deputy Director of the Matara Hospital Doctor Upali Rathnayaka in the presence of Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT-MOBITEL; Lalith Seneviratne, Group Chief Executive Officer, SLT-MOBITEL; Kiththi Perera, CEO, SLT; Shashika Senarath, CMO, Mobitel along with Regional GM, SLT; Regional Head – Mobitel and Hospital Staff.
Previously, PCR machines were donated to the Base Hospital, Karawanella, District General Hospital, Matale and the University Hospital of the Kotelawala Defense University. SLT-MOBITEL appreciates the support received from all Sri Lankans towards ‘Daana Paaramitha’ which was conceptualized as a platform to further increase community involvement in carrying out relief efforts to support families affected by the pandemic.
Extension of lockdown negatively impacts CSE
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading activities commenced yesterday in a lacklustre manner with little share-buying interest and later on became negative following the government’s announcement on the lockdown extension until October 1, stock market analysts said.
The Colombo International Financial Centre (CIFC) at the Port City was set to commence this month and has been delayed until December owing to the current Covid 19 situation. This also affected CSE trading activities yesterday, analysts said.
Consequently, the stock market lost steam yesterday, closing on a negative note as investor sentiment remained erratic due to internal and external environmental factors. Both indices moved downwards or to negative territory despite healthy turnover in the market. The All Share Price Index went down by 46.09 points and S and P SL20 declined by 17.93 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.8 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in Expolanka, where 600,000 shares crossed for Rs. 101.1 million, its shares trading at Rs. 158.50 and Sampath Bank one million shares crossed for Rs. 49.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 49.50.
In the retail market, some companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Expolanka Holdings Rs. 1.2 billion (7.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 604 million (4.6 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs. 540 million (58.3 million shares traded) and Hayleys Rs. 204 million (2 million shares traded).
It is said that following two sessions of gains, the indices closed in the red due to price declines in large-cap stocks as investors opted to book modest returns after the recent sharp rally. Stocks such as Expo, LOLC, and JKH, which saw sharp gains in the past two sessions witnessed profit-taking at higher levels and weighed on the momentum throughout the session.
Further, high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Sampath Bank. Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Tokyo Cement Company and LOLC Holdings, while retail interest was noted in Browns Investments, Lanka Orix Finance and Industrial Asphalts. During the day 153 million share volumes changed hands in 24000 transactions.
As of yesterday, the current exchange rate of 1 US dollar was equal to 199.607 Sri Lankan rupees. This is an increase of 7.856656 percent (or +14.5401 LKR) compared with the same time last year (17 September 2020), when 1 US dollar equaled 185.067 Sri Lankan rupees.
Lockdown takes toll on Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector activities
The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2021 has slowed down the manufacturing activities in the country. Accordingly, the manufacturing PMI recorded an index value of 45.1 in August 2021 with a fall of 12.7 index points from the previous month, mainly driven by the decrease in New Orders, Production, Employment, and Stock of Purchases sub-indices. The decline in New Orders and Production, especially in the manufacture of food & beverages, furniture, and textiles & wearing apparel sectors, have mainly contributed to the overall decrease of the manufacturing PMI. Many respondents in those sectors highlighted that their local orders and distribution channels were affected due to the lockdown imposed as a measure of containing the pandemic. Further, many of them also emphasised that factory operations were disrupted due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus among employees. Employment sub-index also declined in line with these developments.
The decrease of Stock of Purchases was in line with the decline in New Orders and Production. Further, the difficulties encountered in placing purchase orders and in settling foreign payments also adversely affected the supply chain of raw materials and production schedules. Many respondents stressed that the continuous increase in the cost of imported raw materials adversely affected their profit margins. Meanwhile, Suppliers’ Delivery Time lengthened at a slower rate in August 2021. The manufacturers cautioned that the uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic would continuously hinder the prospects of the manufacturing sector, yet, overall expectations for manufacturing activities for the next three months remained above the neutral threshold.
Services PMI dropped to an index value of 46.2 in August 2021 with the restrictions imposed to contain the further spread of the COVID-19. New Businesses, Business Activity, Employment and Expectations for Activity sub-indices recorded declines. New Businesses decreased in August compared to the previous month mainly with the declines observed in wholesale and retail trade, insurance, real estate, and education sub-sectors. Business Activities across most of the sub-sectors such as, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, insurance and other personal activities reported considerable declines indicating the adverse effects of travel restrictions on their business operations. Nevertheless, transportation sub-sector recorded some improvements solely due to the growth in freight volumes. Moreover, financial services sub-sector also indicated improvements despite the disturbances from travel restrictions. Employment continued to fall at a higher pace as retirements and voluntary resignations exceeded the number of recruitments carried out during the month. Backlogs of Work increased at a higher pace in August along with the reduction in staff availability amid travel restrictions and growing COVID-19 infections of staff. (CBSL)
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