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Indian companies likely to get nod to list in seven countries




Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, October 17:

India is set to notify seven countries and the Gujarat International Finance-Tec (GIFT) City where Indian companies can go public. By easing several norms to facilitate the process, the government is paving the way for a global listing by the likes of Reliance Jio, the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and Indian start-ups.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and the Department of Economic Affairs have agreed to do away with the contentious clause of dual listing, which required a company to list in India as well as overseas. As a result, a company can directly list in one of the seven markets, including the US, the UK and Japan.

While the list will be expanded later, Hong Kong is a notable exclusion at present and comes in the midst of India’s border tension with China. Several companies have opted to list in Hong Kong, which is a financial hub in the region.

Exchanges operating in the International Financial Centre at GIFT City in Gujarat, which have tie-ups with overseas bourses, can facilitate the stock being traded abroad as well, The Times of India quoted sources as saying. For instance, if the National Stock Exchange (NSE) or the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) ties up with the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), it can help shares of an Indian company to be traded on the exchange in the GIFT City as well as Singapore.

“It will really help start-ups which may not be profitable but are looking to raise money and list at a premium,” said a market player.

Allowing global listing of Indian entities is seen as a major change in government stance as policy makers were earlier wary of letting companies tap global capital markets directly.

As a first step the Narendra Modi administration has amended the Companies Act, which will be followed by umbrella guidelines by the Finance Ministry, and rules for unlisted companies by MCA and those for listed entities by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

The revenue department is separately going to address the tax issues as the government is seeking to ensure the first listing by an Indian entity in the early part of next year.

To facilitate global listing, the government will prescribe norms in a way that the company has to be either profitable, or report operating profits during the preceding three years or should have paid-up capital, funds in the security premium account and tangible and intangible assets above a specified value.

Besides, the proposal piloted by MCA is also expected to ensure that there is no insistence on premium listing on foreign exchanges and a standard listing will do.

Sources said the ministry has already held discussions with investment bankers, Indian companies as well as bodies such as US-India Business Council. Buoyed by the amendment, foreign exchanges are courting Indian companies as well as the government to list some of the companies abroad in what will be seen as a powerful message that India is open to doing business with the world.

In recent years, several Chinese companies have listed abroad.

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Aitken Spence invests in yet another renewable energy project in hydropower



Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Aitken Spence PLC accepting the share transfer form from Harsha Abeywickrama – chairman Sunshine Energy Ltd; in the presence of Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena – Executive Director Aitken Spence PLC, Dr. Rohan Fernando – Executive Director Aitken Spence PLC, Ms. Nilanthi Sivapragasam – Chief Financial Officer Aitken Spence PLC and Leel Wickremarachchi – Managing Director of the power segment from Aitken Spence PLC. Shyam Sathasivam – Managing Director, Sunshine Energy Ltd. and Harin Udeshi – Director, Waltrim Energy Ltd.

Aitken Spence PLC recently acquired Waltrim Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings PLC for Rs. 900 million. The company contributes 6.6MW to the national grid via three mini hydropower plants located in the Nuwara Eliya district, namely of Waltrim Hydropower (Private) Limited, Upper Waltrim Hydropower (Private) Limited and Elgin Hydropower (Private) Limited. Waltrim hydropower draws energy from Kothmala Oya, Upper Waltrim hydropower and Elgin hydropower from Dambagasthwala Oya.

Aitken Spence expands its portfolio in hydropower in the pursuit of meeting rising energy demands, sustainable development, access to clean energy and lowering our national carbon footprint. This is the second hydropower plant which is owned and operated by Aitken Spence. Branford Hydropower (Pvt) Ltd. is the other hydropower plant with a 2.5MW capacity located in Matale. The company also owns and operates a wind power plant with 3MW capacity located in Ambewela.

“This is yet another investment made by Aitken Spence that shows our commitment to expand the power generation portfolio with renewable energy projects. Hydro power plays a key role in renewable energy segment in Sri Lanka and this initiative strengthens the country’s efforts to move towards cleaner energy sources and effective and efficient management of sustainable and affordable generation of energy supplied to the national grid,” commented Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

“Aitken Spence maintains highest environmental, safety and quality standards in the management of our power plants. These stringent management frameworks will be extended to the newly acquired power plants to meet compliance requirements as well as global benchmarks for cleaner production of energy,” added Leel Wickremarachchi, Managing Director of the power segment of Aitken Spence.

The Power segment of Aitken Spence is a leading player in the sector with a reputation for investing in pioneering technologies and has diversified into renewable energy by establishing hydro power and wind power plants to support Sri Lanka’s demand for energy. With their commitment to increase the country’s energy consumption from renewable energy sources, the company recently introduced Sri Lanka’s first waste to energy power plant that was officially launched in February 2021. Moreover, these initiatives are in line with the collective efforts of government and the private sector to produce clean energy sustainably.



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Best Woman Entrepreneur at Entrepreneur Awards 2020



Christell Skin Clinic proved their mettle as industry leaders yet again, by clinching the three topmost awards at the recently held Western Province Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony 2020. The highly-anticipated annual event -jointly organised by the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka- took place this year at the BMICH.

The event brought together industry leaders and newcomers with the aim to recognise and honour micro, small, medium and large sector entrepreneurs that have contributed significantly to Sri Lanka’s service sector over the past year.

The country’s leading aesthetics and wellness centre took home The Best Enterprise service sector trophy, as well as the Best Entrepreneur of the Year award – the most sought-after prize of the night. More notably however, the Best Woman Entrepreneur title was awarded to the director of the Christell Skin Clinic, Dr. Shanika Arsecularatne, in recognition of her inspirational journey to becoming one of the most successful businesswomen in the country, and also of her outstanding contribution to the field of cosmetology and wellness in Sri Lanka.

“I’m truly honoured to receive this recognition, especially because I believe that no one receives an award like this out of sheer luck, but rather in acknowledgement and appreciation of the hard work, sleepless nights and sacrifices we have all made, to be where we are today,” said Dr. Arsecularatne on accepting her award.

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Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete car park in Sri Lanka



The car park of the Walgama Food City with its new “Paving with Plastic”

As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Cargills holds a strong commitment to serving the nation and preserving the planet for future generations. By partnering with AGC Innovate Pvt Ltd – one of the country’s leading innovative solutions providers – Cargills initiated the launch of “Paving with Plastic” as a means to address Sri Lanka’s plastic waste menace in an ecofriendly and pragmatic approach.

The benefits of plastic are irrefutable – this versatile material is ubiquitous in our everyday lives, due to it being cheap and convenient to produce as well as being highly durable and user friendly. However, once used and disposed, plastic lingers in the environment for too long and does not decompose.

As a result, the inherent problem of plastic pollution is a global crisis, with Sri Lanka generating approximately 7000 metric tons of mismanaged solid waste daily, with 6% accounting for plastic and polythene waste. Therefore, in the absence of a proper waste management system, non-recyclable plastic is dumped in large landfill sites. These sites are now exceeding their maximum capacity, and has led to pressing environmental and social concerns in the country.

As a first step to tackling this waste plastic problem, Cargills made a landmark decision to pave the Cargills Food City Carparks using Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete, partnering with AGC Innovate.

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