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Industrial Asphalts embarks on ambitious expansion plan

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A pioneer in the bitumen business in Sri Lanka and established in 1964, Industrial Asphalts (Ceylon) PLC, a listed company, is going through a capital-raising exercise with the announcement of a rights issue. The company foresees rapid investment in infrastructure on the back of the government’s development initiatives. The infrastructure sector in general and roads sector in particular will be experiencing significantly higher growth rates from 2021 to 2025, an IAC press release said.

The release adds –

‘The company from the inception also embarked on introducing highly successful bituminous products for the paints and coatings industry. IAC is the proud owner of some of the most iconic brands including NOLEAK and Britex amongst others. The portoflio brands and products have been serving the IAC’s customers for now close to 60 years. These brands popularity and brand strength can be measured by the fact that it has achieved a status of generic reference to the functionality of the brands denoted.

‘ The extensive development of the roads is the primary thrust through which the country’s infrastructure is being developed. The roads themselves are developed through multiple levels, providing more consistent growth in IAC’s products relating to the road construction and insulating from uncertainties stemming from funding issues and lockdowns introduced due to counter measures to combat COVID19.

‘From 2015, the company embarked on a process of registering its iconic brands with the National Intellectual Property Office. Today, the company has successfully registered all its brands under multiple classes to get complete legal protection from various infringements of the brands. IAC is currently expanding its product offering under its brands to include Nano-technology in addition to polymer and acrylic products.

‘The complete range of product offering under its existing brands along with a new product promotion campaign is expected to recapture its market share in the protective coatings space in the paints and coatings industry. IAC is leveraging on the existing strength of its portfolio of brands to expand the market through new and innovitve uses for its productions.

‘IAC is currently going through an expansionary process to increase its operating capability by strengthening its balance sheet. The decline in the economy experienced during 2015 to 2019 is now being met with progressive policies which are reflected in the infrastructure development projects planned and executed currently.

‘The significant increase in such projects has motivated the Board of Industrial Asphalts (Ceylon) PLC to announce the rights issue with an objective of strengthening its balance sheet. A stronger balance sheet would enable IAC to capture the emerging opportunities in both road construction space and the protective coatings segment. The rights issue is well priced at 20 cents per share enabling wide range of investors to take the opportunity to invest in the growth of the Company. For any further clarifications on the rights issue, please contact 0115 289 845 / 0779 267 601.’

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A ‘phygital’ experience at HSBC Premier Centre in Pelawatte

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With the demographic equation changing and the mass affluent customers now also choosing to live in the suburbs, HSBC is gearing its branches of the periphery of the city to service customers in this segment.

Pelawatte has become the latest HSBC branch to be upgraded to be an exclusive Premier Banking Centre to meet the growing demand of the affluent population in the residential hub of the Colombo metro region.

The newly refurbished Premier Centre was declared open by Mark Prothero, CEO for HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives. Also present was Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking, together with senior management and staff.

Nadeesha Senaratne, said, “HSBC has established a long history of 128 years in Sri Lanka, and in the past few years we have seen the value of strategically expanding to meet the specific needs of our customers.”

HSBC’s Pelawatte branch was opened in 1998 and is conveniently located at no 418B Battaramulla – Pannipitiya Road, Battaramulla which currently serves a diverse portfolio of retail banking customers. With the new improvements undertaken, HSBC hopes to provide customers with an inclusive banking service, and attract potential new customers with its Premier banking proposition and worldwide banking service, within the expanding residential neighborhood.

The Premier Centre in Pelawatte models HSBC’s flagship Premier Centre located in Flower road- Colombo 7, with an expansive ‘open’ space concept for casual open dialog with customers. The space has been optimized to enhance the customer experience by providing a ‘phygital’ banking experience with private meeting rooms specially designed to give customers an exclusive banking service with the assistance of a dedicated Relationship Manager. It also features video conferencing facility, which enables customers to connect with their Premier RM’s internationally, while enjoying the highest standards of privacy. Customers can walk out of the branch with the ‘Bank in their pocket’ by opening an account in less than an hour and begin transacting digitally, almost instantly.

(HSBC)

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SLT & Mobitel successfully conclude digitization of Lankagama Village

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Fulfilling its role as the nation’s pioneer in Telecommunication Services, the SLT Group successfully completed the President’s directive of providing high-speed connectivity solutions to the Lankagama Village recently.

An event was held to mark this proud achievement on 20th September 2020 in the presence of Oshada Senanayake – Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), Lalith Seneviratne – Group CEO of SLT & Mobitel, Kiththi Perera- Chief Executive Officer of SLT, M.B.P. Fernandez – Chief Operations Officer of SLT, Prabath Dahanayake – Chief Marketing Officer of SLT, Sudarshana Geeganage – Chief Financial Officer of Mobitel, Shashika Senerath – Chief Marketing Officer of Mobitel, Rasantha Hettithanthrige – Senior General Manager, Engineering & Operations at Mobitel along with SLT & Mobitel technology partners Huawei, ZTE and the community.

The SLT Group provided high-speed 4G/LTE broadband and enhanced voice services within record-time despite the fact that the Lankagama Village is located at the southern boundary of the Sinharaja Rain Forest, in the Neluwa Divisional Secretariat, Galle District; posing severe logistical challenges. Further, the SLT Group also offered SMART classroom solutions consisting of tabs, laptops and school supplies including stationery thereby opening up a world of possibilities for the students in the remote village. (SLT)

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Local tyre manufacturers say ‘no need’ to import motorcycle and three-wheeler tyres

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

Local tyre manufacturers request the government not to import motorcycle and three-wheeler tyres as they have the capacity to supply locally produced premium quality tyres for the segment, without leaving room for any supply shortage in the market.

“We have the combination of quality and technology to meet the demand in the market”, a leading local tyre manufacturer said.

“We have the capacity to meet the local demand for motorcycle and three wheeler tyres and we are already supplying the products to the market, fully meeting its demand,” they said.

“In 2019, Rs. 1,062 million worth motorcycle and three-wheeler tyres and tubes were imported to the country. This means we are able to save Rs. 1,062 million in foreign exchange this year by producing all of these locally”, they pointed out.

“We produce sufficient quantities of high-demand tyres for the local market without any supply shortage. We are supportive of the government’s drive to encourage Sri Lankan companies to manufacture goods that can be manufactured in Sri Lanka. We request the continued support of the government to keep our efforts up in this direction,” they said.”Only a few types of tyres of special sizes are not produced locally. Those products are imported in small numbers. There is lesser demand for these tyres as they are not widely used”, they said.

“Apart from establishing ourselves in the local market, we are in the process of further improving our production capacity to boost our current export volumes. As a result of it, we will be able to create new jobs for thousands of Sri Lankans”. they said.

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