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John Keells Properties & ComBank launch two year-interest free mortgages



Nadeem Shums  – Head of Sales, John Keells Properties, Roshanie Jayasundera-Moraes – Chief Marketing Officer, John Keells Properties, Nayana Mawilmada – Sector Head, John Keells Properties, Rushanka Silva – Chairman, Braybrooke Residential Towers, S. Renganathan  -Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Bank, Sanath Manatunge- Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Bank, Hasrath Munasinghe – Deputy General Manager-Marketing , Commercial Bank, Dushmantha Jayasuriya – Senior Manager-Retail Products Dept, Commercial Bank

In a first for Sri Lanka, John Keells Properties (JKP) -through a strategic collaboration with Commercial Bank-has launched ‘Freedom Mortgages’, a new home financing solution which waives the interest on home loans for TRI-ZEN buyers for a period of two years, while also allowing minimal cash outlays during the construction period, JKP and ComBank said in a news release.

“This innovative financing instrument, available exclusively for customers of John Keells Properties, puts housing in the heart of Colombo within reach for aspiring homeowners,” it said. “Through this tie-up, those interested in investing in property can now avail of this landmark mortgage plan tailored exclusively for TRI-ZEN, the JKP smart-home concept development located at the heart of Colombo 02.”

It said potential homeowners will benefit considerably, with just a minimal down payment and no interest payments for two years. Additionally, buyers can also choose from a suite of mortgage packages with attractive interest rates starting from just 8.75% per annum, where the interest rates can be fixed for a five to twenty-year period.

With this new scheme, John Keells Properties continues to provide innovative customer friendly solutions, the release said.

“We are extremely excited to launch this landmark new product to the market,” said Nayana Mawilmada, Sector Head, Property Group, John Keells Holdings, of the new scheme. “This novel plan will give homeowners the opportunity to purchase a TRI-ZEN apartment without the burden of having to pay the interest on its mortgage for a period of two years during the construction period of the project.”

As the largest and most awarded bank in Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank has always set the bar high, as it does with its unmatched mortgage rate offering as well: a five-year fixed rate at 8.75%, and a ten-year fixed rate starting from 9.00%.

“We are pleased to partner with John Keells Properties to facilitate this pioneering plan, as we align in our understanding of the flexibility buyers look for when it comes to their home loan facility,” said Mr. S. Renganathan, Managing Director of Commercial Bank. “Commercial Bank has always been dedicated to helping investors and end-users find and secure the best, most suitable home financing solutions, tailored to their individual requirements.”

The one, two, and three-bedroomed apartment units at TRI-ZEN, the 53-storey development is a joint venture between Indra Traders (Pvt) Ltd and John Keells Holdings PLC. When complete in 2023, the development will have a total of 891 ‘smart home’ units, each tastefully designed and equipped with a suite of key amenities. With its enviable address, competitive price tag -starting at Rs 26 million-, and the range of conveniences and facilities afforded exclusively to its resident community, TRI-ZEN is slated to be the most anticipated property and living experience for urbanites looking to set up their dream home.

The first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The bank, which won more than 50 international and local awards in 2019, operates a network of 268 branches and 865 ATMs in Sri Lanka.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

(For further information John Keells Properties can be reached on +94702294294 or


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Vehicle emission testing service earns high praise from customers



Recognised as Sri Lanka’s leading-edge vehicle emission testing network, Drivegreen has won high praise from customers for its knowledgeable, disciplined and polite workforce, according to a recent customer service survey conducted by the company.

A common thread that echoed across the survey was the customer-oriented, friendly and attentive service extended by the team as the main reasons Drivegreen was repeatedly selected by customers for emission testing.

According to feedback received from a customer in Mawathagama, S.N.S Seneviratne who is a veteran driver said, “Firstly I believe, vehicle testing is an extremely valuable responsibility that has been undertaken by the company. I realise that due to the continuous vehicle testing, the release of toxic gas to the atmosphere has been minimized, enhancing air quality in this country. When compared to earlier days, we were engulfed by vehicle smoke and could not even walk on the road. However, now we witness a remarkable difference and we breathe cleaner air.”

“The staff are also extremely pleasant and helpful and as a result we do not waste our time unduly when waiting to be served or for testing,” he added.

Entrepreneur, Thasnim Kiyad from Maradana observed that as a result of receiving a comprehensive inspection via testing, it has helped him in ensuring the roadworthiness of his vehicle. The results of the emission test act as a guide to enable him to carry out the necessary maintenance and also make sure the fuel efficiency of his vehicle is maintained.

“As a result of conducting the vehicle emission test, I am made aware of any necessary maintenance required for the vehicle which I can attend to immediately. Once, my vehicle failed the test. The team instantly offered invaluable advice, and based on that I was able to make the required adjustments. Following this, when I re-tested, not only did my vehicle pass the emission test but the vehicle’s fuel efficiency was enhanced. Since then for several years now I continuously conduct my emission testing and continue to find the staff extremely competent and friendly,” he stated.


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BOC targets Rs. 50 bn coronavirus business bounce back loans



Bank of Ceylon chairman Kanchana Ratwatte engages in religious activities at BOC headquarters in Colombo yesterday with Acting General Manager D.P.K Gunasekera, Board of Directors, senior management and staff. Pic by Sujatha Jayaratne

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Bank of Ceylon (BOC) chairman Kanchana Ratwatte said in Colombo yesterday that the Bank has set its sights on distributing Covid-19 bounce back business loans totaling Rs. 50 billion going forward.

“The government has developed and announced a range of measures aimed at supporting the economy, businesses and employees through the COVID-19 crisis, and the BOC will play a significant role in the government’s business support mechanisms with a view to reigniting the economy back to pre-Covid-19 level”, he said.

BOC chairman made these remarks at an event where BOC celebrated its 81st anniversary, leading the banking and finance landscape in Sri Lanka.

Speaking further Ratwatte said: “The Central Bank has proposed loan schemes to help revive affected businesses and increase money circulation in the country. BOC staff and senior management should work as one to achieve this objective. Under trying circumstances during the pandemic the entire staff rallied round BOC to keep the wheels of commerce moving in the country. BOC made a significant role in moving the economy in the right direction. I want to thank the government and the Central Bank for their guidance and support during this period. Entire staff of the bank had to make many sacrifices too.

‘’Those efforts were never mentioned in the media or elsewhere. In fact, it was under very trying circumstances, services were rendered by the banking sector. Despite the health risk, we kept the banks open throughout the period. Everybody from the lower level employee to the DGM to Acting GM made their fullest contribution to keep BOC operations moving. The health threat is not over yet, But we need to get our 12 million strong customers participating actively in the economy back again. We have started going to regions in the country and encouraging our customers to come to the bank and start their normal business activities.

‘’BOC has a share of 40% of foreign remittances and we have been able to maintain that level up to the end of July except for the month of June where there was a small deviation. Every other month despite the covid situation foreign remittances have flowed to the bank as usual. I would like to call upon the staff and senior management of BOC that despite the challenges we are facing, we need to address the concerns of the government of Sri Lanka. The main focus of the government is to ensure that there is enough liquidity in the system. Most of the relief schemes and moratoriums have been introduced by the Central Bank to ensure that there is adequate money circulation in the market for which purpose we have to think beyond the usual banking practices – without breaking the rules and well within the realm of our accepted banking practices – and help keep the wheels of commerce moving”.

D.P.K Gunasekera, Acting General Manager-BOC said,”BOC has distributed about Rs, 9 billion coronavirus business bounce back loans. Potential loan grants worth Rs. 6 billion have been registered with the Central Bank. In addition to that, our branch network is currently in the process of reviewing loans worth Rs. 12 billion. Thus BOC is working ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the government to achieve quick economic recovery”.

A number of leading businesspeople of the country who are top-line customers of the bank took part in the event.


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Nihonbashi partners Luxe Colombo on 25th anniversary



Nihonbashi, an iconic dining destination has partnered with Luxe Colombo to create a food-hall concept, where premium imported products are available for purchase or can be enjoyed at the ‘Taste Lab’. This is the first space in Sri Lanka where an extensive range of specialty cheeses and cold-cuts are paired with wines from around the world and can be sampled at the space itself.

After 25 years in its original location, a stone’s throw from Galle Face Green, famed Chef-restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa decided it was time to adopt a modern concept of a ‘deli-style’ space where specially curated menus could come into play along with small pop-ups showcasing his love of Japanese cuisine and steaks. It would also be a space for his chef friends to host pop-ups, to capture the attention of a growing segment of discerning luxury diners, while at the same time staying true to the Zen spirit of Nihonbashi, which prides itself on high-quality produce and authenticity that has kept raising the bar over 25 years and was in fact the first restaurant in Sri Lanka to ever make it to the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant list. Luxe Colombo has fast earned a solid reputation as a purveyor of fine-foods from Europe and delivery options are also available out of this well-located space.

The ‘Taste Lab’ embodies the best of the brand’s personality. Visitors to the space are met with a sense of serenity and anticipation as they walk across the pond. The space has been designed to maintain its Zen interiors in this atrium flooded with natural light. It brings an open-air courtyard feel inside and the leafy-green foliage used as decor adds to the fresh feel. Original features such as the bamboo columns and pond are highlighted at night with subtle lighting.

Ready-made vegan soups, aged soy-sauce, a delectable range of freshly-made mayonnaises and many other Nihonbashi ready-to-go products are also available at ‘Taste Lab’ along with Luxe Colombo’s gourmet collection.


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