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LOLC General Insurance debuts trading on CSE



The shares of LOLC General Insurance (CODE: LGIL-N-0000) commenced trading on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The shares have been listed on the Diri Savi Board of the CSE under the “Property & Casualty Insurance” sector. The occasion was marked with a special Bell Ringing Ceremony.

Representing LOLC General Insurance Limited (LGIL), Chief Executive Office Mr. Kithsiri Gunawardena, Deputy General Manager Mr. Imaz Iqbal, Head of Underwriting Mr. Karthigun Silva and Head of Corporate Sales Mr. Sanjaya Attanayake attended the event. Financial advisors and joint managers to the issue, PW Corporate Secretarial (Pvt) Ltd Director Ms. Lasanthi Abeykoon, Capital Trust Securities (Pvt) Ltd Head of Research Mr. Hasitha Leanage and Head of Corporate Finance Ms. Divya Casie Chetty Alles represented the event.

The CSE was represented at the event by Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike and Chief Regulatory Officer, Mr. Renuke Wijayawardhane.

Speaking at the ceremony, the CEO of the CSE, Mr. Rajeeva Bandaranaike, congratulated LGIL on its initiative to go public. “2021 is a record year for the CSE’s primary market, and over Rs. 118 billion in terms of capital has been raised from debt equity, rights issues, and private placements. We have had 13 equity issues this year, raising nearly Rs. 12 billion. The CSE is seeing a healthy appetite among local investors for equity IPOs, and the demand for LGIL was no different. LGIF had a very successful IPO and was oversubscribed on the opening day itself. The CSE believes that it is important to have companies in the insurance industry with a strong track record, with a commitment to excellence in our listed portfolios so that they can offer more diversified opportunities for the growing base of investors.

Commenting on the listing history of 2021, Mr. Bandaranaike added, “As we close the year, December has been a record month where we are seeing seven equity IPOs. This not only shows the confidence that investors have in our listed companies, but also, increasingly, we are seeing listed companies coming into and making use of the capital market for their funding requirements. We are happy to welcome LGIF as our 296th listed company.”

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer of LOLC General Insurance Limited, Mr. Kithsiri Gunawardena, commented, “LGIL, in the recent past, has seen tremendous growth despite the severe challenges faced by the company and the industry at large due to the pandemic. The remarkable results over the past couple of years stand witness to the company’s grit towards challenges faced then, now and in the future.  The insurance industry in Sri Lanka in 2020 had a negative growth of 2.24% whereas LGIL witnessed a growth of 13%. This statement says it all in terms of the kind of team that we have, the kind of culture that we have instilled as being part of LOLC Group, and the kind of growth strategy that we are looking at. This is not only in Sri Lanka, but outside as well, as LOLC group already has business presence in 17 countries and plans to expand into three more countries in the near future including Rwanda. From an insurance perspective, we believe there is great opportunity for global expansion. As a company, we already own 45% of Serendib insurance company in Cambodia and we aspire to expand further. The motto in general insurance has always been “It’s not the price that we compete with, but it’s the service.” There is absolutely no compromise when it comes to serving our customers. “

Commenting on the event, Mr. Gunawardena thanked the CSE, PW Corporate Secretarial (Pvt) Ltd, Capital Trust Securities (Pvt) Ltd and the colleagues at LGIL for the support extended during the IPO.

LOLC General Insurance is a subsidiary of one of Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerates namely LOLC Holdings PLC.

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Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review



by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets



Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO



Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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