By Hiran H.Senewiratne
CSE trading activities at the beginning of yesterday were buoyant and during the mid and latter parts of the day witnessed considerable profit taking. This scenario evinced mixed reactions from both indices with a healthy turnover level. But one of the subsidiaries of the LOLC Group of companies was at the forefront of the market throughout the day by contributing substantial points to the All Share Price Index.
A subsidiary of the LOLC Group, Commercial Leasing and Finance contributed 194 points to the All Share Price Index and also became the company with the highest market capitalization amounting to Rs 539 billion, which is more than 11.4 percent of the total market capitalization in the CSE, stock market analysts said. Commercial Leasing and Finance now tops the list overtaking Expolanka Holdings where the market capitalization is concerned.
Further, most of the LOLC Group companies exceptionally contributed to the indices: Commercial Leasing and Finance 194 points, LOLC Development and Finance (NIFL) 43 points, LOLC Holdings 25 points, LOLC Finance 23 points and Browns Investments 10 points.
Amid those developments both indices showed mixed reactions. All Share Price Index went up by 220.19 points and S and P SL20 went down by 16.33 points. Turnover stood at Rs 5.6 billion with two crossings. Those crossings were reported in JKH, which crossed 403,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.5 million and its shares traded at Rs 152 and Distilleries 1.2 million shares crossed for Rs 21 million; its shares traded at Rs 17.50.
In the retail market, the top five contributors to the turnover were; LOLC Finance Rs 1 billion (86 million shares traded), Commercial Leasing and Finance Rs 991 million (12.3 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 989 million (4.9 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 389 million (36.4 million shares traded) and LOLC Holdings Rs 2.73 million (427,000 shares traded).
During the day notable gains were reported in LOLC Finance and Commercial Leasing and Finance. LOLC Finance shares appreciated by 19.4 percent or Rs 2. Its share price moved up to Rs 12.30 from Rs 10.30. Commercial Leasing’s share price appreciated by 19 percent or Rs 13.60. Its share price shot up to Rs 88.60 from Rs 71.
Meanwhile, Agstar PLC announced a rights issue. The company will issue 153 million voting shares and 8.7 million non- voting shares to raise Rs 802 million. The proportion would be one new share for two shares. The purpose of the right issue was to settle the outstanding working capital loans and adding funds to the working capital. During the day 212 million share volumes changed hands in 47000 transactions.
Yesterday the US dollar was quoted at Rs 202.62, which was the Central Bank controlled price level, which is to prevent the price escalation of essential items.
ComBank partners with PayHere to offer Q+ users a unique eCommerce experience
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has partnered with PayHere, Sri Lanka’s largest Aggregated Internet Payment Gateway Service, to offer users of its Q+ Payment App a unique, user-friendly and secure eCommerce experience.
Commercial Bank customers can now conveniently pay for their purchases via the Q+ app to over 3300 registered PayHere Online Payment Service enabled merchants. The Bank’s Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card holders who pay through Q+, the fastest-growing QR app in the country, will not be required to tap in their card details as this information is already stored on the app, the Bank said.
Payments to PayHere merchants via the Q+ Online Pay facility will enhance customer convenience as the transaction will only require the entering of users’ mobile numbers registered with the app. Disbursements via Q+ require authentication using a static PIN which ensures the safety and security of transactions, making the Q+ App more secure than a normal card as the customers’ sensitive data is not transmitted to merchant websites.
TAMAP drives Stakeholder Forum for Good Agriculture Practice
The inaugural meeting of the GAP Stakeholder Forum was held with the support of the Technical Assistance to the Modernisation of Agriculture Programme (TAMAP) at the Department of Agriculture in Peradeniya on 17 November 2021. Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) programme, introduced by the Department of Agriculture in 2016, was a promising step taken to minimise adverse impacts of agriculture on the ecosystem and human health while meeting steadily rising demand for food. Although the programme had an encouraging start, the overall conversion of farmers to implementing GAP remained low. Over the past six years, 1500 farmers registered as GAP producers out of the 1.8 million farmers in Sri Lanka. To align with the current policy of the Sri Lankan Government to improve ecological friendliness of farming, it is important to transform all production units towards GAP farms.
Studies showed that to achieve this goal, the GAP implementation strategies needed to be updated and infused into the mainstream agriculture, facilitating a quick transformation of the current approach towards a macro-level system. Therefore, the requirement for a rapid strategizing of such an approach followed by periodic review of GAP performance arose. This initiated the need for a stakeholder forum.
The key purpose of the forum is to provide a common platform for key stakeholders to meet in formulating a strategy to mainstream SL GAP, propose a way forward for implementation such recommendations, and to regularly review program performance and adopt remedial action to achieve GAP objectives.
Prof. Udith K Jayasinghe, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture who chaired the Forum in his opening statement commented, “GAP programme has emerged a solution to challenges faced by Sri Lankan agriculture today to improve safety of users and ensuring good environmental performance. Reinforced by facilitating legislation and approved national standards, GAP programme provides a strong foundation towards addressing above concerns.”.
Over forty participants were present at the forum, representing the various stakeholder groups comprising producers, distributers, SL GAP team, academics, and market players. Ms D. S. Ratnasinghe, Addl. Director (Agribusiness) and Dr W. M. W. Weerakoon, National Coordinator outlined the status of the GAP programme and the challenges faced.
The deliberations during the forum were broken down into five main areas: Technical, financial, institutional, and social problems faced by GAP stakeholders on maintaining production, supply, product quality, and consumer trust. Gaps in technology transfer and adoption, marketing and quality control measures and means for increased rate of adoption and GAP farm certification; Gaps in current GAP process and procedures, user friendliness and applicability; Future technological needs towards increasing production, productivity, product quality and ecosystem sustainability; and Policy needs for increased adoption of GAP to mainstream GAP into national agriculture agenda.
Prof. G. Pushpakumara, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya and Ms Jayantha Ilankoon, ADG (Dev) moderated the forum through group activity, outcome presentations and strategic discussions on the way forward.
Concluding the forum, Dr Nihal Atapattu, stated, “TAMAP, along with the European Union that provided the funding support is very pleased to have assisted to launch several interventions that would promote recognition of GAP as a premier means of strengthening Sri Lankan agriculture in sustainably meet requirements of the domestic and export markets. TAMAP expects that the Stakeholder Forum launched today will be a milestone event in advancing GAP to achieve its potential in Sri Lanka”.
HNB’s commitment to expand e-commerce and digital payments wins Daraz award
HNB has been recognized by Daraz for exceptional contribution to its growth, in an independent endorsement of Sri Lanka’s leading private bank’s commitment to expand e-commerce and digital payments throughout the country.
The award, for the ‘Card Base with Highest Overall Growth’, was presented to HNB at the ‘Daraz Payment Partner Performance Awards 2021’. HNB, which ranks among Daraz’s best banking partners, recorded the highest growth on total payment volume, buyer engagement and total transactions month-on-month, for both credit and debit cards for the year 2020-2021.
“This award is an important validation how the local economy – both businesses and consumers – are benefiting from HNB’s cohesive programme to drive greater adoption of e-commerce and digital payments,” HNB Head of Cards, Gauthami Niranjan said. “These efforts are particularly significant at present, given how digital and contactless payments can assist in reducing the spread of the pandemic and support the Bank’s and the country’s vision to transform Sri Lanka to a cashless economy.”
Currently, HNB Cardholders enjoy multiple offers on Daraz, Sri Lanka’s leading online marketplace, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global e-commerce giant, the Alibaba Group. These include zero-interest instalment plans up to 48 months with attractive discounts for HNB Credit and Debit Cards and 10% off site-wide on Daraz for all HNB Credit Cards on purchases made during Saturdays. In addition, HNB tied up with Daraz for its 11:11 and Black Friday sales, which provided HNB Cardholders access to a range of offers and massive discounts.
HNB has been a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s banking industry in the digital banking and digital payments space. These include the launch of digital wallet and payment app, HNB SOLO and introducing Asia’s first-ever fitness-linked savings product in the form of the HNB FIT Savings Account.
With 254 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically-innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd. The bank was also ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for five consecutive years. HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020.
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