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Low bank interest rates encouraging people to invest in bourse – top CSE official



By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

Low bank interest rates  are encouraging people to invest in the CSE. This has resulted in a boom in the market, a top CSE official said.

“Today, the total bank deposit amounts to Rs. 10 trillion and most people are looking at investing their funds in high yielding avenues because bank interest rates are around four to five percent. Therefore, investing in the CSE has become the best option, CSE – Head-Market Development Niroshan Wijesundara told The Island Financial Review.

He said people have changed their investment options to the CSE. Owing to that when compared to 2019 in 2020 investor participation has increased  by 51 percent. Further, most stocks are undervalued and the people are taking that advantage as well, Wijesundara said.

According to Wijesundera market capitalisation at the CSE  from 1st to  21 January touched Rs. 3699.7 billion. ‘It is a clear indication that there is a big boom in the market, he said.

Amid those developments, the All Share Price Index increased by 230.92 points to 8694.35 yesterday while  S and P SL20 increased by 207.12 or 625 percent to 3519.47. The turnover stood at Rs. 14.99 billion with ten crossings. Those crossings were reported in TJ Lanka, where 4.8 million shares crossed for Rs. 214 million, its shares traded at Rs. 45, HNB (Non Voting)  1.4 million shares crossed for Rs. 172 million and its shares traded at Rs. 125, Commercial Bank 1.1 million shares crossed for Rs. 109 million, its shares traded at Rs. 103, JKH 615,000 shares crossed for Rs. 105.2 million and HNB (Voting) 406 million shares crossed for Rs. 58.9 million and its shares traded at Rs. 145.

Meanwhile, Ceylon Cold Stores 43,400 shares crossed for Rs. 31.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 725, Lion Brewery 45000 shares crossed for Rs. 26.6 million, its shares trading at Rs. 590, Sampath Bank161,000 shares crossed for Rs. 26.5 million, its shares traded at Rs. 165, Hayleys 26000 shares crossed for Rs. 20.8 million, its shares trading at Rs. 800 and Expolanka 350,000 shares crossed for Rs. 20.5 million, its shares fetching Rs. 58.50.

In the retail market top five contributors to the turnover were;  Expolanka Rs. 1.8 billion (29.9 million shares traded). LOLC Rs. 1.64 billion (4.3 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 1.13 billion (6.3 million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 887 million (1.4 million shares traded) and Industrial Asphalts Rs. 710 million ( 635 million shares traded). During the day  996 million share volumes changed hands in 67878 transactions.

During the day banking sector counters noted significant appreciation of their stocks and several index heavy companies such as, JKH, Dipped Products and Melstacorp showed significant appreciation in their stocks.

Sri Lanka’s rupee quoted firmer around 196.50/198 to the US dollar in spot next market on Monday while bond yields remained unchanged, dealers said. Rupee last closed around 197/200 in the spot-next market on Friday against the greenback with deals done around 198 levels, market participants said. There were spot interventions at 195.50 levels. 


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Dulux colours Architect 2023 exhibition with vibrant and engaging presence



Dulux -Sri Lanka’s, a leading manufacturer of paints and coatings – is celebrating the successful close of its participation at Architect 2023, also taking home an award for the ‘Best Trade Stall with Innovative Use of Colour’.

Organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects -and now in its 41st year- this year’s edition of the Architect 2023 annual trade fair took place from February 24-26 at the BMICH, and witnessed greater participation from leading companies and entrepreneurs actively involved in the various construction and architecture sectors; both locally and internationally, a company news release said.

“Dulux established a strong presence at the event with a spectacular exhibit themed Colour Futures ’23, featuring its 2023 Colour of the Year: Wild Wonder. Visitors to the stand were able to explore the four colour palettes, Lush, Buzz, Raw and Flow, inspired by the nature-influenced theme, with Dulux colour experts on hand providing unique trade insight, and also advising visitors on how best the shades can be implemented into their own work and living spaces,” it said.

“The popular mascot, “Dulux Dog” was also present to playfully engage with exhibition attendees and brighten up the vibrant Dulux stall even further. The Dulux exhibit proved widely popular among attendees to Architect 2023, due to its powerful display of colour in both interior & Exterior spaces. “

“Architect 2023 was a great opportunity for Dulux to learn from fellow trade professionals, and also to introduce visitors to the latest trends and insights from the global paints and coatings landscape,” said Upendra Gunawardhana, Head of Marketing at AkzoNobel Paints Sri Lanka. “We’ve maintained a strong long-standing relationship with the SLIA, and have every intention of being back again next year as well.”

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ACCA reaffirms ComBank as Best among Sri Lankan banks for Sustainable Reporting



Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer Mr S. Prabagar (third from left) receives the ACCA award. The Bank’s Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking & Marketing Mr Hasrath Munasinghe (second from right) and Senior Manager – Sustainability, Women’s Banking & CSR Mrs Kamalini Ellawala (extreme right) are also in the picture

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon was declared the best among all Sri Lankan banks in sustainability reporting at the Sri Lanka Sustainability Reporting Awards for 2022 presented by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Sri Lanka.

As the winner in the ‘Banking’ category Commercial Bank was recognised for being one of the most transparent, accountable, and responsible entities in the country. The award was presented for the Bank’s 2021 Annual Report titled ‘Beyond a shape, beyond a colour’ which among other aspects, explores the Bank’s evolving operating context in which social and environmental concerns are brought to the centre of its corporate agenda.

Prepared in line with the International <IR> framework, this Annual Report also presents the Bank’s social and environmental impacts as per the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards: Core option. Additionally, it reports on the Bank’s contribution towards the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals.

The Report also features a dedicated section on ‘Business model for sustainable value creation’ and discloses information on loans screened through the Bank’s Social and Environmental Management System (SEMS), paper reduction and recycling initiatives, increased usage of renewable energy, and switching to energy-efficient appliances under the section on ‘Natural Capital.’ Indicators of value derived in this category include reduced energy consumption in gigajoules, number of facilities subjected to SEMS screening, number of new solar panel installation locations, number of internet banking and mobile banking users, and solar power generated as a percentage of energy consumption.

Commercial Bank’s high standards in comprehensive reporting area result of the Bank’s commitment to being a responsible financial entity and shaping its work ethics around sustainable business practices, the Bank said. Last year too, Commercial Bank topped the ACCA awards in the Banking category, in addition to winning the overall award for the Best Sustainability Report of 2020.

Notably, Commercial Bank’s 2021 Annual Report also won four awards including a Gold for ‘Interior Design,’ and a Bronze for ‘Interactive Annual Report’ at the 2022 edition of the MerComm ARC Awards which is the world’s largest annual report competition.

The Bank’s sustainability initiatives include lending to support sustainable and green operations, migrating customers to paperless banking, improving efficiency in the use of energy, water and other resources in its own operations and supporting community initiatives that help conserve habitats and the environment. Its support to a mangrove restoration project in Koggala and marine turtle conservation initiative in Panama are examples of its commitment to environmental conservation.

The Bank pioneered a mandatory social and environmental screening process for its project lending activities and was the first bank in Sri Lanka to venture into Green Financing. It also revolutionised digital banking by introducing features in its ‘Flash’ mobile application to measure and offset customer impact on the environment.

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Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC prioritizes psychological wellbeing in view of Women’s Day



Seen here are a few women at Ex-Pack cutting the cake

In view of the marking the International Women’s Day, Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC held an insightful event at their state-of-the-art factory premises in Kelaniya, highlighting the importance of psychological wellbeing and how Ex-Pack is taking up measures in ensuring an enabling environment for its 300 strong workforce, based on its wider DEI policies.

Various global studies have shown that women are impacted at much higher rates than men when it comes to mental illnesses. The session celebrated their achievements and life stories, and shared some eye-opening tips, facts, know how’s, to-dos, and various other influential factors including the dire need to change our perspectives on women’s roles, health and wellness. This also touched upon the emotional and social aspects of wellbeing too.

This year’s theme is centered on #EmbraceEquity, and Ex-Pack is no stranger when it comes to pursuing gender equality in an industry that has been traditionally dominated by male. As one of leading corrugated cartons manufacturer in Sri Lanka delivering end-to-end packaging solutions to both local and international clientele, and a subsidiary of Aberdeen Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Ex-Pack actively encourages more female participation.

‘With this year’s theme being #EmbraceEquity, we take great pride in being an ambassador and role model in our industry. We go beyond just equal opportunities to pro-actively collaborate with everyone, to ensure that our talented women have every possible resource at their disposal and are given all the required support to succeed both professionally and personally,’ said M. Zulficar Ghouse, Managing Director- Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons PLC

Ex-Pack has long been engaged with providing equal career opportunities, and both men and women

are respected, rewarded and compensated equally. The company also has an open-door policy for all employees. Women empowerment stems directly from the top leadership, recognizing that women and their strengths are crucial to both the company and the overall economy.

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