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NDB Bank to raise Rs. 8 billion via rights issue



By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

NDB Bank announced plans to raise Rs. 8 billion via a rights issue to enhance its capital base and finance business growth, stock market analysts said.

The bank has resolved to issue 106.78 million shares on the basis of 28 new shares for 61 held at Rs. 75 each, CSE sources said

NDB share price closed unchanged yesterday at Rs. 83.40. Its net asset value per share as at June 30 was Rs. 184.25, up from Rs. 178 as at December 31, 2019. The current stated capital is Rs. 8.79 billion represented by 232.63 million shares. 

NDB Bank has 9,922 public shareholders. Among the biggest shareholders of NDB Bank are EPF (10percent ), BOC (8 percent ), Sri Lanka Insurance (11percent ), Dr. Sena Yaddehige (4 percent ), Softlogic Life Insurance (4 percent ), and ETF (4 percent ). The proceeds of the NDB rights issue are to be utilised to further strengthen the equity base of the bank and thereby improve capital adequacy ratios in line with BASEL III guidelines of the Central Bank and to part finance the growth in the loan portfolio of the bank.

However, CSE activities were positive yesterday morning but subsequently became negative with the government announcement on the imposition of a quarantine curfew for the Gampaha district coupled with the disclosure of certain negative provisions in the 20th amendment to the Constitution.

Amid those developments both indices turned negative. The All Share Price Index went down by 249.56 points down and S and P SL20 declined by 95.46 points. The turnover stood at Rs. 3.25 billion with three crossings. Those crossings were reported in Cargills where  778,000 shares crossed to the tune of Rs. 147.8 million; a share price trading at Rs. 190, Keells Hotel 3.1 million shares crossed for Rs. 24.7 million, its shares trading at Rs. 8 and Melstacorp 600,000 shares crossed for Rs. 21 million at a per share value of Rs. 35.

In the retail market top five companies that contributed to the turnover were, Expolanka Rs. 488 million (27.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs. 267.8 million (two million shares traded), Tokyo Cement (Non Voting) Rs. 183 million (3.5 million shares traded), Tokyo Cement (Voting) Rs. 153.2 million (2.5 million shares traded) and HNB (Voting) Rs. 93.4 million (796.000 shares traded). During the day 196.7 million share volumes changed hands in 36983 transactions. 

Corporate earnings of listed companies plunged by 52 percent  year-on-year (YOY) to Rs. 33.5 billion in 2020 March quarter, First Capital Research revealed yesterday. The analysis was based on reported earnings of 266 listed companies. 

It said the plunge was primarily owing to sluggish performance in Diversified Financials (-87 percent  YOY), Capital Goods (-63 percent YOY), Food, Beverage and Tobacco (-72 percent  YOY), Telecommunication (-52 percent  YOY) and Consumer Services (-101 percent  YOY). 

However, an upbeat quarterly performance was witnessed in the following sectors, Banks (+32 percent YOY) followed by Food, Staples and Retailing (+96 percent  YOY) and Materials (+8 percent  YOY). 

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INSEE Cement continues investment in mason development across Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka’s leading cement manufacturer INSEE Cement is driving transformation across the local construction industry with significant investments in empowering one of the sector’s key stakeholder groups; the mason.

‘INSEE Sathkara’, a multifaceted initiative to develop local masons powered by INSEE Cement is shaping the mason of the future – a professionally, socially and financially empowered individual contributing significantly to the advancement of both the local construction industry and Sri Lanka’s economy.

“The INSEE Sathkara initiative facilitates empowerment and development through up-skilling, social recognition and financial stability, an all-round approach that has successfully nurtured a new generation of masons that are fast adaptable to industry demands through newly developed skillsets, knowledge and capacities,” says Jan Kunigk, Executive Vice President, INSEE Cement.

INSEE Cement’s approach is to build a certified and skilled workforce with recognized credentials to bridge a gaping skill gap in the construction industry. The program ensures sustainable capacity development for masons backed by National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) in collaboration with the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) of Sri Lanka.

INSEE Cement also launched a Mason Apprenticeship Program to provide 120-day training opportunities for masons to learn on the job, preparing them to enter the workforce with specialized skillsets.

For Ajith Kumara Dissanayaka from Ambathenna, a mason for nearly 16 years, receiving all-round advancement through INSEE Sathkara has been truly life changing. “Five years ago, I was able to complete a course conducted by INSEE Cement and NAITA and received a Level 3 NVQ certification – my first professional credentials as a mason. This training gave me knowledge and insight that I had not received in over a decade of working as a mason, and it made me look at my profession differently. I improved my tile work skills, which also increased my income,” Dissanayaka stated.

This professional up-skilling has enabled INSEE Cement to create much needed social recognition and acceptance for Masons across Sri Lanka as a crucial link in the construction industry value chain. Mason Chats, Mason Meets and exclusive membership to the INSEE Concrete Society (ICS) has provided local masons industry inclusivity as well as recognition and rewards to encourage new avenues of income and entrepreneurship. Long-established ICS-member masons are also rewarded for their contribution to the local construction industry through ‘INSEE Garu Sara’.

To secure a stronger financial future for masons, INSEE Cement has introduced a comprehensive life insurance policy with disability, medical and accidental cover. This comes in addition to the pension scheme introduced to masons in partnership with the Employee Trust Fund Board (ETFB) of Sri Lanka.

“I joined the INSEE programme five years ago, and have benefited in ways I never imagined. The knowledge I gained about the industry, Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLS) standards and safety requirements have made me a better professional, and my clients respect me more because of it,” stated Ratna Ravindara, a mason based in Kandy with over two decades of industry experience.

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European ride-hail Bolt enters Sri Lanka



Bolt, the leading European transportation platform committed to making urban travel easier, quicker and more reliable; announced its entry to the Sri Lankan market, with a pilot launch of its service in Colombo, on November 25, 2020 with over 2000 drivers ready to start accepting rides. Bolt pilots its services in South Asia for the first time with the launch of operations in Sri Lanka.

Committed to affordable trips and happy drivers, the company has announced that it will be charging drivers no commission for using the platform and offer fares 20% lower than other competitors, for a minimum of six months. It builds on being smart about how to grow the company, and focusing operations on efficiency, allowing Bolt to pass the savings on to customers, passengers and drivers.

Bolt has chosen to enter Sri Lanka during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis with the firm belief that people still need to move around in the city and doing its best to fulfil the mission to help them do so. Currently available only within Colombo, Bolt services can be accessed by passengers by downloading the secure and free Bolt app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store and setting up a user profile. Any person with their own Car who wishes to join Bolt as a driver, can easily register with the company through by completing the relevant formalities or through the Bolt Driver App available on Apple App store or Google Play Store.

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Mobisec marks 6th anniversary as its future outlook remains strong



International footprint with branch office in Melbourne

Mobisec (Pvt) Ltd, an innovator in the mobile application sector in Sri Lanka is celebrating its 6thanniversary since its inception in November 2014.

Over the years it has served hundreds of thousands of customers across Sri Lanka through its telco and mobile applications. Starting with humble beginnings as a start-up, Ashen Gomez, Founder & Managing Director of Mobisec has worked diligently over the years alongside his wife Sumudu, the Co-founder of Mobisec to build the company and expand its services in different verticals.

The company marked its first international expansion in the beginning of this year by establishing a new branch office in Melbourne, Australia. Today, the company is home to a dynamic team of over 30 software development experts.

Founder & Managing Director of Mobisec Ashen Gomez said; “since inception, we have continued to create applications that revolutionize the way people connect with the technology. Our prime focus is to provide smart and reliable solutions for modern problems our customers are facing and help them improve the quality of their lifestyle.”

Company’s product portfolio expanded further during this year along with the three brand new products that were launched into the Market. “Baby’s Diary” is one of the Android Apps that was added to Mobisec’s product portfolio in the mid of this year and currently the App has crossed over 10,000 downloads. It’s an all-in-one parenting solution, which contains a variety of options to keep track on the baby’s activities while shopping for all the baby essentials. Since its launch, the App has gained widespread attention and it’s shaping to be a game changer for all new parents in Sri Lanka.

“We are pleased to say that the Baby’s Diary App is the first and only Parenting App developed in Sri Lanka exclusively for parents of new-borns.The challenges and struggles for a new parent have never been addressed through out the past and that’s where we strongly believed that the concept of Smart Parenting needs be introduced to the Sri Lankan market”, said PrasannaDahanayake, Product Manager/ Business Analyst of Mobisec.

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