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Notable dip in blue-chip counters as macro and micro uncertainties weigh on bourse

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The CSE surrendered its early gains to close marginally lower yesterday as looming macro and micro economic uncertainties weighed on investor sentiment amid a significant drop in blue-chip counters, stock market analysts said.

Despite global tensions with regard to the Russian- Ukraine issue easing out, since Russia is reportedly looking for a diplomatic intervention, the local micro economic front did not seem to facilitate profitable stock market operations, which factor dragged the bourse to negative territory, stock market analysts added. Moreover, an increase in world crude oil prices to the higher level of US $ 94 per barrel from US $ 72, put more pressure on the Sri Lankan economy due to the ongoing currency crisis, market analysts pointed out.

Against this backdrop, the stock market started on a positive note but later turned negative, especially with regard to blue-chip counters. Both indices moved downward. The All- Share Price Index went down by 106 points and S and P SL20 declined by 16.8 points.

Turnover stood at Rs 3.2 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was recorded from Melstacorp, which crossed 390,000 shares to the tune of Rs 26.6 million, its shares traded at Rs 56.

In the retail market, top seven companies that were mainly contributed to the turnover were; Commercial Leasing and Finance Rs 756 million (16.9 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 460 million (17.2 million shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 229 million (16.2 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs 163 million (503,000 shares traded), Sinhaputhra Finance Rs 142 million (4.2 million shares traded), Softlogic Life Insurance Rs 102.6 million (738,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Holdings Rs 68.8 million (953,000 shares traded). During the day 108 million share volumes changed hands in 36000 share transactions.

The index pared early gains thereupon and slipped into negative territory as investors realized quick profits, capitalizing on recent sharp price increases in select heavyweight counters. However, activity continued at moderate levels with daily turnover coming in at a four-month low. The breadth of the market ended negative with 78 price gainers and 121 decliners, market watchers said.

It is said that foreigners recorded a net outflow of Rs. 42 million, while their participation increased marginally to 2.7 per cent of turnover (previous day 2.3 percent). Reportedly, high net worth and institutional investor participation was noted in Royal Ceramics, Softlogic Life Insurance and LOLC Holdings.

Mixed interest was observed in Expolanka Holdings, Vallibel Finance and Sunshine Holdings, while retail interest was noted in SMB Leasing non-voting, Dialog Axiata and Browns Investments. The share price of Vallibel Finance gained Rs. 3.50 to close at Rs. 55.

The Capital Goods sector was the second highest contributor to the market turnover (due to Royal Ceramics), while the sector index increased by 0.06 per cent. The share price of Royal Ceramics recorded a gain of 60 cents to close at Rs. 71.90. Further First Capital Holdings and First Capital Treasuries announced subdivision of shares from one existing share into four new shares.

Yesterday, the US dollar was quoted at Rs 202.52, which was the controlled price of the Central Bank. The Central Bank has imposed a ceiling of Rs 203 per US dollar. However, market sources said that the actual price would be more than Rs 250.



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HNB Finance inks partnership with HNB Assurance

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Sri Lanka’s leading integrated financial services provider, HNB Finance PLC, has entered into an exclusive partnership with HNB Assurance PLC, making it significantly easier and faster for HNB Finance customers to obtain insurances required for most of the offerings from the company.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently by the two companies enables HNB Finance customers to obtain the insurances they require for personal and other offerings from the company, without even having to leave the premises of HNB Finance. Since representatives of HNB Assurance will now be stationed at the offices of HNB Finance, the process of obtaining the necessary insurance policies will be both more convenient and faster, further enhancing the overall customer experience.

“HNB Finance constantly strives to elevate our customer experience, particularly via partnerships with reputed organisations of the calibre of HNB Assurance,” HNB Finance PLC Managing Director/CEO Chaminda Prabhath said. “This also serves as an example of the synergies and strengths that HNB Finance benefit from, by being part of one of Sri Lanka’s largest financial services conglomerates, the HNB Group.”

“We take pleasure in this partnership with another member of the HNB Group and in offering the customers of HNB Finance the highly customer-centric offering of HNB Assurance,” HNB Assurance PLC CEO Lasitha Wimalaratne said. “Superlative customer experience has always been a core pillar of our strategy and HNB Finance customers can now benefit from these capabilities.”

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Sunshine Healthcare appoints T. Sayandhan as CEO

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Sunshine Healthcare has appointed T. Sayandhan as the Chief Executive Officer of Lina Manufacturing, the pharmaceutical manufacturing segment of the diversified company. Sayandhan, currently CEO of Sunshine Medical Devices, has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He joined Sunshine Healthcare in 2017 to spearhead Sunshine Medical Devices and has been instrumental in growing the healthcare business to be the key driver of the Group’s financial performance, helping Sunshine Healthcare to sustain its growth over the few years amidst tough macroeconomic conditions.

Commenting on the new appointment, Sunshine Healthcare Managing Director Shyam Sathasivam said, “As a responsible Sri Lankan conglomerate, we believe the local production of pharmaceuticals plays a vital role in maintaining the resilience of national healthcare systems. When escalating macroeconomic conditions are putting immense pressure on the local healthcare sector, producing pharmaceuticals locally will facilitate access to needed medicines and decrease exposure to imports and international supply chains. At this critical juncture, I believe Sayandhan has demonstrated the right combination of talent and drive to step into this key leadership role at the company.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sayandhan said, “It is a challenging yet exciting time to join Lina Manufacturing when the company is advancing its efforts to develop Sri Lankan-made, innovative healthcare solutions.”

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Mega training programme in SL in ICT related skills by Trainocate

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Trainocate, being Asia’s largest IT and human capability development training provider, in a bid to create demand for future ICT related employees will be commencing a mega training program in Sri Lanka targeting youth and corporates.

“With the rapid advancements in digitalization and digital services driven by AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and 5G, old paradigms and business models are being challenged. More organizations across sectors are now required to have an online-offline presence and operations, Trainocate’s CEO, South East Asia New Markets and the UAE Zafarullah Hashim told The Island Financial Review.

Zafarullah added: ‘According to a recent World Economic Forum report, by 2022, close to 30 per cent of new job opportunities globally will be in data, artificial intelligence (AI), engineering and cloud computing for the future Digital Economy.

‘The pace of change over the past few years has been accelerated by the diffusion of technology, speed of innovation and rapidly evolving business needs. Jobs have changed and new ones have emerged and replaced existing ones. In tandem with this, the required skills and competencies have also rapidly evolved.

‘Many South Asian countries’ corporates as well as current employees and youth aspiring for employment are not reading this.

‘With a global presence in 15 countries, Trainocate SEANM, a pioneer in delivering cutting edge training and certifications which are industry recognized, will commence helping beginners and professionals to expedite their career advancement through our centers.

‘Trainocate also works with key government and private stakeholders to ensure that beginners and professionals have access to high quality and industry-specific training that meets the demands of different sectors of the economy for an innovative and productive workforce.

‘Knowing which skills are in demand has never been more important. With evolving consumer demands and disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we function as the bridge between vendors, such as Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud, and the partner. We are also the bridge between the partner and customers. We do partner enablement programs for partners through the vendors and then from the partner to the customer. A partner has to commit to the vision and the goals of a vendor. You also need to have product knowledge and become certified, which is where we come in.

‘Microsoft has been our main force and we have been providing free fundamental training sessions, as we believe that primary knowledge is key in building the country’s digital transformation journey. Our business operation is carried out between business to business, business to government and business to customers as well.

‘Digital skills are increasingly transferable across different sectors, as more enterprises embark on digital transformation and technology adoption. The Digital Economy entails different types of skills, depending on their job role applications. Tech-Lite roles are job roles that involve the use of foundational digital solutions at work; while Tech-Heavy roles are specialized roles responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of more complex technological solutions and applications.

‘Trainocate SEANM focuses on developing skills, competency, ability and improving employee performances and organizational productivity. Organizations spend millions in acquiring and upgrading systems or hardware and give truly little thought to the training process. As a result, a vast majority of companies do not make maximum use of the features and benefits of the software in which they have invested. Proper training will increase productivity and reduce downtime which will complete IT projects faster.

‘Traincoate SEANM is rapidly reaching new heights by helping organizations that are going through a tough time and are in the transitioning period towards technology. Trainocate SEANM delivers well-informed and stable individuals who can provide their expertise towards the rise of these businesses. We have trained many blue-chip companies, along with their partners. Our goal is to develop individuals in tools that are already available that they don’t know how to use.

“Trainocate SEANM offers a range of resources, tools, certification and training programs and initiatives to help individuals and organizations identify and acquire the necessary skills to facilitate employment, improve job performance and adapt to job content changes in the midst of technological advancements and business operating model shifts.

‘We are not just a training company, but rather, a guidance company. We have been doing this for 25 plus years and have assessment tools that help us analyze and identify any skill gaps within organizations. We can use this to help the organizations’ HR and L&D teams streamline their training methods, as we can help identify these gaps and guide them on what they need the most.

‘Overall the company is helping organizations to think differently, plan strategically, save money and get the best out of technology. That is our secret to success.’

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