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Notable hike in workers’ remittances

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External sector performance – September 2020

Sri Lanka’s external sector recovered further in September 2020, supported by the continued improvement in the trade deficit, a notable increase in workers’ remittances and the resultant stability in the domestic foreign exchange market.

The trade deficit improved in September 2020, compared to a year earlier, with a more than expected rebound in merchandise exports and a reduction in merchandise imports during the month. In September 2020, workers’ remittances, recorded the highest year-on-year growth since end 2011. In the financial account, the government securities market recorded a marginal foreign investment inflow during the month, while the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded outflows. Net inflows to the domestic foreign exchange market eased the pressure on the exchange rate and enabled the Central Bank to absorb foreign exchange, on a net basis, to build up gross official reserves. Reflecting these developments, the Sri Lankan rupee appreciated during the month of September 2020.

Trade Balance

A deficit of US dollars 525 million was recorded in the trade account in September 2020, which was significantly lower than the deficit of US dollars 757 million recorded in September 2019. The improvement in the trade deficit during the month was due to lower level of imports and higher level of exports in September 2020, compared to September 2019.

The cumulative deficit in the trade account from January to September 2020 narrowed to US dollars 4,337 million from the deficit of US dollars 5,612 million recorded in the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile, terms of trade, i.e., the ratio of the price of exports to the price of imports, deteriorated by 1.1 per cent in September 2020, compared to September 2019, due to export prices declining at a higher pace than the decline in import prices.

Exhibiting the resilience of the export sector in the midst of the current global market conditions and its V-shaped recovery since the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, earnings from merchandise exports in September 2020 increased, both on a year-on-year basis as well as on a month-on-month basis. Merchandise exports of US dollars 1,000 million in September 2020 were higher by 4.8 per cent than the exports of US dollars 954 million in September 2019. This was also 5.6 per cent higher than the exports of US dollars 947 million recorded in August 2020. The increase in exports of most agricultural goods and some industrial product categories, which surpassed the decline in other industrial exports and mineral exports, contributed to the overall increase in exports.

Export earnings from agricultural goods increased by 10.4 per cent in September 2020 on a year-on-year basis, led by coconut exports (both kernel and non-kernel), spices (mainly cinnamon), tea, minor agricultural products (mainly betel leaves) and seafood. Increased earnings from tea exports (3.3 per cent) were supported by higher prices (6.3 per cent), as export volumes declined (2.8 per cent).

 

 

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Business

Wurth Lanka makes strategic appointments in pursuit of Vision 2025

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Wurth Lanka (Pvt) Ltd – the leading German based automotive car care partner recently promoted two of its long two standing employees Suranga Kekulawalage and Tharindu Rajapaksha to lead its Automotive Division and Automotive New Business Unit respectively as it focuses on achieving the Wurth Vision 2025. Established in the year 2000, the Automotive division is Wurth Lanka’s first, largest and most profitable business unit recording the highest YoY growth.

“As we celebrate our 20th anniversary of being the No. 1 trusted partner for the automotive aftermarket sector, we take great pleasure in appointing Suranga and Tharindu to lead these two dynamic divisions of Wurth Lanka to achieve our ambitious Vision 2025 targets ” said Rohan Amirthiah-Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Wurth Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

“A key factor of our success in the past 20 years is the trust and confidence that we placed in our leaders and their respective teams to take the company forward to achieve our goals. We are confident that these two leaders will lead Wurth to our Vision 2025 goals” he added.

Suranga Kekulawalage joined With Lanka 14 years ago in in 2006 as a Trainee Sales Representative and rapidly progressed in his career having been promoted as Sales Consultant in 2010, Area Sales Manager in 2013 and Area Sales Manager-Key Accounts & Special Projects in 2017. He won the SLIM NASCO Award for the “Best Territory Manager” in 2015. Suranga holds an MBA from Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK (ICBT Campus) and completed his M. Sc in Strategic Marketing from the Asia e-University in 2014. He holds the title of “Certified Professional Marketer” awarded by Asia Marketing Federation and Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM). He has also completed Wurth Group’s “Learn to Lead” programme for Young Managers.

Tharindu Rajapaksha has over 15 years of experience at Wurth Lanka and started his career in 2005 as a Sales Representative. He was promoted as a Sales Executive and thereafter as a Sales Consultant. He then progressed to a Sales Consultant, Area Sales Supervisor and Area Sales Manager. He has been responsible for product marketing for the past several years and has successfully launched many new product categories. A winner of the Wurth Silver and Gold pins for his dedication and performance, Tharindu has been a winner of the Wurth 110% Club for many years. He has also participated in many of Wurth’s International Training Programmes while completing Wurth’s Learn to Lead programme for Young Managers.

 

 

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Dipped Products’ share price surges

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

The share price of Dipped Products in the CSE surged following the  world’s largest maker of latex gloves  shutting more than half of its factories after almost 2,500 employees tested positive for the coronavirus yesterday, market analysts said.

Malaysian based  “Top Glove” will close down 28 plants in phases as it seeks to control the outbreak, authorities said. Therefore, Dipped Products’ share price moved up by 5.4 percent or Rs. 16.90 at the end of yesterday’s trading, stock market analysts said. Its shares became the most sought after stocks among investors and its shares started trading at Rs. 314.10 and at the end of the trading it shot up to Rs. 331.

Amid those developments CSE activities were positive because two major listed companies have announced their annual dividend payment for their shareholders. Those companies were Kelani Tyres, which announced its interim dividend of Rs. 5 per share and Melstacorp’s  Rs. 2.50 per share. These two announcements  gave some impetus to the CSE yesterday, stock market analysts said.

At the end of the day both indices moved upwards. The All Share Price Index went up by 54.13 points and S and P SL20 by 18.88 points. The turnover stood at Rs. 2.5 billion with four crossings. Those crossings were reported in Lion Brewery, where 243,000 shares crossed for Rs. 127.7 million, its share price traded at Rs. 525, Dipped Products 289,000 shares crossed for Rs. 94 million, its share price traded at Rs. 330, JKH 400,000 shares crossed for Rs. 68.7 million, per share value being Rs. 146.80 and Distilleries 100 million shares crossed for Rs. 20 million; its share price trading at Rs. 20.

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Dialog Axiata’s Genie partners Eat Me Global to facilitate customers with secure e-payments

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In light of the health and safety mandates given by government health authorities to minimise the public’s exposure to COVID-19, Genie, Sri Lanka’s first PCI-DSS-certified payment app, powered by Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, recently facilitated grocery and food delivery platform Eat Me Global with a seamless solution for quick and secure online payments.

Partnering over 150 restaurants and supermarkets, Eat Me Global enables customers to order their favourite food and produce online and have it delivered to their doorstep. On downloading the Eat Me Global app, Genie customers of the platform will be enabled with the option of using the Genie login to perform their payments while non-Genie customers can store their Credit/Debit Card on the Eat Me Global app which uses the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) certified Genie back-end for card storage. Once the card is stored customers can use the ‘One-Click-Pay’ option, which eliminates the need of entering card details for every purchase. Contactless delivery is then ensured once the successful payment is done. One-Click-Pay is an effective and secure alternative when transferring sensitive information, adding an extra level of security to credit and debit card payments and fast becoming a catalyst in fighting fraud whilst creating a seamless payment process.

Speaking on this integration, Group Chief Digital Services Officer of Dialog Axiata PLC, Renuka Fernando said “Genie is pleased to partner the one-stop supermarket hub, Eat Me Global. This partnership will facilitate customers with doorstep delivery of food and groceries whilst also enabling our partner merchants to adapt, change and thrive with cutting-edge tokenization technology in a new normal. Genie remains committed in supporting our partner merchants and customers alike with enhanced e-payment security and a convenient method for remote transactions and cashless payments – a catalyst for surviving and succeeding in the face of COVID-19”.

With reference to this partnership, Jude Kumar- CEO of Eat Me Global said “We want our customers to feel safe and have a seamless fast payment checkout when purchasing their groceries and food via our app, Genie has immensely helped enhance and simplify the payment experience with guaranteed safety”

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