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Rakuten Viber Partners with SLT-MOBITEL Mobile to Offer “Unlimited Free” Data Packages to Subscribers

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Rakuten Viber joins hands with SLT-MOBITEL Mobile to offer “Viber Free” data packages that help users stay connected, no matter where they are. This joint endeavour will enable SLT-MOBITEL Mobile subscribers to enjoy unlimited data when using Viber across popular data plans.

Both Mobitel Pre-Paid and Post-Paid subscribers can now get access to unlimited Viber data to enjoy unparalleled features such as free VoIP calls, group video chats, communities, utilities chatbots, and fun stickers on Viber’s messaging platform that offer enhanced security to preserve user data privacy. Pre-Paid customers with Anytime plans ranging from Rs. 399, Rs.499, Rs.699, Rs.999, and Rs.1999 are eligible for this offer and Post-Paid customers with Anytime plans ranging Rs.1290, Rs.1690, Rs.2090, Rs.2990 and Rs.3890 can enjoy the free Viber offer.

“We are delighted to partner with Viber to offer our valued customers a unique experience by delivering value beyond the standard packages in the market today. The tie up will cater to the surge in usage of instant messaging across Sri Lankans while keeping in mind customer data security,” said Shashika Senarath, CMO at Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd. Stating further, Shashika stressed that, “This long-term partnership with Rakuten Viber allows us to bring our collective resources, expertise, and integrate them in a way that offers users a secure and enhanced user experience.”

As migration to digital technologies continues to be driven by the pandemic, it’s important for service providers to accelerate their digital capabilities to keep pace and offer services that are in line with the changing customer demands.

“We have a diverse user base and it has always been our aim to help them stay connected, no matter who they are or where they’re from,” said David Tse, Rakuten Viber Senior Director for APAC. “We see great synergy between Viber’s and SLT-MOBITEL’s customer-centric approach and such partners will allow us to continue to scale and offer our users in Sri Lanka with great choice of data plans to enjoy our full suite of messaging features and utilities.”

Rakuten Viber’s partnership with SLT-MOBITEL Mobile is yet another initiative by the popular messaging platform that continues to reinvent its service offerings for an enriched user experience.

Users may subscribe to the service via the SLT-MOBITEL Mobile SelfCare app, DataMart app, topping up or by visiting the nearest communication outlet. More information can be obtained about the “Unlimited Free” data packages by visiting the SLT-MOBITEL website via https://www.mobitel.lk/freeviber



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Business

Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Business

Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Business

Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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