Rebuilding the future depends on how banks respond to the crisis: Jonathan Alles
HNB’s Managing Director and CEO, Jonathan Alles, in his capacity as the Chairman of the prestigious Asian Bankers Association (ABA), the premier platform for Asian banks, inaugurated the ABA’s 37th General Meeting and Conference.
While initially planned to be hosted in Sri Lanka, this year’s event is now taking place virtually from 24 – 27 August 2021, on the theme: ‘Asian Banks: Achieving Sustainable Growth in the New Normal’ and will be attended by some of the most important figures in banking across the Asian region.
Addressing the virtual gathering, Alles highlighted the critical role that banks have played, in supporting economic recovery post-COVID-19.
“Today, banks across the globe are working as a de facto delivery system, delivering cash for those in need. However, with no clear end in sight and the virus still rampant, banks are acutely aware that how they respond to the crisis now will determine how they will rebuild for the future. Providing support to governments and customers is crucial during this crisis, but this will require banks to deploy the tools that they have developed since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, to lead a coherent and extensive response to unchartered territory. One thing is certain: a strong banking sector will be fundamental to a strong recovery.”
Alles also emphasized the importance of innovation and technological improvements in the sector in addressing the broader market needs and tapping into the opportunities in the ‘new normal’.
“We need to jointly break new ground in innovation-driven development. After years of fairly fast growth, Asian countries now face the challenge of shifting from old drivers of growth to new ones and we must rely on innovation to foster this transition. As the new round of global technological revolution and industrial transformation unfolds, we must seize opportunities to tap into our advantages in human capital and market potential, to intensify cooperation on innovation and accelerate the upgrading of the banking sector.”
Alles will not be the only Sri Lankan banking sector professional who will be sharing his insights with the region’s banking sector leaders at the 37th ABA General Meeting and Conference, which has a strong focus on responding to the changes induced by the pandemic and on technology/innovation.
HNB Executive Director and Chief Operation Officer, Dilshan Rodrigo will also be serving as session chair for the ‘Regulator Roundtable’ session on current banking trends and their implications on regulatory policies which will also feature Dharmasri Kumaratunge, Director Payments and Settlements of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). In addition, Jonathan Alles will serve as a panellist at the CEO roundtable on ‘navigating the new world order’. The other sessions are ‘responding to challenges and disruptions in a changing global ecosystem’ and ‘the role of technology in sustainable growth.’
Cabinet approves rationalization of VAT exemptions and abolition of SVAT System
The Cabinet of Ministers granted concurrence to the resolution forwarded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to remove most of the releases from Value Added Tax (VAT), further retaining releases that ease the pressure on low – income families to secure the fundamental sectors of the economy as well as the releases for sectors such as education, health and agriculture, as well as to revise the provisions applicable for the Value Added Tax (VAT) act so that the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) methodology can be canceled with effect from 01.01.2024 by introducing a more formal methodology for repaying the Value Added Tax (VAT) and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for the purpose.
Venora Lanka Power Panels to set up assembly plant in Australia
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Sri Lanka- based, export- oriented manufacturer, Venora Lanka Power Panels (Pvt) Ltd, with a state of the art electric panel factory at the Export Processing Zone, Biyagama, will set up an assembly plant in Australia.
“Once we set up the electric panel assembly plant in Australia, we will export all our panels from Sri Lanka and that plant will do 30 percent value addition to the product to supply that market, the company’s chairman/ Managing Director, engineer Sagara Gunawardena told The Island Financial Review.
Gunawardena said that the company is a value- addition assembly plant and he would be investing AUS $ 2 million for the project to be set up in Melbourne and hire 100 engineers and other professionals. He explained that the venture has enormous potential.
Venora Lanka provides power panels to mega projects in Sri Lanka and exports to Bangladesh, Maldives, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Myanmar. Panel assembling is strictly in compliance with IEC 61439 standards, it was explained.
Gunawardena added: ‘I firmly believe that, being a truly customer focused organization, every employee and every process in the organization has to be aligned behind delighting customers. Therefore, at a time when the country is facing a major dollar crisis, my company would be aiming at bringing dollars into the country, while providing employment for local professionals, especially engineers.
‘At Venora Lanka we do not try to change customers’ mindsets. Instead, we take time to understand what they really want and focus our brand on delivering that. Venora is values- driven first and cost- driven second – creating a unique brand proposition.
‘Since the US dollar rate has come down, it is our concern that importers and suppliers do not change their prices, which is really affecting the manufacturing sector.
Company sources added: ‘The company has several wings of operation, such as local and overseas projects, switch board assembling, telecommunication infrastructure installations, earthing, lighting and surge protection, incorporating world renowned brands.
‘Venora Lanka Power Panels is the first Sri Lankan company to receive the licence, in accordance with the UK Trade Mark Act 1994, to use the trade mark “Best Enterprise”. It won a global award at the event, ‘Golden Awards for Quality and Business Prestige’, held in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2015.
‘Within a short span of time, with the perfect blend of progressive thinking and expertise, Venora Group has expanded to consist of, Venora International Projects, Venora Telecom, Venora Industrial Solutions and Venora Lanka Power Panels (BOI approved). Further, Venora has established its overseas presence through Venora Engineering Kenya and Venora Engineering Myanmar.’
Share market moves into positive territory; indices up
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
CSE trading got off to a positive note yesterday but during the last session of the day the momentum slowed. However, the market is now moving towards positive territory following the Central Bank announcement of a downward trend in interest rates, market analysts said.
Amid those developments the market witnesses improvements in both indices and in the turnover.
The All- Share Price Index up by 12.8 points and S and P SL 20 rose by 6.97 points. Turnover stood at Rs 710 million with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH which crossed 430,000 shares to the tune of Rs 60.2 million; its shares traded at Rs 140.
In the retail market top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; JKH Rs 212 million (1.5 million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 44.7 million ( three million shares traded), Lanka IOC Rs 34.5 million (264,000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 28.6 million (5.3 million shares traded), LOLC Finance Rs 23.8 million (4.7 million shares traded), Capital Alliance Rs 22.9 million (615,000 shares traded) and First Capital Holdings Rs 19.2 million (574,000 shares traded). During the day the 31.4 million shares volumes changed hands in 9000 transactions.
Yesterday, the Central Bank’s US dollar buying rate was Rs 285.16 and the selling rate Rs 298.85.
Sagala Ratnayaka leads Sri Lanka delegation to 20th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue
Prices of sixty essential drugs to be reduced from 15th June
Cabinet approval to publish draft bill on contempt of a court, a tribunal or an institution
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
#Sundayisland Sunday Island- 31 January- Headlines
Business6 days ago
‘ඇය සුරකින AIA’ celebrates one year of empowering half a million women to rise together
News6 days ago
AI demands immediate release of Natasha
Business6 days ago
DFCC Bank provides exclusive free access to DOC 990 for DFCC Aloka accountholders
News7 days ago
Misappropriation of Rs 195 mn: Fort Magistrate clears way for continuation of CID probe
Opinion7 days ago
Features5 days ago
Religious cauldron being stirred; filthy rich in abjectly poor country
Features7 days ago
Please, take charge of Poson celebrations: A proposal to Mahanayake Theras
Opinion5 days ago
Demystifying Buddhism: Need of the hour?